Well that was exciting

The hype is real. I’ve been stuck in a bad panic attack loop for over a week now. Many factors contribute: it’s hot as balls, I’m menstruating, my life changed overnight because I started insulin.

All these things combined more or less got me so tense and nervous that my body acted up terribly. Shortness of breath, pain on the chest, dizziness, fear of dying. All very fun.

I think the newness of taking insulin and the rising nervosity towards each shot really set my attacks off too. The closer 8pm got, the more I hated waiting. I just wanted to get it over with! It’s the waiting that I hate so much.

I’m on day 3 of my shots and I have to say they’re incredibly uneventful and boring. (Thank god for my adorable insulin pen case to make it somewhat interesting!) I don’t feel the needle at all, and I make sure to inject one unit at a time as I press the button until I hit 0. I haven’t bruised yet nor do I feel any pain. No burning sensations either. I’m slowly rotating around my bellybutton so I expect no soreness from injection sites as they have time to heal.

My glucose values are killer too! I’m logging a full curve tomorrow and Wednesday, but I have a feeling they will be excellent. So far all my tests have been within my acceptable range even. 🙂 I’m noticing the importance of proper snacks between meals though. I was declining towards a hypo yesterday around 4pm after last eating around 11:30am. It used to not be an issue, but I dropped to 4.6 and got shaky, sweaty and felt bad overall. (Seems my hypo range is a little higher than the usual 3.9) I had one slice of bread with some sweet topping and by dinner time I was absolutely fine.

So I got this injecting thing down and I think I’ll be fine on my current meds for a while. We’ll see! The weather is hot and it is notorious for making my bg low, and so is my menstruation. I might see a change when the weather cools down and I’m 2 weeks down the road.

One thing I DO know is that despite my panic attacks, I do feel much better. I’m more alert and less tired as early as the first morning after my first shot. Two thumbs up!

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The first shot is in!

Whoo boy, today was a ridiculously stressful day for me. I woke up feeling anxious as all hell and wanting to not go out because of what I had to do. But I did it!

This morning I set out to my doctor’s office and was shown how to use the insulin pen. At first I got to practice on a little box with a ‘skin’ on top that emulates what it feels like to insert the needle. The pen is filled with water, not real insulin, for practicing purposes. That went well. Then I got to put on a new clean needle and insert it without injecting anything. It was as good as painless to my surprise! We talked a little more and then I was on my way to group. (To be clear, I did not do my injection at that point yet.)

I spent the better part of the afternoon there. After lunch my glucose levels were definitely in the okay range, likely thanks to the ridiculous heat we’re experiencing right now. Being stuck in a heat weave seems to be the only thing keeping my values down, geeshe. (I guess that’s kind of a good thing when your GL is consistently too high though!) I left to go home without snacking (good going, me) and was heading towards a hypo once I’d come home from my cycling adventure.

Had a snack to bump my GL back up, ordered dinner (Greek food whoop!) and I waited for 8pm to draw near. That’s the time I’ve decided to do my daily basal injections. Deep breaths. I was in full on adrenaline rush mode by the time that time hit. My heart raced, my hands felt unsteady, I was dizzy. I mean, it might be the heat, but that feeling in my stomach is definitely a sign of being too nervous.

I prepped the insulin pen like I’d done earlier that day. I remembered the instructions. I set the dose. I squirted 3 units out of the needle to ensure the pen was functioning. I inserted the needle and immediately felt a burn that I didn’t feel this morning. Oh, right, I just squirted some insulin out of this needle so that’s probably why it’s already stinging. Okay, so far so good. Once in it didn’t hurt. I adjusted my grip on the pen four times before very slowly pushing down the button to inject the insulin.

There was some very mild burning and stinging, but nothing I can describe as pain. Kind of like putting some icy hot on my tummy, you know? I held down the button and counted to 10. Toujeo lets you count to 5, but I want to be double sure that I’m doing this right. Then I started pulling out the needle without releasing the button, stopped halfway, released and pulled it out all the way.

That was it. I was shaking so badly from the ridiculous tension I’d built up for myself over what turned out to be a minor inconvenience at best. It wasn’t painful. Yes, I felt it, but it’s nothing compared to the back pain I endure every day. Once my adrenaline had crashed I got incredibly dizzy and short of breath. Great that Toujeo’s allergic reactions are at least 50% consistent with panic attack symptoms! I was Skyping with a friend who helped me feel calmer about it because it was very obviously just my anxiety kicking me in the balls, ugh. I’ve been tense for a week now and having panic attacks, is it any wonder I’m feeling like crap after riding an adrenaline high for two hours?

I checked my glucose levels again, 2 hours after dinner: 5.3 mmol/L. Okay, that’s pretty low but nothing that I can’t explain: my greek food was greasy, I know this delays carb absorption. And I definitely did not have too few carbs. I went to do my thing, melting in the heat inside my apartment; the building retains heat very well and we need some rain to help it cool off. An hour later I test again and I’m going upwards to 6.6 mmol/L. Good! It’s climbing, that’s great.

As it’s a basal injection once a day, I don’t have to worry too much. Toujeo is designed to reduce a hypo after injection. I’m going to have a snack before bed just to be sure, but I’m noting down two curve days for my doctor sometime these coming 7 days. I’m very tired, but proud I overcame my panic attack and did it. I’m proud that I’ve started a journey to a better health and a better life!

Bonus: my doctor also had this ADORABLE pen case for my insulin. My glucometer also looks like a 2000’s MP3 player lol.

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Taking deep breaths now

I’m hitting a rough patch and I’m bracing myself for a wild ride this week. Last night I stayed up until 4am because I couldn’t relax enough. I started my dad’s Christmas socks and finished the toes before putting them down and going to bed. Once in bed I was so tense I kept making my heartbeat extremely irregular because I didn’t breathe deep enough. It took over an hour for me to fall asleep. I didn’t have group until 12:30pm so I figured I could sleep until 11-11:30 and take a shower without rushing too much.

Then 9:30 rolled around and someone knocked on my door, startling me awake. I didn’t expect anyone, and that has proven to be ‘bad news’ in the past. I fell into instant panic mode and stayed still in bed pretending I wasn’t home (I sleep in the nude so there’s no point in dressing and going to the door because that takes too long anyway) while my heart was going frantic. I was afraid it was a debt collector or someone from real estate about my rent or something else off the charts life changing.

I could hear the man dial a number on his phone and my downstairs neighbor answered (hooray for thin floors?). It still took me 5 minutes to realize that if that person dialed my neighbor’s number, they must have mixed up the doors and were actually there for my neighbor, that’s how deep I was stuck in my panic attack.

My boyfriend was still awake and I texted him until I calmed down, then I passed out again until 11:30. I got up, showered, dressed and went to group. I worked more on the socks and helped two other women in the group with their knitting. I’m still stupidly tense and exhausted. Not a surprise, I’ve felt this coming for a while, I fully expect more panic attacks over benign shit but it doesn’t help that much when one strikes. :/

I’m going to throw myself at these socks, I think. The yarn is an absolute gorgeous blend of grays, pale blue and teal that makes me happy to look at, so I’ve got that going for me!