Here it is 2:30am. I can’t sleep. I went to bed at 11 o’clock. Saw the clock at midnight and again at 1am. At 2am, I gave up and got up.
I made myself a cup of coffee as if I needed a caffeine jolt to get me going! Nope, I’ve been going full steam ahead all night. But, I just decided to brew a cup anyway. What the heck! There’s no chance of me sleeping anyway.
Yesterday morning, my glucose came in at a dangerously low 45. But, I didn’t feel low. I was surprised by this number. Very surprised.
When my glucose goes low, I’m supposed to have low blood sugar symptoms like shakiness, sweats, heart palpitations, rapid pulse, and dizziness. I had none of those symptoms. I felt great with a 45 blood sugar. Strange. Real strange! Usually, a low makes me want to eat everything in the refrigerator including the refrigerator!
So, I ate my standby homemade peanut butter on one graham cracker, half of a banana, and drank four ounces of 2% milk. I knew that would raise it up. Instead of checking it after fifteens minutes, I decided not to. My finger tips have had enough pin pricks already. What’s the harm in skipping one check anyway?
Then, dumb me thought I would be OK the rest of the day without checking my glucose again. After all, it was 45! “I’ll just check it this evening to make sure I’m OK,” I told myself.
Now, Joyce and I had planned a very active day. Our swimming pool has been serviced and was ready. We planned to swim for about two hours after church and did. It was a nice sunny Sunday. The temperature climbed to the low 90’s. The water temperature was perfect.
But the thing about swimming is that my Pump is not water proof. I have to take it off. And for at least an hour or maybe longer, insulin from my basal setting was not going in. Duh? I should have checked it after swimming and treated my glucose rise.
After swimming, we planned to take our Shelties for our usual two mile walk on a nearby dirt road. And, we did.
But, you know what happens when you assume things? My daughter, Kelly, says, “Assume means to make an ass out of you and me.” That’s what I felt like – a dumb donkey after I checked it last evening at six o’clock. I couldn’t believe the reading of a 337 blood sugar. 337! How could that be?
Like my low of 45, my body gave no indication of a very high blood sugar. I try and keep it at 90 to 120, and I’m pretty successful managing that.
The normal range for you non-diabetics is 70-100. When mine hits 70, I have low blood sugar symptoms which I described earlier in this article. I don’t like that feeling. 90 is about as low as I want to go.
Likewise, there are symptoms of a 300 or higher blood sugar. I feel lethargic like I could sleep all day. My mind is not crisp. Everything seems to be in slow motion. I’m ill and crabby. It’s not a good feeling. When I feel like that, I check my glucose to verify what I feel is what’s happening in my body. If it’s up, I treat it with a bolus of insulin from my Medtronic Paradigm Insulin Pump, a marvelous invention. It’s almost like having an artificial pancreas.
After I check my glucose and if it’s high like 337, I enter the glucose reading into my Pump. It does the algorithm to tell me how much insulin is needed to bring it down to my target number. I accept that dosage, press a button, and presto, the insulin goes in to bring it down. No guess work.
So last evening, the Pump calculated that a 337 glucose needed 3.1 units of insulin. I accepted that, pressed the button for insulin delivery and voilà, I knew I would soon be OK, and I was. Before bedtime it had had fallen to 119 which is where I like it.
However, there’s another problem. I know that during the night my blood sugar goes down. Thus, I had to eat a snack before I hit the sack.
It’s not a bed of roses managing Type-1 insulin dependent diabetes and also trying to lose weight. I hope you have a little aympathy for me and any of your friends who are T-1. It’s tough. Diabetes never takes a vacation.
Back to my story. As I told you, I couldn’t sleep tonight and got up to stay up at 2am. As usual, the first thing I did was to check my blood sugar. I thought my glucose was low because I had low glucose symptoms. I had a rapid pulse, heart palpitations, and wanted to eat a whole chocolate iced yellow layered cake like Mom used to make.
But, it wasn’t low! As Gomer would say, “Surprise, surprise, Andy!”
It would have been even lower than 148 had I managed to sleep or at least stay in bed for a few more hours. But, I’ll take the 148. I feel fine. I did a good job managing the 119 and ate the proper amount of carbs at bedtime to sustain me through the night.
Back to the question. What in the world is going on with my body that I can’t sleep and am up at 2am writing my blog??? What!
It’s not low blood sugar. That possibility was eliminated with a 148 blood sugar. It has to be something else. Has to be!
My dear wife just got up to check on me. I love her so much. She understands this diabetes mess and really cares for me which is obvious with her getting up with me at 2:30am. She’s a retired nurse. Nurses, I think, have a caring nature. It’s who they are. I know my wife sure does.
“How ya feeling?” she asked. I couldn’t go back to sleep after you got up.”
That’s kind of like Frank Cross said to Grace in one of my favorite movies, Scrooged. “If you can’t work late, I can’t work late! If I can’t work late, I CAN’T WORK LATE!”
I explained to her my sleepless issue. “I just can’t figure it out,” I told her. I thought I was having a low. But nope, it’s not that. My glucose came in at 148.”
“I know what it is,” my wife replied. “It’s the juice fast. You’re body is detoxifying itself. You’re having a withdrawal from the statins and blood pressure pill you were on for many years. You only quit taking them two weeks ago. It takes two to three months to flush them out of your system. It’s like an alcoholic. Take the drug away, and withdrawal symptoms happen. Take the statins and Enalapril away that you’ve been on for years and withdrawal happens.”
That makes sense to me. A lot of sense.
My endocrinologist had prescribed statins for me so many years ago that I can’t remember when I first started taking them. Statins prevent LDL cholesterol buildup in the arteries which build-up can cause a heart attack or stroke. It was prescribed as a preventative to keep my LDL around 100.
Now, the bad thing about statins among many other bad side effects is that they hinder weight loss. I’m trying to lose weight. I took myself off the statin drug because it was hindering my weight loss effort.
Instead, I’m going to manage my cholesterol by eating healthy whole and natural foods. No more bacon, sausage, fried foods, and foods like that for me. All of that stuff promotes clogged arteries from cholesterol build-up.
Another action I took was taking myself off Enalapril for to keep my blood pressure normal. Enalapril is an ACE inhibitor. An ACE inhibitor prevents the narrowing of blood vessels. Constricted blood vessels cause high blood pressure and can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
But, ACE inhibitors like statins hinder weight loss! No thank you. I’ll manage my blood pressure with exercise and healthy eating. No weight loss hindering drugs allowed!
Joyce has a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope. She takes my BP several times weekly. Last checked, it was a perfect 109/73. That’s without Enalapril! So far. So good!
So, I’m having a double whammy of a withdrawal coming off two drugs. But, I’ll get through this detoxification process and be cleansed even if I get the shakes and have to get up at 2am.
Well, actually I’m having a triple whammy. A 2012 study by researcher Dr. Stephanie Fulton of the University of Montreal, found that quitting a diet high in fat and sugar produces changes in the brain similar to withdrawal from addictive drugs like alcohol and narcotics.
So, I’m having a triple whammy withdrawal from Statins, ACE inhibitors, and addictive junk food. Who would have ever thought junk food could be so bad for our body and brain that coming off it has the same effect as coming off alcohol? Geeze!
And another thing, you can’t lose weight and get healthy on a junk food, processed food diet. The giant food manufacturers puposefully put addictive products in their food. By loading it up with salt, sugar, and ingredients no one can even pronounce, they’ve got you. I didn’t know that until recently.
The way processed food, restaurant food, and fast food smells, looks, feels, and tastes along with the eye-catching packages it’s in plus the way it is advertised are all done by food marketing specialists to keep us addicted and coming back for more. And, we do! They know what we don’t know. We’ve been duped unless you study up on it like I have. Nothing is left up to chance. It’s all by design!
Examples of food purposefully made to drive our addictions are colas, salty and sugary snacks like potato chips and Hershey bars, cured meat like bacon, sausage, ham, and hotdogs; microwave popcorn, and all fast food. Quit eating these foods, and you will have nasty withdrawal symptoms like I’m having. Guaranteed!
Moreover, the highly processed nature of our carbohydrate food choices, including white breads, most processed breakfast cereals, and snack foods are not our body’s friends. They are also addictive and unhealthy.
Joyce and I have been eating pure and natural steel cut oatmeal for breakfast. The only additives that we add are cinnamon, blueberries, strawberries, and a little probiotic Kefir found in your grocer’s dairy section.
It’s no walk in the park to quit these addictive foods as I can testify. It’s not a fun experience, but it is a necessary experience to detoxify our body.
But, I’ve got to lose this excess baggage especially since I’m a T-1 diabetic. I’ve got to lose 50 pounds. Plus, I’m tired of carrying around this 50 pound sack of taters everywhere I go. I’ll put up with the shakes and other withdrawal symptoms to lose it! They are only temporary while fat seems to be permanent at least for me. But, it is coming off ounce by ounce.
At least I know now what’s going on with me this morning and why I was up before the chickens. It’s withdrawal symptoms. I’ve got the the shakes and a fast NASCAR pulse that could win the Darlington 500.
Knowledge is power! I’m not in the dark any more. The light of food truth has broken through even as I sit here on my screened-in porch and watch the first light break through the night’s darkness waking up the little songbirds that seem to be cheering me on.
The best part for me in coming off weight loss hindering drugs and weight gaining addictive food is that I’m actually losing weight! Hallelujah.
And of course, swimming and walking are important factors too.
And, you know something else about this new me? I think my insulin receptivity is vastly improved.
I believe that my body was insulin resistant. I’m going to ask my endocrinologist to do an insulin receptivity test on my visit in June so I’ll know where I stand on this matter and not have to guess.
Insulin resistance means our body can’t respond correctly to insulin. Insulin digests carbohydrates into glucose and induces that glucose to be taken up by the cells to be used for energy.
Think of insulin as the key that unlocks the cells to receive the glucose used for giving energy to our body.
When you become resistant to insulin, it means the key is not turning the lock the way it is supposed to. Glucose is not entering into the cells. Our cells cannot absorb and use insulin properly because they are either locked or the lock is rusty.
Instead, the glucose is deposited as FAT particularly around the midsection creating an apple-shaped body like mine. If this condition is severe enough, Type 2 diabetes can develop.
The solution to insulin resistance is healthy eating, exercising, and losing weight. Obesity causes insulin resistance and insulin resistance causes more weight gain.
I think my insulin receptivity is improving because of my new healthy eating and exercise programs. One sign that it is improving is that I’m not using as much insulin as I did. When I change my insulin pump’s infusion set every three days, I always have some left in the reservoir. Before, it was empty and sometimes, it would run out forcing me to change it before three days passed.
If my insulin receptivity has improved like I think it has, it’s because of a healthy diet and exercise.
It’s a wonderful feeling to feel wonderful like I do now. I’m consistently losing weight. I’m down 1.5 pounds this morning from yesterday morning! That’s 232.5 to 231 pounds. I’m down 3.4 pounds in two days and from May 23rd to today, 6 pounds, an average of a pound a day. I consider that phenomenal success.
I arrribute my remarkable progress to juicing three to four times daily, eating healthy, and exercise.
I didn’t get suckered into buying or taking a magic fat-burning diet pill or a protein shake. I didn’t have to depend on one of those meal delivery companies like Nutrisystem or Blue Apron. And, I didn’t join a gym. I just did it the old-fashioned way after I studied and learned what the old-fashioned way is. Then, I implanted and applied what I learned and continue to learn.
I’m not criticizing or judging those of you who have found success in losing weight from a pill, a shake, or a meal delivery company. As long as your way works, good for you. Those ways are just not for me.
I feel like a new man. In fact, I am a new man. I’m on a mission. I’ve set my course to get healthy and live, I hope, a long healthy life full of vigor, activity, and travel.
Oh, and some sound, eight sleep tonight would be too.
I have my wife to thank and my Facebook friends in my weight loss group for encouraging me onward and upward. Uh, I mean onward and downward to lose 50 pounds and reach my goal weight of 180 pounds.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for your encouragement.
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