A Day In My Life

Yesterday, I recorded what I could about how diabetes plays into my day. Yesterday was not like every single day ever, but it also was not unique, I’ve had a lot of days like this.

7:00am – I wake up and test my blood sugar. 179. Too high. I bolus 1.10 units of insulin. My fasting has been great for weeks, I wonder if I might be getting sick or if last nights low is to blame.

7:15am – while showering, Dexcom alerts to a high. Brad tells me it’s reading 182 and clears it for me when I let him know I’ve already taken a correction.

7:30am – I realize I’ve left my test strip in my meter. I check my feet while applying lotion and select blue clothing since it’s Type 1 Day.


7:55am – test again, in down to 158 and bolus 3.2 units for 32 grams of carbs. I have .8 of my correction still active. Grab a Glucerna and leave for work. (27g for a Glucerna and 5g for the cream I’ll put in my coffee at work)

On my drive to work, I sip on my Glucerna and it’s halfway gone when I arrive at work.

8:37am – I’m drinking my coffee and find that my Dexcom reads ???.

11:23am – I’ve been busy at work and ignored Dex and hunger. Now I’m thinking about lunch, which I’ll eat at noon. Dex figured it out again and reads 133. I hope it’s accurate. I have a brief break in my day, so I log online to pay for my insulin that arrived yesterday. Medco’s online portal is not easy to navigate and I have to search to find where to pay them!

I’m also painfully aware today that I’m between health insurance plans. Since Brad started a new job, the great health plan ended yesterday. The less-than great plan starts soon, but we hope to not have to use it until next year.

11:40am – I test my blood sugar. The finger stick really hurts. It comes in at 90. I tag it as “Pre-Meal” and bolus 1.65 units for the 20g of carbs that my little sandwich has. Dex thinks I’m 123, so I calibrate with the 90 and it settles at 110. Close enough. I won’t be eating for 20 minutes still.

Noon – I can finally eat, I put my sandwich in the toaster oven and refill my water bottle. My finger still smarts from the last check and I post my T1 Day blog.

12:23pm – I’ve finished eating, but I still feel hungry. Silly body doesn’t have/can’t use the hormone that controls hunger. I drink some more water and chew a piece of gum to trick my hunger away. Dex is confused again.

1:27pm – Dex has a clue again and I read at 119.

1:45pm – I go to a meeting, have to remember to bring Dex with me.

2:30pm – leaving for a work event in 10 minutes. Check my blood sugar, it’s 170. Too high, correct with 1 unit of insulin (there will be food at my event that I want to eat!) Dex is confused again, which is annoying but I don’t have time to call customer service.

3:10pm – I want to enjoy cider at my event but the packaging doesn’t have nutrition information, so I bolus for my SWAG of 10 grams (1 unit of insulin).

3:30pm – My medical alert bracelet is in the way of what I’m doing. I deem that enough people around me know that I have Type 1 diabetes so I take it off and put it in my meter bag.

4:15pm – Dex asks for a calibration. I test at 81 and try to avoid bleeding on the table. I have some of the vegetables and dip as well a some hummus on a cracker.

5:52pm – Dex is calling for another calibration and I’m ready to get in the car and go home. I test at 64. It’s time for some quick sugar, so I rip open a quick stick. I have to explain to the people around me what it is and why I’m pouring powder in my mouth. I’m feeling more normal so I leave about 6:00 and Dex says I’m low the whole way home.

6:38pm – Brad has made dinner for us. I have to dig the container from our soup out of the recycling to get the carb count of the back of it. I test at 103 and bolus 4.05 units for 45 grams of carbohydrates.

7:00pm – I measure out the leftover soup for tomorrow’s lunch so I know how many carbs are in it.

7:15pm – I’m sitting on the couch with Brad and the cats and Brad puts his hand on my leg – on my Dex sensor. I have to move his hand.

8:30pm – While gathering laundry in the bedroom, the empty juice boxes on my nightstand remind me that I need to put more juice boxes upstairs.

8:35pm – My Dex sensor itches.

9:00pm – Dex sensor still itches. Put lotion around it.

9:20pm – Holmes curls up with my PDM.

9:25pm – I check my trends on the PDM that I took away from Holmes. Dex alerts me to a 70 reading. I’m going to wait on a direction since I’m steady. Continue to check trends.

He makes a habit of stealing my technology

9:40pm – I want to have a soft pumpkin cookie. I bolus for 15 grams, 1.35 units. (Soft pumpkin cookie recipe courtesy of Melissa, but slightly altered)

10:43pm – I check my blood sugar before bed, it’s 63. Apparently there was less icing on my cookie that I thought there would be. I’ve forgotten to put more juice boxes in the bedroom so I go downstairs and open on, snagging another for later.

11:13pm – My teeth are brushed and I check my blood sugar again. It’s 81. Since I don’t have much confidence in Dex, I set an alarm for 12:30am to recheck and go to sleep.

I woke up several times in the middle of the night and checked Dex. I tested twice more after midnight and sipped some more juice to stay in a safe range. This morning I woke up at 124. This evening I will change my OmniPod and my Dexcom sensor. I wasn’t able to actually record every time diabetes was present in my life, including the online interactions with others who have diabetes or discussing the way it affected my day with Brad.

The text challenge I wrote about yesterday gives an elementary view of life with Type 1, but as you can see by my daily timeline… 24 text messages barely touches the mindfulness that is required when you have to physically take the place of an organ. And everyone’s diabetes is different, my day yesterday doesn’t look like the day another person with diabetes had. I started over today, I’ll repeat something similar tomorrow, and the days after that.

4 thoughts on “A Day In My Life

  1. Thanks for sharing this Rachel! It was kind of neat to see what you go through in a day with your ups and downs. I like that you keep juice boxes by your bedside. That’s a great idea. I was put on NovoLog with my meals on Wednesday and this afternoon my doctor already called adjusting my insulin (I send her my sugars for the week every Friday) because I was bottoming out! I was lucky to have Halloween candy handy, however I love juice boxes and those would be handy too! 🙂

  2. I had no idea type one was so hard. I had to write a couple of blog entries on it for my job (copywriter) a while back, but none of the quick research I did even hinted at how often you have to check and how accurate you have to be with carb counts. Do you have to wake up multiple times every night to check, or was this day just becuase your meter was on the blink? I admire you so much for just getting on with it. Your pragmatism, honesty and humour in the face of adversity is trully inspiring.

    • Thanks for the comment Liz!
      Each person with type 1 (or any type of diabetes really) has different needs. Many type 1 people will set alarms to check blood sugar in the wee hours of the morning. When my continuous glucose monitor (which isn’t a meter) has been able to keep a signal and is acceptable accurate, I don’t worry about setting an alarms since it alerts me to highs and lows. If you ever find yourself needing information about day to day life with diabetes, there are a lot of us online who would be more than willing to talk with you.

  3. Pingback: An Apology to My Thumbs | ProbablyRachel

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