Doing Diabetes Right, but Getting it Wrong


I woke up feeling extremely tired last Thursday morning, and could feel that my blood sugar was high. I couldn’t sit around drinking coffee and bolusing until I got it down because I needed to get blood work done that I’ve been putting off for the last month. It couldn’t be put off any longer or the results wouldn’t all be in for my endo appointment at the diabetes clinic tomorrow.

My blood sugar has been high pretty much all the time for the last few months. I’ve increased my basal rate and increased my bolus ratio, but I’m still always correcting my high blood sugar, even when I haven’t eaten anything. Even running doesn’t always get it down.

I’ve had plenty of things to attribute my high blood sugar to. First, I attributed the change in my blood sugar to hard marathon training and increased food intake. Then, I thought it must be a result of a decrease in training after the Tiberias marathon. Then I ran the Tel Aviv marathon (a total disaster) and then I was sick for a couple weeks. There were endless changes in my life to attribute the increase in my blood sugar levels to.

My fasting BG on the morning of my blood test was 285.  When I returned from the lab, it was 304. Feeling lousy, I bolused.  I checked my blood sugar 40 minutes later and was happy to see it was slowly moving in the right direction. It was 280.

An hour later I tested again and it was 317. 

I decided to replace my infusion set, hoping that would do the trick.

When I removed the set from my body and took the reservoir out of the pump, I was overwhelmed by the smell of insulin. I looked at the reservoir and saw it was wet, covered with insulin. I looked into the chamber where the reservoir goes and saw drops of insulin.

At that point I called the Medtronic rep who helped me last time my pump broke. She told me to switch to a new batch of reservoirs and asked me if I could come in to their office (not far from my house) to get a new pump.

I drove to the Medtronic distributor’s office and got my ‘new’ pump, which with a new infusion set and reservoir got my blood sugar levels down to normal quickly  (a couple hours).

When my blood test results started coming in as the day went on, my BG issues were clear as a vial of insulin.  My fasting BG was 347 (40 points higher than the glucometer – go accuracy!)  and my A1c was 7.4%. (I also had ketones in my urine.) 

I don’t know if all or most of my blood sugar issues over the last couple months have anything to do with my pump or faulty reservoirs. But, at least I’ll have a good excuse for my endo tomorrow.

Suffice it to say that it is so hard to figure out where the problem with out of range BG lies.  You can do every step of the equation correctly, and the answer still comes out wrong.


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8 years ago

you’ve had this issue before? i was on my first pump for ten years before it died (it just plain wore out) and NEVER had this kind of problem. maybe you are doing something wrong…perhaps not taking care of your pump as if your life depended upon it? i’ve finally gotten my replacement (after almost a year without it) and i’m having all kinds of new issues, but still nothing like you describe.

8 years ago

oh, and also, it seems like YOU did not get anything wrong. Your supplies got things wrong. 

8 years ago

That is SO frustrating, Mike. I know exactly what you’re talking about (and I agree with the previous commenter on how it’s all a “complicated guessing game”). What’s even worse is that the stress of not knowing what’s going on can make your bg go even higher. I’m glad you’ve got a “new” pump (but did you ever figure out if it was the reservoir or the pump itself? If it was the latter, that’s really bad!)

Khürt Williams
Khürt Williams
8 years ago

Sometimes I feel that, despite CGMS, insulin pumps, carb counting etc., the whole diabetes management thing is just a complicated guessing game.

I’m glad you figured it out. 

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