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A Day in the Life of a Type 1 Diabetic

November 18, 2021

Author: April
I woke up at 6:47am feeling very tired and groggy. I went to bed last night with a blood sugar of 17.1, not too sure why as I didn’t have an evening snack and I’m positive I took enough insulin with my dinner. I did a correction dose of insulin before bed. I grab my phone off my night table and test my blood sugar with the swipe of my phone across my bicep…quite simple and convenient now that I am using the Freestyle Libre, no more finger pricks!

I guess I didn’t hear my sensor alarm go off because I am 3.6 and feeling quite funky. So I go to bed high and wake up low, very annoying! As I head to the fridge for some apple juice, I feel the warmth throughout my body and a sweat starts. As I am drinking my glass of juice, the anxiety sets in for fear of going lower. You see, when my blood sugar is 4.4 or below, it seems to plummet quickly. So I wait 15 minutes and the juice has kicked in, I’m 4.1 and the arrow on my sensor is level.

So my low has now put me behind 15 minutes in my morning routine. I decided to make a protein shake for breakfast and drink it in the car on my way to work. My insulin dose is based on the amount of carbs I have per meal. I will not need a correction dose as I am between 5.5 and 9.5 so I inject 6 units of Humalog (fast acting mealtime insulin) and 90 units of my Tresiba (slow release daily insulin). As the needle is injected into my tummy, I feel a sharp pain which means I’ve hit a tender spot. I’ve got many of these as I’ve been doing insulin injections for over 25 years now. It’s
actually a bonus when I find a site that doesn’t cause me pain.

I’m at work now, where my job consists of sitting, standing and approximately 5000 steps in a work day. My job is not physical, but I am busy the whole 9 hours and at the end of the day I am tired! I test at 9:11am and I am 11.4. A little high, but quite confident it will be better by lunchtime. Test again at 12:43, lunchtime and I am 4.2. Today I am having a ham, swiss and lettuce sandwich on low carb, high protein, high fiber bread, ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce, some cucumber slices and ½ cup of blueberries. This meal required 8 units of insulin.

It was an extremely busy afternoon and I didn’t test again until 4:42 and I was 6.2, good place to be! Tested again at the end of my shift, 5:30 and I was 6.4. On average, I test about 11 times per day. More if there are extra activities going on. At home I prepared dinner which was pork tacos; including diced tomatoes, cilantro, spinach, sour cream, balderson cheese and salsa poured onto low carb, high protein, high fiber wraps. I had 3 tacos in total. This meal called for 8 units of insulin. After dinner, I took a 20 minute walk. I usually walk 20 minutes to an hour everyday depending on how I feel.

Tested again at 10:10 and I was 8.3. I was feeling like a snack, but it was close to bedtime so I had about ½ cup of almonds. Tested again at 11:00 just before bed and I was 7.7. Worried that this would not carry me through the night, I had some cheese and ½ cup of apple juice.

I was very restless and having a hard time falling asleep. Still awake at 12:52 I tested and was 13.1. Now I’m laying in bed contemplating about taking a correction dose or not. What if I do and I go low, what if I don’t and I wake up high? Neither is good for you nor is the stress of the what ifs. I tested again at 1:30 and I was still 13.2. I decide to not take any corrections and finally fall asleep. This was a good decision as I woke up the next morning at 7.3. Had I taken a correction dose, I probably would have woken in the middle of the night with low blood sugar.

This was actually a good diabetes day for me. I struggle with a lot of highs and lows. I struggle finding consistency and a healthy balance. There are days I wish I didn’t have this disease and want to play hookie from it. Unfortunately, I can’t. I was diagnosed at 19 and I am now 50. For the last 31 years, there hasn’t been a day go by that I have been able to put this disease out of my mind.

Everything I do affects my blood sugars. Stress, foods and beverages I put into my body, how much exercise I get, how much sleep I get, how busy or idle I am, not eating at consistent times, life issues including; family, work and play….the list goes on! I was recently introduced to the term “Diabetes Burnout”. Yes, the struggle is real and I know I’ve suffered with this many times over the 31 years.

I have a 14 year old daughter and I want to be here with her for another 30 plus years. I will continue to work hard everyday trying my best to manage my diabetes. I have an amazing diabetes educator who works closely with me to help keep me on track and focused. We meet with my endocrinologist every 3 months to monitor and adjust things
if need be.

I’m very grateful for the care, concern and education I have been receiving over the years with my team at the South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre regarding my diabetes. Many thanks to such a great team!

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