Monday, March 28, 2011

Who’s in control here? Pregnancy hormones, stomach flu, and Type 1 diabetes

What a week I’ve had – a total physical and emotional roller coaster.

I came down with the stomach flu on Tuesday. Here’s the highlight reel: fever, achiness, headache, vomiting, the works. Mix on top of that pregnancy and Type 1 diabetes, and you’ve got yourself a real walk through the park.

When the flu first struck, I could not get my blood sugars above 55 for two hours. And let me tell you – I tried. While nauseous, I had 8 or 10 glucose tablets, two 4 oz glasses of orange juice, a whole banana (which would typically make my sugar soar), and two pieces of toast. And my sugar went to 63 an hour later. I put on a temp basal - which injected less insulin into my blood stream - hoping that would help. I tried not to fall asleep, but I did. The phone kept ringing every fifteen minutes thankfully – literally, I kid you not - as though someone was looking out for me from the great beyond. And so I would check my sugars at each phone call.

(Dangerously low blood sugars can cause a diabetic to lapse into a diabetic coma. Falling asleep is not the best way to deal with this, as you can fall into a coma and not realize it. Plus, there was no one else home. The phone ringing helped me stay on top of my sugars, despite the sleep.)

Two hours later, I checked my blood sugar, and it finally went up to around 105, which is normal. Then I found myself correcting higher sugars for half a day. I had to make up for that banana and well, the fever.

I felt so lousy, that a gun to the head seemed like a really great option for feeling better. I was worried about the twins. I wasn’t sleeping right. My sugars were out of control. And I’m convinced that the misery hormone takes over when you’ve got the flu.

I started feeling better on Thursday and went back to work. Lior and I watched The Office that night, and that’s when I’m sure that pregnancy hormones struck. I was crying hysterically – bawling – when Michael asked Holly to marry him. I have cried like that during a few movies/shows in my life – Pride and Prejudice, The English Patient, when Chandler asked Monica to marry him on Friends, the first Sex and the City movie, and the Lost finale. But not The Office. I mean really? But yes, I wept. I couldn’t breathe, I was crying so hard.

Then on Friday, at work, I was skipping around my real office because I got excited about labels. Well, really I was excited about wine. A volunteer for our organization found really great wine at a good price, and it got me all excited. The labels were going to go on the wine. I was running around telling everyone in the office. And yes, they were looking at me strangely. It made my day. I love wine, but in the grand scheme of things, I was thoroughly over thrilled. Perhaps taking the excitement a wee bit too far.

Hadn’t I thought of how great a revolver to the head would be two days before?

The ups and downs continued all weekend, and here we are on blog Monday talking about it. Learning from it.

I have always been the sensitive type. It’s one of my greatest strengths, and one of my greatest weaknesses. I believe that I am good at what I do because of my sensitivity to others and our globe. I get upset when an ant is killed. But I also notice things that others tend not to, because I’m so sensitive. At the same time, I’ll get upset over something menial. Sensitivity is what helps me write, be creative, be good at personal relationships, among other things. I’ve toughened up over the years, but my authentic nature is to be sensitive. And I’ve learned to manage it over the years.

But this week, I felt really out of control over my emotions. I always say that most of life is out of our control, but we can control our thoughts, actions, and words. This week, I wasn’t even able to do that most of the time.

So who’s in control here anyway? Could be the flu mixed with the diabetes. Could be the twins. What I do know is that it wasn’t me!

I can say now in hindsight that what helped me get through a tough week was repeating Eckhart Tolle’s mantra: This too shall pass.

I find his insight to be a life-changing one. His point is that everything in life is temporary and transient. Nothing in this world is either good or bad. So when something happens – whether “good” or “bad” – it is important to remember that this too shall pass, or in other words, change. Not to grasp onto it, or hold onto anything for dear life, as it will change and move on.

For people who grasp onto things that are good or who are struck by things that are bad, these changes can be devastating. But the “This too shall pass” mantra keeps it all in perspective. It never allows you to grow too attached to anything. Not to define oneself by things.

The flu passes. Pregnancy lasts around nine months. Diabetes will be with me for quite a bit longer, but blood sugars change constantly. The wine shall be drunk, and labels will come and go. So rather than try to control the situation, perhaps it’s better to observe it all as it passes us by?

1 comment:

  1. Yuck! I'm sorry you got a stomach flu! I did too while pregnant with my twins and all I did was cry till it was over!

    Funny, I'm the really sensitive type, too. I don't usually meet others who are as well.

    It's really nice to read what you have to say. I appreciate your wisdome and the way you express it.