I recently had a series of small but acute strokes

which put me in the hospital for a few days. My type II diabetes melitus may have had something to do with that, but I’m starting a 30 day, in-home remote heart monitoring test today, because it’s likely that my high blood pressure was the culprit that sent some small (thank the godz) blot clots into my brain in March, which was the direct cause of those strokes. 

Part of my recovery is to reduce my HbA1c (blood sugar measured over a 3 month time frame) numbers (in addition to the strokes, I have been waiting on those HbA1c numbers to drop so that I can have surgery to remove a possibly cancerous cyst on my left ovary). 

I got a new glucometer (a device that lets you test your blood sugar numbers at home), the One Touch Verio Flex, which comes with an app (doesn’t everything now??). It is terrific though, because it’s bluetooth enabled, and sends the numbers automatically to the app (it syncs every time I open the app to add any new readings). It also allows me to tell it if the reading is before or after a meal and it has a note section I can record my food eaten in. I can even record just an insulin injection event or list the grams of carbs of food eaten. 

As a result, I’ve become hyper aware of what I’m consuming, and in just over a week, I’ve already seen some reduction in my average blood sugars! Yay, right? 

Until I woke EARLY this morning, without any alarm clock, feeling a little odd.

So I went immediately to check my blood sugar — it was only 69 (anything below 70 is hypoglycemia, which can cause seizures and brain damage), and that’s after eating what was the first “regular” meal I’ve had since being released from the hospital for dinner last night (it’s been mostly scrambled eggs & 1 slice of cracked wheat toast for breakfast; 11.5 oz cans of low sodium V-8, ½ cup of 2% fat small curd cottage cheese & ½ cup of no sugar added peaches for lunch; cup a soup Cream of chicken soup & ½ cup of frozen peaches & strawberries for dinner).

That “regular meal”? A smallish chicken fried beef steak (cube steak pounded and flattened with very light panko breading “fried” in the air-fryer mode of my Ninja Foodie 9 in 1 device) with a ½ cup of mashed potatoes and ½ cup of homemade (by my 17 yr old granddaughter who has been staying with me while I recuperate and she is on Spring Break) sausage gravy. 

So waking early to that low, low blood sugar number after that meal scared the crap out of me. I went to the fridge and got out one of the FORTY cans of cold, low sodium V-8 from the fridge (I replaced the 3 to 6 cans of Zero Sugar Wild Cherry Pepsi I used to drink daily with the V-8 after being released from the hospital & I’m under Dr orders to not drive until my cardiac remote monitoring testing is done, so Amazon had a great price and I ordered two 24-packs of the V-8 delivered earlier this week), and started drinking it before my call to Kaiser’s Advice nurse rang through. 

We went over my recent Blood Sugar numbers and what I had for dinner last night. We decided after I finished the V-8 and re-checked my number (now 71, better but still dangerously low) that I’d eat a bit more, so I scarfed down a ¼ cup of that cottage cheese and ¼ cup of no sugar added peaches so fast I barely tasted the peaches, and after 10 more minutes my number was up to 104. 

Those low, low numbers of 69 and 71 left me light headed and trembling with shaky fingers. Thank god the light headedness wasn’t bad enough to make me pass out, because that could have happened, or worse… because that’s hypoglycemia territory. 

I’ll be speaking with one of my primary care Doctor’s colleagues later today at 2:50 pm. There is a chance they’ll have me reduce some of my insulin (I would LOVE to get to the point where I can stop injecting that stuff multiple times a day, my stomach area is a freaking pin cushion after nearly a decade of injecting multiple times daily). What I am afraid is going to happen is they are going to send me back to the hospital for some other kind of testing…  at least with my Medicare Advantage plan the cost won’t break me, ER visits are $95 out of pocket, and CT or MRI are $150. Not chump change but something I can afford to pay, for which I am GRATEFUL. 

I’ll update the story later in the day after my telephone visit with the doctor. 

Diabetes, even type II, is a SERIOUS medical condition

and it has been linked to many other serious medical conditions, so getting good control of your blood sugar after you are diagnosed is critical if you want to avoid other scarier and dangerous medical events. Take my advice here: if you get a diagnosis of type II diabetes? Be VIGILANT with your diet and blood sugar checks, to protect your overall health and live a relatively symptom free and LONG life!  

This content was originally published here.