Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Take That Diabetes

Over the weekend I was at a spiritual retreat up in the mountains. It was, as it always is, an awesome uplifting weekend. I sang a lot. I prayed a lot. I cried a lot. I love it.

My diabetes was playing nice for almost the entire time. Almost.

On Saturday I had a crazy high BG that I am sure came from not knowing how many carbs breakfast had in it. It was some apple pancake surprise that was amazing but apparently 1000 carbs per serving.

Anyhow, as I was walking across camp my right hand cramped up. I grabbed it with my left hand and tried to massage the muscle when my left hand did the same thing. Both of my hands were locked in an abnormal fashion. My fingers were tangled together and I could not stop it. I tried my best to “pull apart” the muscle by forcing my hands to open but I could not do it. A friend of mine saw me in pain and grabbed my hands to try and massage them but it did not work.

It was so painful. I told the group that I was going to go to my room to check my BG. I walked up to my cabin still in pain from the cramps. I saw my One Touch lying on my bed but I had no way to open it. I got down on my knees and pressed my twisted hands on the floor. I put all my weight on them to try and stretch out the muscle so I could at least test. The right hand gave in but my left was still knotted up.

While sitting on the floor next to my bed I opened my machine with one hand. Popped the vial open with my thumb, slid a strip out, stuck it into the machine, grabbed the lancing device in my right hand, pointed it towards my right pinky, and let her rip. I never test on my right hand so I was POURING blood everywhere especially since I didn’t adjust the depth of the lancet.


Luckily my pump was in my right pocket. I grabbed it out, punched in a correction and again began trying to loosen the grip of the cramp.

I tried massaging my hand again and the right hand cramped up, again.

I was back on the floor with both hands on the floor in a twisted mess pushing on them as hard as I could stand. It hurt tremendously. Suddenly anger came over me.

“I hate this. Dammit I need my hands. I hate this so f***ing much.” I starting crying being both angry and depressed that diabetes was ruining my time and my ability to serve. “I don’t know what to do, I cannot do this!”

As soon as I said that it stopped. Maybe just giving up was what I needed I dunno, but it stopped. I lied down on my bunk and cried a bit more just hating this crap.

It’s hard when the whole time I was so up and happy and having a great time and then diabetes can show up and ruin it.

The thing I should say is after my BG was under control, the rest of the weekend was amazing! I can’t let something like that keep me down.

Take that diabetes.


Anonymous said...

George - yes, I get this ALL the time! It first started in my calves...just this year, it would transfer to my hand - almost in the palm by the web of my thumb. In my hand, numbness and tingliness occur also. When I asked my endo about this, he told me it was my muscles' reaction to not using insulin appropriately. And when your muscle is starved for energy, it cramps. I first had this symptom when I was pregnant. I thought it was pregnancy, but when it came back a year ago in my calves, it was my first clue that my BS was over 200. The endo also told me the more I tighten up as a result of it, the more it doesn't relax, so when I get them in my calf, I'm supposed to not extend my feet, but rather hold them straight up so as not to stretch the muscle. It's harder to do with the hand, but I have relaxed it away there also.

I feel for you. I could take it in my calves - that just interrupted my sleep, but my hands - I need them to write and type!

floreksa said...

I've never noticed it with a high, but that's part what happens with my carpal tunnel. I get the sleeping/pins and needles crap, but also get "claw" hand too if I do something too much that involves my hand muscles (knitting, stirring something thick, piping frosting). It HURTS!

Scott K. Johnson said...

Dang man, diabetes sure does mess with us sometimes doesn't it! And so many people don't understand that it is not just the physical pain (like this), but also the emotional toll it takes (breaking you away from your service, and making you feel so helpless).

Karen said...

Oh George, I hate that this happened. I hate that you felt that pain. And most of all, I hate that you felt all of that frustration. And really most of all, I hate diabetes - maybe not all the time, but some days.

amylia said...

I'm sad to read this happened to you, but glad you shared it. It must've taken courage to share this story, since you are such a happy guy and this was a moment of sadness and vulnerability. I'm glad it went away as soon as YOU gave it away.