This week, I shall be mostly googling ‘diabetes’

My darling husband spent hours at our local Emergency Department today, hooked up to a saline drip and being injected with insulin. His blood glucose level (BGL) was scarily high, yet he’s never been diagnosed with high blood sugar by his GP (whom I will on Monday be asking several pointed questions of regarding whether he has or perhaps has not been monitoring mr tog’s BGL adequately over the last few years of regular check-ups for elevated blood pressure).

He does have a viral gastroenteritis infection (he’s been ill for a week) which can stress the system and cause a sudden upswing in BGL, and his BGL did drop rapidly in response to rehydration and the insulin, so perhaps his base level of BGL will end up being not in the diabetic range once he’s over this infection, but I’ve got a lot of stuff to look into regarding diabetes management. Blogging on other matters will be a bit light on from me for a while. Expect more escapist stuff, probably.

The irony is that until he took sick he was feeling great after joining the gym and a month’s worth of workouts. He’d lost weight and gained fitness already, and this week will probably reverse all those fitness improvements. Bugger.

Categories: health


37 replies

  1. Look after yourself, and him. Fingers crossed that the recent feeling-great means that he had things nicely compensated already, and that this is a temporary and brief setback (and one that brought the underlying problem to your attention, which should be ultimately a good thing).

    Plus, why do such things always happen on weekends?

  2. Any questions you have you can throw my way. Been there, done that, have the long-term low-carb diet keeping me healthy. My net-friend Jenny Ruhl, from the newsgroup, has put together a web site with all the scientific stuff she’s found: Blood Sugar 101. And she’s recently published a book What They Don’t Tell You About Diabetes; the publisher will ship internationally.
    A lot of the advice newly diagnosed diabetics receive presumes that their major health problem is cardiovascular rather than endocrine. In Australia, dietary advice seems to heavily favor using the glycemic index to choose carbs; we don’t get that advice here, except in heavily watered-down form. However, I’ve found by using a blood glucose meter to see what food does to me that small amounts of high GI carbs (flour to dredge fish filets, for instance) is much better for my blood sugar than larger amounts of lower GI carbs.
    Rereading, one of the major points in the early chapters of Jenny’s book, which, concidentally, I had been reading over breakfast, concerns the mechanisms by which blood glucose control deteriorates. It’s not at all unusual for people to maintain normal fasting blood sugar, which is what is generally checked in routine blood work, even when their postprandial numbers are way out of line. This lack of control would show up in a glucose tolerance test which, for reasons of cost, is, at least in the US, not used for routine screening (outside of gestational diabetes, which we can safely say isn’t your husband’s issue!).
    I’ll stop here. But do throw any questions you want my way. Our days do seem to overlap at beginnings and ends, so I may even reply quickly.

  3. I was diagnosed 3 years ago, I can’t promise the best advice in the world as I am still learning myself, but I can at least offer some experience and sympathy.
    When I was diagnosed, for me it was almost with a sense of relief, as it made sense of a number of small, until then seemingly unrelated, health issues, most of which rapidly improved. Of course, no one wants a life long chronic disease, but it does seem to be an area in which medical advances seem likely to make a big difference, and knowing is a lot better than not knowing.
    You haven’t perchance been watching The Fast Show? We have, and consequently been saying “This week, I shall mostly be eating banana cake” and such. And mumbling “of course, I was very very drunk” a lot.

  4. Thank you all. Lauredhel has been the calm voice on the receiving end of my panic by IM for most of the day, and I really appreciate the offers of advice from you, Alice and Dave.
    Dave, you got me: long time fan of The Fast Show. And now that mr tog has gone to bed, I plan to get very very drunk.

  5. Good thoughts to you and your darling dude, Tigtog.
    Melissa McEwan’s last blog post..Listen to a story about a glaze named Jed

  6. So sorry to hear it, tig. I empathize at all points, as my own DH’s giant, scary, month-long health crisis was actually precipitated by beginning a regimine to get healthier. Ah, bitter irony. All the best to all the tog clan.
    MatildaZQ’s last blog post..A Different Kind of Funneh: Mary Gauthier and Cowboy Junkies at OTSFM

  7. Keep your chin up, champ…My partner’s been on the ‘borderline diabetic’ rollercoaster for a while – it can be managed.
    skepticlawyer’s last blog post..On sleeper Skrulls, retcons and 9/11 truthers

  8. Sounds like a pretty horrible day/week. Hope the news gets better once the gastro has gone. I’ll be thinking of you.
    Jennifer’s last blog post..Work and life – some statistics

  9. (((Tigtog)))
    (((Mr Tog)))
    I read the post very quickly last night when very tired, and got the impression there wasn’t a diagnosis of diabetes, but now on rereading it appears there is. Bummer. I am so sorry.
    Helen’s last blog post..Gig guide: Apollo Bay Music Festival

  10. He definitely had a diabetic crisis yesterday, Helen. The Pollyanna part of me is hoping that, once the virus clears up, his BGL will no longer be in the diabetic range, but it probably will still be elevated.

  11. P.S. Thanks Liss, Matilda, SL and Jennifer for your good wishes too. I need the virtual hugs.

  12. P.P.S. Matilda – I missed your private journal entries about your DH’s health crisis. Sorry that I haven’t been keeping up to date with that.

  13. Sorry to read this Viv. There’s almost nothing worse than a medical emergency. Looks like he has been alerted to an underlying problem very early, and that can’t be bad. And earlier commenters are right – there’s lots of good work being done in this area these days, especially in Aus, where one of the best management tools, the GI, was invented. Don’t get too lost in google! 🙂 The Aust Diabetes Foundation may be all you need.

  14. I hope Mr Tog makes a speedy recovery. My best to you and the Tiglings, Tigtog. ((hug))

  15. Big hugs from Gotham. Crossing fingers and hoping for good news quickly.
    Brooklynite’s last blog post..Barack Obama: Counterpuncher.

  16. Tigtog, I wish you and Mr Tog the best of luck through all this…
    mick’s last blog post..Escaping the cold

  17. First: Sorry to hear about the health thing with your man. Alice gives some great advice. Went through this with my mother recently. With glucometer readings and foods eaten, she’s worked out rather accurately what works for her and what not, which foods are no-no’s, which occasionals and which are no-worries.
    Hope it all works out for you and your family. Diet changes affect everyone. Can just imagine the collective groans on ‘we’ve got to eat healthy now guys’
    Second: where have you been? Why didn’t I know about this blog before? Anyway, I’m glad I found you now. Being a leftwing-bleedingheart-chardonnaysipping-manhatingfeminist (I think that is about 50% of the insults thrown at me) I just might feel right at home. Hope you don’t mind that I prefer Shiraz, love my husband, adore my two adult sons and am grooming a teenage daughter to be feisty and opinionated like me.

  18. It sounds like you have some good, caring readers!
    I do hope your husbands BGL drop back down to normal and that this is not the start of diabetes. Very best of luck.
    Adam Greene’s last blog post..The Tick Tock of the Crocodile

  19. Hope you don’t mind that I prefer Shiraz, love my husband, adore my two adult sons…
    BonnieL, I’m not sure if this is just that your lighthearted comment is a wee bit circumlocutory, but you seem to be saying that a feminist would “mind” that you love your husband and adore your sons. Most feminist bloggers, in fact, do so where they have ‘em. Tigtog adores her two sons as much as you do.
    Sorry in advance if I mis-read, but that’s how it came across.
    Helen’s last blog post..Babysitter?

  20. Ineffectual but sincere best wishes coming your way.
    Amanda’s last blog post..Cat Politics …

  21. I didn’t realise that I hadn’t posted here yet. I hope everything’s okay; I’ll be thinking of you and your hubby.

  22. On my last day of the three day diet before the big fast and three blood tests in two hours fun of an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. Hope all is well for Mr Tog. Not that I have any medical knowledge at all, but it is probably the effects of gastro, and the getting fit and losing weight previously can only do him good.

  23. Thanks for the good vibes, everybody. The gastro’s improving now, and so is his BGL (bought a blood glucose monitor yesterday). No longer quite so scary, anyway, just still having to keep an eye on.
    Mindy, good luck with the OGTT.

  24. tigtog,
    I was hospitalised with a similar gastro-entertis complaint last weekend in the early hours of the morning. They sent me home by taxi at 3am, and have been feeling a little off-colour ever since, because it ssems to have seriously aggravated my reflux. The reason I’m telling you this, is because I suspect this very nasty bug may aggravate any existing conditions. It may or may not be Blood sugar level, just a result of the gastro-enteritis. (I mistook it for food poisoning.) Anyway, hope your hubby gets well as quicxkly as possible and has a full recovery.

  25. Hey tigtog – hope the crisis has now been averted. As you probably know, a virus can also trigger type 1 diabetes as well as worsen type 2. Hope it is the latter not the former. Also read some interesting research into diabetes and Vitamin D deficiency (D3) which sadly here in Australia we’ve become so low in due to our fear of melanoma.
    Here’s to a better week!
    another outspoken female’s last blog post..radical thinking

  26. Well, we just got back from the GP. While his BGL is still high (over 11 mmol/L) it’s way down from what it was in the ED (over 20), and he no longer is excreting glucose in his urine (which is an excellent sign).
    The doc also said that the last time he tested mr tog’s BGL it was perfectly normal, and although that was just over a year ago at least it means that he’s unlikely to have been wandering around with elevated BGLs for years and years the way that some people do.
    It does look as if the crisis is over, now we need a few weeks of careful monitoring of diet and BGL to see what’s happening, but cautiously optimistic.

  27. Hmm. “just had gastro”. I remember doing a major essay on aeiology of IDD in the early 80s, and there had been fairly recent reports of an IDD “epidemic” in Canada just after some bug had gone through the population (I think it was either flu or measles), but the IDD was limited to those people having a particular set of histocompatibility groups – as if the bug had similar surface proteins to islet cells and sensitized the immune system which then attacked islet cells. This was one of the first hints of autoimmunity being one (of many) causes of islet failure.
    Keep going to the optometrist regularly, the pathology mainly affects capillaries first, and the only ones you can see are on the retina. The good thing about retinal checks (even for hypertension) is that it indicates the amount of total damage, not just BP or sugar levels at the time of the test.
    Also, check out Chromium (“Glucose Tolerance Factor”) here (US National Institutes for Health. (including a good excuse for red wine).
    At least things have improved since those days, and islet transplants wrapped in “glad wrap” (to let sugar in and out, but not antibodies/antigens) are on the horizon (lab rats cured) if this turns out to be chronic.
    Best wishes. Wish I could give more info, but my lab days were 25 years ago.
    Dave Bath’s last blog post..Your shared items feeds

  28. Sorry to hear it Tigtog. Hope he gets well soon.
    Lefty E’s last blog post..Quarter-arsed blogging

  29. hey TigTog,
    thanks for the updates! Fantastic news about Mr. Tog moving in the right direction. Keep going!!
    adam’s last blog post..Unattainable Care?

  30. sending cross-continental good thoughts toward you and your husband, tigtog!
    annaham’s last blog post..INVISIBLE WHITE PRIVILEGE!11 Rears Its Ugly Head, Again

  31. Glad to hear Mr Tog is providing cause for cautious optimism.

  32. Awful. A health crisis is a scary thing hey. I am relieved to hear you’re getting more positive news but I know you must both be pretty shaken up right now. My best thoughts for you.

  33. Belated good wishes to you and Mr Tog.

  34. Quick update: Mr Tog continues to improve – the gastro is no longer severe, but we’re still keeping a strict rehydration regimen going, and his BGL continues to trend downward.
    Of course, now I have a horrid flu with chest infection and leg pains etc etc!
    At least the kids are OK.

  35. Sorry it’s been so scary chez Tog — but it sounds as though things are much better.
    Pavlov’s Cat’s last blog post..More whining about anachronisms in historical fiction

  36. missed this during the week, tigs.
    good to hear mr tog is much better & improving.
    and hope you have gotten over your horrible flu. just what you didn’t need, hey.
    best wishes for your family.


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