Type 1 Endocrinologists Get High Blood Sugars Too

high blood sugar stories

Dear Doctor Edelman & Dr. Pettus,

I was wondering how high your blood sugars have gotten to recently, and what were the circumstances around it? Just to make the rest of us feel better!

We thought it would be fun to ask a couple of our type 1 endo friends for their recent high blood sugar stories too. Feel free to add yours in the comments below!

Dr. E’s Story:

This may not be my most recent high, but it was one of my most memorable. A while ago I was at Disneyland and I started to feel achy and tired. I noticed my pump infusion line had pulled out, and my shirt was wet with insulin and it had that characteristic smell. I went to the first aid station and I only wanted a needle to suck some insulin out of my pump to inject it. I did not have an extra infusion line, and since it was the kind that had a soft flexible catheter I could not just stick it back in. They told me they didn’t have needles since there are a lot of drug addicts seeking needles, and they have a policy not to have them. So I drove to a local pharmacy to get a needle, and by the time I withdrew some insulin out of my pump chamber and injected in the parking lot, my glucose was over 550mg/dl, which was the highest my meter would go. My Dexcom was already reading HIGH for a few hours. I felt terrible, and I am sure I was in diabetic ketoacidosis! So, if you’re going on an all-day outing away from home or work, it’s a good idea to take a backup insulin pen along for the ride.

Dr. P’s Story:

My highest high most recently was just the other day after I got low at night. Since being on control IQ, I definitely have a lot fewer lows, so I swear that when I DO get low now, they are much more intense. This is a good thing that I’m “feeling” my lows more, but man does it make me want to eat. So anyway, I was only in the 60s so not a crazy low, but I got out of bed because my bedside apple juice just wasn’t going to cut it in my opinion. So I took down some graham crackers, my kids’ goldfish (the snack, not a real fish), all kinds of berries, cheese, peanut butter, milk chaser, and about 1/3 of a subway sandwich. Then I happily went to bed and ignored my high alarm all night and woke up in the morning to a 356 with an arrow up. I took some Afrezza which brought it down, but I just felt gross all day!

Dr. Irl Hirsh’s Story:

I have to tell you, I’m VERY boring. The worst that happened to me earlier this summer was I went to a minor league baseball game, I had my insulin, but I had no pen needles as I changed pants quickly after getting home from work and then going to the game. Even then by the time I got home my glucose was in the 220s (but I was hungry). I literally can’t remember the last time I was above 300. Probably sometime before the pandemic when I was eating out more. Sorry to disappoint you!

Dr. Leslie Eiland’s Story:

I was at my parents’ house with my kids last Sunday afternoon. I started eating popcorn, and absentmindedly quick bolused 2 units. Shortly after that, before I ate much, my boys begged me to go down to the basement and play “ULTIMATE STRONG MAN CHALLENGE” where I lift them high in the air and drop them onto the couch below. Again. And again. And again. Turns out it’s a really effective workout since they are 45 and 55 lbs, and after doing that for 15 minutes straight I felt like crap and was in the 60s with 2 arrows down. So I went back up to their kitchen, and discovered my mom had recently been to Costco and gotten some great snacks. Handfuls of granola, black licorice, and chips later I found myself in the low 300s.

This taught me to: 1) stop absentmindedly using the quick bolus feature, and 2) utilize the ultimate strong man challenge more often when I’m looking for a quick HIIT workout.


Feel free to share your stories in the comments below!





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    I am a diabetes educator with 38 years of Type 1 diabetes. Even though I feel like I’m supposed to know it all and have my numbers perfect, I don’t, and they aren’t. I am thankful for you all sharing your less than perfect experiences.

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    Really helps to read these stories. Sometimes I beat myself up over my blood sugar control and I feel depressed when I am out of control. Thanks for the videos and the stories here. I really need to read more and watch more from my diabetic peers.

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      It does make a difference…we are only human and are doing the best we can. Everyone has highs and lows, and don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for all the things you are doing RIGHT!

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