I'm still waiting to write that post extolling the virtues of Colin, my Accu-Chek Expert, but even his shrewd bolus-calculating savvy was not up to coping with the BG craziness of the last seven days.
Things just went bonkers.
And it made me realise that this is not unusual. Since I started putting a lot more effort into my diabetes a year and a bit ago I've noticed a definite repeating pattern in what I previously thought was just diabetes randomness:
1. Finally work out the rules
2. Good numbers for a few days. Yay!
3. Wow that was an AMAZING day. Woo hoo!
4. Errrrr hang on where did that come from
5. Right something's definitely not right here...
6. So the rules have changed again then. Great, thanks for that.
7. Erm... try this?
8. Nope. That was annoying.
9. What about this?
10. Right OK not that either...
11. OK that's looking a bit better
12. Definitely on to something here...
....aaaaand repeat. Given enough trips around the cycle the doses/ratios/splits/timings begin to repeat themselves and off we go again.
But this one wasn't like that. This one was off the scale.
Looking back over recent records I'd had a spectaculatly good patch. Over a fortnight with 75% of readings between 4 and 8 (including several 1hr/2hr post meals). Anything over 10 was a bit of a surprise. I was also having almost no hypos during this period. In short it felt like I was winning. It felt amazing.
I started having a few hypos to tentatively dropped my Lantus by 1u to see if I'd settle just a notch higher up. I only lasted 2 days first with a prefectly acceptable 6.9 average, the second constantly fighting highs and averaging at 10.8.
The next two days, Lantus back up by 1u were not too bad, but the following few days were a complete disaster. Countless corrections were having little or no apparent effect. One morning despite a 2u correction the previous night (at 14.x) I woke to 16.6. I went for broke decided on double my usual breakfast insulin:carb ratio +20% for 'stress', injected 8u and waited for it to come down. 5 hours passed and I still hadn't eaten anything other than a lump of cheese (hoping to trick my liver into cancelling any DP action). BG stayed above 9.0 right up until lunch. The following day saw me needing 10u for a single slice of breakfast toast (that's 5x my usual amount)!
While waiting for our new fridge to be delivered, I posted a moan on a forum describing recent events, and suggesting that the Diabetes Gremlins had perhaps snuck in at night and replaced the Lantus in my cartridge with water. Someone happened to ask if there might be any problem with the way the insulin had been stored. Hang on a minute... "While waiting for our new fridge to be delivered...".
And then it all fell into place. Our fridge has been a bit flaky for some time, maybe even a year. Mostly keeping things cool, sometimes getting a little enthusiastic and getting really cold, other times appearing to warm things up, but never actually completely broken. The light had stopped coming on a week or so ago and we'd decided that enough was enough and ordered a new one. I was down to the last cartridges in the box of both Lantus and Humalog and it seems that the fridge's repeated misbehaviour had substantially affected the insulin's potency. The box of Lantus was the older of the two, so my guess it that it was pretty much shot. The newer Humalog left to fight the BG battle on its own at half-strength. Another one to add to the 'watch list': Count carbs, consider food absorption properties, check basal level, consider level of activity, rotate sites, make sure fridge is working.
I've ditched the suspect cartridges and with nice new fresh ones things have quickly returned to normal. Well today at least.