Cold medicine and diabetes … HELPPPPPP

Hello all. I’m still here. Doing well, actually. A1C is at a nice 5.5. Hoping to lose some more weight and maybe drop some of my metformin. We’ll see! I just turned 40, so I’m feeling extra motivated to be healthy because I’m realizing that every day is a gift.

Anyway, that’s a brief catch-up for me.


I’m sick as hell at the moment. I haven’t been sick like this in probably two years. I’ve had these day-long colds that I’ve somehow managed to fight off. This one hit me completely by surprise. I woke up Thursday morning with a full blown cold. Foolishly, I went to work, and suffered through the day with a fever and chills. Yes, I should have gone home. No, I didn’t go home.

That night, too feverish and tired and weak to go to the drugstore, I rummaged through the linen closet where we have a stockpile of cold meds and pain relievers. Found Mucinex. It expired in October 2015, but I figured it was only a couple months past its prime, so I popped one of those. Mucinex has always done the job for me in the past.

I then spent the entire night wired as hell, not falling asleep until around 5 a.m. and waking again around 8 when the rest of the house was getting ready for work and school. I got myself dressed and headed to the drugstore to buy something other than Mucinex so that I could go to sleep.

Another brand that has worked well for me in the past, and then I’ve been told is ok with diabetes, is the Tylenol Cold medicine. I got the drugstore brand because it was cheaper, and I got the day/night capsules. Popped the day version when I got home, and napped for a few hours.

That night around 9, I popped the night version of the pill. In the past this has knocked me out. Fast forward to 1:30 a.m. and I am still awake. Took some Melatonin and that seemed to do the trick.

The next day, yesterday, I took the daytime version of the off-brand Tylenol again. Felt pretty good. Then I took nothing last night.

Fast forward to 2 a.m. and I am wired, still wide awake. WTF? I didn’t take anything!!! Again, had to take a Melatonin to help get me to settle down, and that seemed to work again. Woke up around 8.

So now I’m going to ask you, oh wise diabetes bloggers, what the heck do you take when you have a cold? Does anyone else have the problem I’m having with supposed nighttime cold meds keeping you up? I’m planning on going back to work in the morning so a good night’s sleep would be appreciated.



Medical Mystery

I am still dealing with the palpitations, and they are becoming more frequent, and are lasting longer. To say that it is annoying is an understatement. So far, I have had two trips to the emergency room. I have been to my primary care doc three times. And this week, I went to the cardiologist. I wore a 24-hour monitor yesterday, and am scheduled for an echocardiogram in a couple of weeks.

No one has been able to pinpoint the cause, and as I have mentioned in one of my last posts, there’s such a smorgasboard of things wrong with me that it could be one, two, or a combo of the things. Or, something completely different.

It’s very scary, not knowing. Feeling like any moment could bring on another palpitation, not knowing how bad it’s going to be, whether they’ll get worse, whether I’ll pass out, whether I’ll be alone when it happens or with my kids. And I feel very helpless without the medical knowledge, and needing to depend on doctors to determine what is going on with me. They have no stake in the game; it’s my life.

Anyway, hopefully some answers will be found soon. I will keep you posted.

If only they could all be like him

In another blog of mine, where I mostly do short humor pieces, and which you should really follow because you’ll at least know whether I am still alive, I discussed the crush I have on my chiropractor.

Sure, he’s easy on the eyes, which makes it all the better that he’s actually a genuinely good person. I feel like, of all the doctors I see, including my primary and my endo, that he is the only one who seems to actually care about what is going on with me and is trying to help me get to the root cause of my symptoms, rather than treating the symptoms themselves. I find that my other docs don’t have the same level of compassion.

Say what you will about chiropractors. Some people think they are total witch doctors, quacks, frauds, etc. Again, maybe I’m just blinded by his good looks, but I’m buying what he’s selling. I think there is a connection between spine alignment and the rest of the body. There has to be. After he corrected my T2 I went three nights without a palpitation. It’s possible my T2 has slipped again and that’s why I’m so out of whack. I don’t know.

Anyway, when I saw him Thursday, he told me to email him over the weekend and let him know how I was doing. I did just that on Saturday. Keep in mind this is Memorial Day weekend, a holiday weekend. WITHIN 20 MINUTES he had replied to my email. ON A SATURDAY!!!!!!! At that point, I was feeling good so that’s what I had told him. When I started having issues Sunday, I emailed him again. It took him a little longer to respond — about an hour. Still. An hour response time, on a Sunday. On a holiday weekend. I can’t get some of my co-workers to reply to emails that quickly on a work day!

It really makes me feel good to have him in my corner. Even though he’s “just” my chiro, I feel like everything is going to be ok because of him. I wish more doctors were like him – in fact, I wish ALL doctors were more like him!

It reminds me of one of my favorite all-time quotes by Maya Angelou:


Back to square one

It was just over three years ago when I received my diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, along with hypothyroidism and this “other” unknown thing that was causing me to have frequent heart palpitations. Numerous doctors tried to explain away the palpitations by saying it was any number of things from low potassium to low iron to panic attacks to my thyroid itself causing them. And then they put me on Paroxetine and the palpitations stopped.

Fast forward to this past November when someone suggested I go see a chiropractor because my back is so messed up. He started talking to me about how the spine is connected to all the major organs, and when the spine is out of whack, then everything in your body can also get out of whack. He also told me that the Paroxteine I was on was a dangerous drug, and that while he couldn’t officially tell me to stop taking it because he’s not my primary, he said if it were him, he’d stop taking it.

Based on my other web research about the pills, I agreed and stopped them in December. And I felt fine. Until about the end of March when I had my first palpitation in a couple of years. I was on vacation, had been in the sun all day, and was probably dehydrated. But it was alarming.

The past two weeks they have been happening almost every day. Usually not horrible – the highest my heart rate was going was 120-130. Still, the frequency is disturbing. I saw my endo on Tuesday and I was hoping for something like, ‘oh, it’s your thyroid. You need a higher dose.” But my thyroid is fine. My A1C is fine. So what the heck is going on?

The only break I had was Thursday when I saw my chiro. My T2 was out of whack and he said it probably touches the vagus nerve which can affect the heart. No palpitations Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Felt great.

Last night I had the worst palpitation I’ve had since three years ago. Heart rate was around 159 at its worst point and then came back down. However, my resting heart rate is about 106 right now and has stayed there all day long. It’s jumping to about 120-125 and then coming back down to 106 constantly. I’m obsessively monitoring my heart rate on my phone app, which probably isn’t helping m y mental state, but is also allowing me to keep tabs on what’s going on.

In the middle of the night, when I had my 159 heart rate, my blood sugar was 111. Now for some of you, you’re thinking that’s a good number. For me, it’s the lowest number my little meter has shown me in months. To me it felt like a low. Endo did increase my nightly insulin by 2 units so it’s possible that it was too much. OK, so the low blood sugar and heart palpitations seem to be linked. But what about this resting heart rate?

I have an appointment with my primary tomorrow, but I’m throwing this out to the internet in the hopes that someone sees this that knows something.

So many variables:

  • thyroid
  • diabetes
  • T2 vertebrae
  • anemia (could this have anything to do with it)?
  • anxiety?

And one last thing. I MAY HAVE overdosed on some of my diabetes meds yesterday. I didn’t remember taking my Onglyza and Metformin, because we left the house in a hurry in the morning to go to my son’s baseball game. When I came home, I took them both. But, did I already take them???? Could that have been the cause of the low blood sugar? Or, was I correct and I missed that dose? I wish I could rewind the tape, so to speak, and see what happened. Either way, I am concerned.

May end up at the ER today if this doesn’t correct itself. Sugars are ok so far today. Fingers crossed for me please and any good vibes/prayers/etc that someone can figure this out.

Let’s Get Re-Acquainted

I’m not posting here and it’s not because I don’t love you. I do. Really.

I just don’t have anything to  say most days related to my diabetes. I think I’m going through a long denial phase. But it’s because I feel stronger, healthier, more confident and more in control of my life than I ever have before. That’s a good thing, right? But it’s also a bad thing, because in my mind, I think, oh, I’m strong, confident, I feel great – how could I POSSIBLY also have diabetes? That contradicts everything else I’m feeling.

At my last endocrinologist appointment, she expressed concern over my fasting blood glucose numbers. They are high – and they are creeping up higher and higher. My FBG yesterday was 183; this morning it was in the 160’s. I don’t typically have a snack before bedtime. She’s been having me chart my fasting numbers and include anything I ate the night before to try and make some sense of what is going on. The rest of the day, my numbers are normal. It just doesn’t make sense. I’ve read about the morning spike and I’m sure that’s what I have, but it’s getting worse. Some mornings after I eat breakfast, I start to get the blurred vision and general brain fuzziness that in the past has indicated a 250+ level. Even if I just eat a very small portion of carbs, it’s enough to set the already-high blood sugar over the edge.

My next set of bloodwork is going to also test my pancreas level because my endo thinks that maybe I am in need of insulin at night, which would really suck. Something is going on, though.

We know that my A1C, although it has looked stellar, is not a good indicator because of my anemia. It’s completely at odds with my own blood sugar readings. I just read this interesting article which says that a post-meal glucose is actually the best gauge. I should start recording that …

Thoughts before my next appointment …

My next endocrinologist appointment is Friday. I had my bloodwork done today,  but the doctor didn’t order an A1C this time, feeling that it isn’t accurate because of my anemia. But how am I supposed to know how it’s going?

I can probably guess … it’s not going as great as I would like it to. I’ve had some post-breakfast numbers over 200 and they haven’t been that high since I was first diagnosed. My fastings are never below 140. I’ve had some late afternoon crashes where I hit low 100’s – and that’s what it is supposed to be. When I’m in the 100’s, I get shaky and I can barely speak or think.

I know that I need to be doing better with my diet. While I haven’t gained any weight, I find myself “cheating” more than I should. I should probably be doing more exercise. I’m doing yoga twice a week and walking when I can. I can do more. I just don’t.

As far as my thyroid, I’m betting that it’s better than it was, but still not great. I don’t feel *as* tired as I used to, and in fact sometimes, I’m so wired at night that I can’t go to sleep (and I gave up caffeine because of the thyroid meds). Unfortunately that makes it difficult to get up in the mornings sometimes. Luckily no one cares if I am a few minutes late to work!

But I feel good. I feel strong. I just need to push myself harder. Say no to sweets more. Watch my portions. Make better choices. I know I’m not alone in my struggles, It’s good to know you all are out there going through this with me.

Stretched a little too thin perhaps?

I had a heart palpitation/panic attack/whatever today after lunch. First I felt a little bit wobbly in my legs and then my heart just kicked into high gear – in the 140’s. This went on for about 5-10 minutes until I took an Ativan from my emergency stash. I had to go to a meeting, but within the first five minutes, I was fine again. Luckily.

By a show of hands, who is surprised that my body is rebelling against me?

No one then?

Yeah, me neither.

Over the weekend I had two minor hypos, and then lack of sleep paired with too much time in the sun, paired with not eating according to schedule, etc. I think my body is just trying to tell me “enough is enough.” I start feeling good and then I just completely disregard my body. I was busy running from place to place, not really taking time to relax. I’m actually glad to be at work today because I’m on somewhat of a schedule and I can eat when and what I’m supposed to.

Hopefully this is just a flukey thing and I can straighten back out with a little return to routine …


About a month or so ago, my endocrinologist upped my thyroid meds. Again. My thyroid is just giving up the ghost, I’m afraid, little by little. By upping the meds, and leveling out what’s happening with my thyroid, the endo thinks my sugars should also come down accordingly.

I think the  thyroid meds are helping, because instead of feeling like I’m ready to drop dead at 9:30 at night, I’m still wired and ready to roll at 11:30. Maybe not a good thing. But, the energy level is definitely improved.

And, for the first time, I’m starting to feel some low sugar levels. Again, not necessarily a good thing, but it means my sugars as a whole are coming down. I’m not checking my levels as often as perhaps i should, but my endo just wants it once a week. Once a week? I’m doing it maybe every other day just for my own OCD peace of mind.

I’m currently experiencing a low, and it’s 12:30 a.m. so I should be asleep. Can’t sleep. Too wired. And too shaky. My sugar is actually 113 according to my meter, but for me that’s lower than what it’s been. So I’m waiting it out. Maybe, just maybe … if I have too many of these lows, I’ll be able to drop off one of these pills. Wishful thinking maybe.

Music to My Ears

So did I mention that I joined a band? Because I had SO MUCH free time, just begging to be taken up with one more activity. Luckily, this band is comprised of my co-workers, and we practice at work during lunch. Well, we haven’t practiced yet. The first one is next week. Right now we’re just getting together and doing covers, but who knows … maybe we’ll be gigging at some local dive bar. Below is a selfie of me with my guitar which I have had since I was 16. I’m really nervous because I haven’t sang in front of people in probably 15 years? Something like that? And of course these are people I work with, so I see them every day. I can’t hide away in shame if I suck. So I’ve been practicing like a fiend, late at night when my family is sleeping. As a result, I’m pretty damn tired.

Anyway, just one more thing to add to the chaos that is my life.