Tag Archives: blood sugars

Cycling and Diabetes: Third Time Lucky

Third Time Lucky.

It took three rides on the bike before I managed near blood sugar perfection.

All the rides began around the same time, a few hours after breakfast, but varied in distance and length. The first ride back, I was chasing lows the entire time, even before we began, my blood sugars were dropping. Ugh.

About 30 minutes before the ride, I inhaled half a peanut butter and jam sandwich on whole grain bread, around 25g carbs, no insulin. My blood sugars were 7.6 before the sandwich, and 20 minutes later were down to 6.1. I dropped my continuous basal insulin down 70 per cent. An hour into the ride, my blood sugars were at 4.5. I ate a savoury salted sweet potato Clif gel, which was all sorts of disgusting, had 2 dried apricots, and turned my basal off completely. At lunch, an hour later, they were 4.2. I had a bowl of smoked salmon soup and a hunk of foccasia bread, no insulin. An hour and a half later, they were 5.1 – more dried apricots. The ride ended at 6.4 to which I increased my basal by 70 per cent over 2 hours, in the hopes of warding off post-ride highs, but instead resulted in a blood sugar crash an hour later.

Well that was a fail.

Pterodactyl’s got to get his pre-flight PB&J fuel on too!

Next ride two days later, I upped the sandwich intake and had a full-sized peanut butter and jam sandwich, approximately 42g carbs, no insulin. My pre-sandwich blood sugars were 6.4, and post-sandwich were 10.1. I dropped my basal 70 per cent. One hour in things looked promising; my blood sugars were holding at 6.7. But this is an iffy area for me. If I kept riding without eating, they could continue to drop. Or if I ate without taking insulin, they could surge up. Or if I ate and took insulin, they could bottom out. What to do? What to do? What to do? I opted for a packet of apple sauce, no insulin. One hour later, they were up to 9.7, and by the time the ride was done they were at 12.1. Argh.

Well that was a fail.

This was much tastier than that salted sweet potato blech!

The next ride, I didn’t do too much different for the pre-ride prep. I ate a full sandwich an hour before the ride, no insulin. The pre-sandwich blood sugars were 6.4 and the post sandwich were 10.7. I dropped my basal down 50 per cent. One hour in, my blood sugars were 6.3. I had half of a cashew-date-ohmygawdthisissodisgusting bar. An hour later, they were 6.1 to which I plugged my nose and swallowed the other half of that bar. By ride’s end, they were 5.9. I increased my basal by 50 per cent over the next two hours. No lows. No highs.

Oh happy girl!!!

But was it fourth time lucky? Only time will tell…

She-Diabetic: Hear me roar

Oh man, I walked into that doctor’s office, pounded my chest with great amounts of bravado and announced I am She-Diabetic, hear me roar! Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly how it went down, but in my head that’s how it played out.

As you know, after last week’s appointment with my maternity doctors, I walked out feeling crushed, defeated, like I was the worst mom-to-be ever. But thanks to the advice of my moms and sister-in-law, I decided to take charge. I made a follow-up appointment on Monday with the senior doctor in the clinic who has a pretty good history with my family. I had a page full of notes with me to ensure I wouldn’t forget a thing, and with my voice somewhat on the shaky side (Hey! Even She-Ra didn’t like confrontation without her super-chick costume!) I listed off all the reasons why I had concerns regarding my appointment with Dr. Jackass and why I in no way wanted him to be a part of my delivery.

Throughout my entire spiel, Dr. D’s face was contorted into a grimace – eyes squinted, nose crinkled, lips puckered, and neck buried so far into his shoulders, I was surprised he was able to pull it back out again. He was either thinking a) Holy crap, how the hell did I end up with this one today? or b) Why the hell would Dr. Jackass tell her that?

I’m going with the latter.

So here’s the thing, Dr. D told me that technically speaking Dr. Jackass was following proper protocol. Because I have Type 1 diabetes, I’m automatically considered high risk, which means, following the book, I should be sent to a high-risk obstetrician. But what Dr. Jackass failed to take into consideration is my knowledge, my history, and my excellent control of this disease. He was looking at me as a label, not as a person. Not the first time that’s happened in my 25 years with this disease, but still frustrating as hell!

Dr. D also said that he and the other senior doctor in there had no problem caring for me during pregnancy because in their history they’ve dealt with several high-risk patients (long before the town got a selection of obstetricians) and because I was so well controlled with my diabetes going into pregnancy. And furthermore, he told me I had no need to worry about getting Dr. Jackass, given that Dr. Jackass would be retiring from obstetrics come August – one month before I am to deliver.


However, Dr. D recommended I keep my appointment with the high-risk obstetrician. He told me she has a great reputation, I’d really like her, and that she is the highest level of care I can get. As well, because it would solely be her I’m dealing with (not a group of doctors like I do at the maternity clinic) she would more than likely schedule my inducement on a day she could be there, ensuring I had a medical professional there I trusted. And if I didn’t like her, Dr. D said I was more than welcome to come back there, and they’d work it out for me.

The appointment concluded with Dr. D telling me not to take too much stock into the so-called “larger than average” belly I’m sporting, because regular ultrasounds, which I start getting at 28 weeks, are a far more accurate measurement of the baby than my bloody belly. He also said that by all accounts, I’m doing great with my diabetes … which is exactly what my regular diabetes specialist (who’s not handling my diabetes during pregnancy) told me in an email earlier that day after I had frantically fired off an email to him seeking advice.

Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Hottiecrinologist:

I suspect the increase in sugar after breakfast is a strong increase in hormone resistance from the placental hormones at that time of day.  It means the placenta is healthy.  You may have to increase your basal rate earlier, before breakfast,  to get ahead of the glucose surge. (In addition to the CHO ratio change).  It sounds like you have been doing very well overall…

So, to all the other medical peeps out there giving me a hard time, treating me like I don’t know my disease, or that I am solely my disease and nothing else,  you can all just fugg off! ROAR!!!

Deja vu

Today, Big Ring and I celebrated holiday week number 2 with a 2.5 hour hike around Lynn Valley; it was my 7th hike since last Saturday. And my goodness, it’s like deju vu every time I put on my hiking shoes.

And not because I’m trekking around the same routes – in fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve hiked Buntzen Lake, Westwood, Lynn Valley Loop, and today’s 9 km Lynn Valley Loop with a Headwaters Trail extension added to the mix. Nope, it’s blood sugar deja vu I’m experiencing.

It doesn’t matter whether I’m on old terrain or never before hiked terrain; it doesn’t matter if I’m hiking with Big Ring, or my favourite hiking chick; it doesn’t matter if I start early in the morning or after lunch – my blood sugars are pretty near identical every time I go out at every point I test. Perfectly identical.

I test before the hike and they’re generally around 9 or 10, which is not perfect for most times, but before a hike it’s perfect for me, and purposely made that way (by half bolusing at meal time) because I know they’ll drop down lickity split when on the trails. I test one hour into the hike and five of the seven hikes I’ve gone on, they’ve registered in at 4.4, and the other three hikes they’ve been within .1 or .2 of that 4.4. I chase that reading with a Zbar, which I do not bolus for to ensure the BG does not bottom out. And at the end of the hike, no matter how long the hike, my readings are almost always 5.4. Perfection!

We like BG perfection!

I told you thumb-sucking alien baby loves the hiking 😀

As do Big Ring and I!

What NOT to do

First the pool, now cement. Oh man, my insulin pumping system hates me! A few months ago I discovered my insulin pump wasn’t actually waterproof (as was advertised by Animas) after submerging it into a pool for an hour. On Sunday, I discovered my blood glucose monitor, which connects to the pump, isn’t made of titanium, nor does it have an invisible protective shield around it. Seriously, some one should get on that.

Mario and I had just finished dinner out on the patio and after lingering in the dwindling sun for a awhile, we begrudgingly started to pack up. Mario grabbed his dinner plate and I think maybe a side plate, but me being the efficient packer upper that I am (or just lazy) I stacked three plates for one hand, two glasses in the other hand, with cutlery inside the glasses, and then I grabbed my glucometre and slotted it between the plates and my fingers. Bad move. Bad, bad move. Not even a second gripped in my fingers and my metre was falling to the ground, the cement ground. Smash. Batteries went flying. That’s not good, I thought.

Nope, not good at all.

I called the Animas hotline, left a message, and within the hour they had called me back. They asked a few questions and then told me they could send a new one out by Purolator, but it would take a few days. Did I have another metre? Sure, I said. I had tons. Before going on the pump, and using this one special metre, I had a stock of like three or four metres at one time. No big deal.

About an hour or two later, when Mario and I were about to sit down for dessert, I went searching for one of those metres, sure it was in the same cupboard as all my other diabetes supplies, but could not find them, not one of them. I searched upstairs. I searched in the wardrobe, the closet, the desk, the storage compartments, old purses, old fuel belts, but nothing. Oh crap. Keep in mind this was on Sunday and it was now 9:30 p.m. – where the heck was I going to find a pharmacy open that late? Shoppers Drug Mart. 24-hour pharmacy. Ka-ching.

So what did I learn from this experience? That as in control of this disease as I appear to be and try to be, I will never be independent of it. When I realized I didn’t have a metre on hand, and feared I wouldn’t be able to find an open pharmacy, I was seriously so close to breaking down. I could not go the night without knowing what my blood sugars were, and then the following morning, how was I to determine how much insulin to give myself for breakfast without knowing my blood sugars? What if my blood sugars went low, how would I know? What if they were high? Yes, our body’s give us signs to let us know when things aren’t right, and years ago I would have been okay with relying solely on those signs alone, but that was before I took on the challenge of perfecting this damn disease. And the downside of better control, it seems, I’ve developed a major dependency on the damn glucometre! Bah!

What are you dependent on?


  • 11:30 a.m. BG before: 10.6
  • Temp. basal: -30 per cent
  • Distance: 17 km
  • Average pace: 6:29 min/km
  • Time: 1:50:23
  • Fuel: Perpetuem
  • BG: @3km: 10.1 @6km: 9.6 @11 km: 7.3
  • 2 p.m. BG after: 8.9

Sunday’s run was one of those runs. You’ll note above that I tested my blood sugars an awful lot on the run, which I will admit has been rare for me on long runs lately. But given that my bladder seemed to never want to feel empty – for the entire 17 km!!! – I had ample time to test at the multiple washrooms stops I made. Not one, not two, not three washrooms – but four washroom stops! Are you kidding me?

Not even Mother Mary could save this run from bladder hell.