This year I’m participating for the first time in Diabetes Blog Week! For the past seven years, I’ve followed along and read posts by other PWD (people with diabetes) around the DOC (diabetes online community), but didn’t share my own thoughts during this special week. Although Be Still and Know isn’t a diabetes blog per se, it’s written by a person living with T1D (type 1 diabetes) for almost 24 years now, so I decided to join the conversation!
Today’s prompt is: Diabetes can sometimes seem to play by a rulebook that makes no sense, tossing out unexpected challenges at random. What are your best tips for being prepared when the unexpected happens? Or, take this topic another way and tell us about some good things diabetes has brought into your, or your loved one’s, life that you never could have expected?
To be honest, my diabetes is fairly predictable on a daily basis. Between eating a low carb, paleo diet, having low insulin needs, taking the new medication Invokana, and having well ingrained habits, my blog sugars are pretty stable. But, just a couple weeks ago, I had one of those days that didn’t go as planned…
For the past several weeks, I’ve been following a more restrictive diet “reset” based on the Fed and Fit plan. It’s like a Whole30, where you basically just eat meat, eggs, vegetables, low sugar fruits, and nuts. No grains, dairy, alcohol, legumes, sugary fruits, etc. My insulin needs are at an all time low and my blood sugar control has been awesome!
So, on a Saturday morning, I got up early to get my log run in and had a blood sugar of 115 mg/dl. I’d recently restarted the Invokana medication after a brief (and awful!) break for a couple weeks. Recalling a morning run a few days earlier, I duplicated the bolus for half a Larabar before heading out on the run. After two miles, I was dragging. At three miles, I was really dragging, so I decided to test my blood and was shocked to see 54 mg/dl!
As I gobbled down a couple dates, I thought to myself: “What happened?” On the run earlier in the week, I’d removed my pump for the 5 mile run with my friend, therefore I wasn’t getting any basal insulin during that 45 minutes. Since I’d hoped to run 11-12 miles on this day, I kept my pump on. I also didn’t think to decrease my basal rate to 50% until I was two miles into the run. Thinking back, this amount of insulin I gave myself was consistent with other long runs, but now that I was eating such a low carb diet, my overall insulin needs were just less.
I was able to eek out a 7 mile run that morning, but the low really threw a wrench into my plans! In the whole scheme of things, this isn’t a very severe limitation on someone’s life, I realize. But, it’s annoying. It’s also a reminder that, no matter how dialed in you try to be, blood sugar management is a constantly moving target and diabetes plays by it’s own rulebook and doesn’t share the notes!