Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm High

There are a few fun things I get to say as a person with diabetes.

One of my favourites is: "I get to have the last piece of cake because I've already taken insulin for it.  If I can't have it, I might collaspe...or worse."

That's always a fun one.

The other one that makes me laugh in my head is when I get to say "I'm high".

It's probably funnier to me than to the people I tell it to.  I just think that, coming from the girl who have never used recreational drugs of any sort and who usually stops at one glass of wine, to announce "I'm high" seems rather out of character.

Anyway, I'm not high at the moment but I was on the weekend.  Just for a little bit.  But the timing sucked.

Travel back in time with me if you will...

It's Saturday morning at 8am. It's already hot and humid and I am regretting not putting on my brand spanking new running tank.  The new marathoners were all chatting about how this run is our last run for about 20 weeks that is not prescribed.  We can run any distance we want but, starting on Tuesday, we're following the marathon training schedule.

I chose 14k because I figured it was a good lead in to the training and a good distance to prepare me for next Saturday's 16k.

Now, in order to really understand what happened, I need to take you back a little futher in time. Saturday at 6:30am to be exact.  One and a half hours before any run is when I change my basal rate.  That's the amount of insulin that trickles in from my pump.  Now, after lots of trial and error, I have found that reducing my basal to 50% works well.  I rarely have lows during runs and don't typically go too high either. So every Satuday morning the alarm goes off at 6:30am and the first thing I do is reach for the pump and change the settings.

The problem was that, for the last week or so, I was going low at the end of every run.  Insteand of finishing a run with a blood sugar of 7 or 8, I was finishing in the 3s. Not good. So I decided to experiment a bit and reduce my basal insulin to 40%.  Seemed pretty sensible to me.

The other factor that is important to understand is that I always eat the same breakfast before I run on Saturdays.  It just makes it easier to calculate things.  So, on Saturday morning I found myself standing in the kitchen looking at my cereal and wondering what the hell to do.  I had reduced my basal insulin.  Do I change the amount I take with my breakfast (bolus) too? I already reduce it to about 30% so do I reduce it even more? Keep it the same? Or increase it to make up for the change in basal.  Option 3 would only defeat the purpose of what I was trying to do (avoid lows).  Option 1 scared me because I thought I might reduce my total insulin by so much that my sugar would skyrocket.  So I chose Option 2 and stuck to my regular routine.

So, back to the run.  I started off fine and full of energy.  I bounded through the first kilometer at a 5:50 pace. When we stopped to stretch, I had a get because I knew I was running 14k.  Nothing out of the ordinary there. The second kilometer, my pace was 6:02. The third, I was 6:20 and, by the fourth, I was running about 6:40. Jim spotted me and ran over to ask if I was hurt.  He said my running was looking very laboured.

I just felt exhausted and chalked it up to the late night the night before and the humidity.  By the 5k mark, I was done and knew in my heart that running two more kilometers away from the store was foolish. I comforted myself with the thought that I didn't really have to run 14k today and settled for 10k.

The run home didn't get any better.  No worse, but no better.  My right ear felt plugged and my neck felt tight. I yawned a lot (not as easy as it sounds when you're gasping for breath) and I drank every drop of water I had.  All things I have experienced before.

And still I did not clue in. 

It wasn't until I got into my car and decided to check my sugar that it dawned on me.  "I'm high".

Oh yes my friends, I ran 10k with a blood sugar of 20.0.

That in itself deserves a medal.  Two actually.  One for sheer strength of will.  And another for stupidity.

I changed my basal insulin and didn't even think to bring my glucometer along for the run and test every few kilometers just to see what was happening. 

Apparently a 10% change in insulin is more significant than it sounds.

Experiment number two happens on Tuesday night's 10k run.  This time I'm bringing my glucometer along for the ride and making good use of it.

Another lesson learned.

1 comment:

  1. Holy crap. :(
    as soon as you said "yawning" and "drank every drop of water you had" I felt your pain.
    Glad you learned a lesson. I can't believe -10% made that huge of a difference. Perhaps the way to fix the end result of lows is to eat a little sugar on the run instead of lowering basals. I know myself that I lower my basals by such a significant number and still have to eat.

    I hope tuesday's run is better for you. and you TOTALLY deserve a medal (not for stupidity) but for strength and will power.

    I still couldn't go out for a 14k run without my meter and now I really don't want to try.