Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Give and Take

Last week, when I was sick with a cold, my blood sugar readings were higher than normal.

Which is perfectly normal. Frustrating as all get out but perfectly normal.

I'm sure it's a combination of a) I'm sick and b) I'm sick therefore I don't get up at 5am every day to run or swim.

Last Tuesday, when I woke up to a lovely 14.4 on my glucometer, I increased my basal rate to 120%.  After several hours, 120% did not seem to be having any effect whatsoever so I upped it to 130%.

On Wednesday and Thursday I had my basal rate set at 130%. All the time. I saw a 7 every so often, quite a few 8s and 9s but fewer 12s, 13s and 14s so I was ok with that. (FYI the 19s and 20s didn't start appearing until Friday). 

Thursday night, while we were heating up our dinner and I was figuring out how many carbs we were about to eat, it occurred to me that I was taking a lot more basal insulin than I normally do. Which means that my pump would run out of insulin a lot faster than it normally does. I knew I was supposed to run out of insulin on Friday evening but that was before I got sick.

Pump change day is pretty predictable because, unless something out of the ordinary happens, the insulin in my pump keeps me going for 6 days. Two weeks ago, I changed my infusion site on Saturday night so last week it was Friday night. Then this week it's Thursday etc etc.

So I checked how many units were left in the pump. There were 43 units left...which was exactly enough to get me to Friday evening.


I had just spent three days at 120% and 130% basal - there is no way I should have enough insulin left to last until Friday evening.

So I went into the pump menu to the option called Utilities. I then went into Daily Totals to see how much insulin I had been taking every day.

Normal days range between 47-50 units (a small window I know but, no matter what I eat, it just seems to work out that way).

The last three sick days were 48, 45 and 43 units. A little lower than normal.

That's when I realized that I hadn't been eating as much because my blood sugar was higher than normal. I didn't have my mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks and I didn't have my pre-bed snack of pomegranate seeds or yogurt. No snacks means less bolusing which means that the extra basal I was taking was balanced out by fewer boluses.

A very interesting example of give and take.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I actually never would have guessed. In fact, I scrolled down expecting to hear about some weird math error or some such thing. One of those weird "diabetes math" things that make you go "huh."