Thursday, December 07, 2006

Busy days and hypos

Why do these always seem to go together? I have been quite busy lately: Application to finish before Nov. 30, numerous samples to prepare for mass spectrometry now that our instruments are finally up running again (work), seminars to attend (work), different arrangements of the Christmas months, preparation of a talk to 140+ students that I am to give this afternoon…….

This pace obviously does not pair up well with low BG’s, but that is what always seems to happen when I am busy: Chances of getting low increase.

During the last months or so, I have noticed a tendency to go low late in the afternoon. I have decreased my basals as well as my insulin:carb-ratio (i.e., less insulin for a given amount of carb than otherwise needed during the day) in these hours. I haven’t completely solved the issues yet, though, so I am looking forward to my appointment with Alice next week, to discuss this with her.

I am most annoyed with the fact that these lows always seem to interfere with my indoor soccer practice sessions on Tuesdays – preventing me to start practice on time, mind you! This week was another brilliant example of this. I had to finish my talk for today as much as possible, because I had to hand in the presentation to the organizers on yesterday. However, I also had to attend a seminar for the Danish Proteomics Society (DAPSOC), starting at 9:30 AM on Tuesday. Fortunately, the seminar contained rather long breaks for posters and exhibition, and they were most welcome for me to retrieve the samples I expected by mail that day as well as start some experiments to be continued the next day. I had decided that I would skip the last session of the seminar anyway, in order to be able to make it to soccer practice in time, but also to take care of these experiments, and as we were much too many people in a much too small seminar room, it was actually nice to get out of there :-)

At 3:10 PM, after a 2 h seminar session, and successive questioning about my poster, my brain felt pretty crushed, but testing revealed I was at 9.0 (162), so my bolus guestimate for the served lunch hadn’t been that much off after all. I had my usual afternoon snack along with 1.8 U of insulin to cover it. Before leaving for practice at 4:30 PM I was 6.3 (113) and had the pump going at 60% basal (0.15 U/h). I had a 4.5 km (approximately 7 miles) bike ride to the sports facility, fortunately with the strong wind in my back most of the ride. Anyway, after having changed, preparing to test before starting soccer practice, I noticed I was sweating a lot more than I thought was fair, even after the bike ride. Sure enough, the test gave me a 1.3 (23). Damn!! That’s a pretty hard drop in less than 30 min! I didn’t want to miss out on most of the practice, like I have had to before, so I downed a full bottle of OJ (33 ml), a couple of glucose tabs and some m&m’s, only waiting 10 min before re-testing. At that time I was 2.1 (38), so I just waited another 10 min until taking part in the game.

By the end of our session (6:25 PM), I noticed the symptoms of a low re-appearing, but as one of the others twisted her ankle just before, we were only 6 players left, 3 on each team, and we had decided to stop at 6:30 anyway, so I thought I could just pull it off by taking it easy, watching the goal for our team. I managed, and when I tested afterwards I was at 2.9 (52), so I had to have yet another snack in order to be able to make it the 8 km back home in head wind. I felt like crap when leaving anyway, and the weather didn’t make that better. Besides the strong wind, it was also raining. At the beginning of the trip the rain wasn’t too bad, but soon it was pouring and by the time I got home, I was soaked and could literally pour water out of my shoes. After a nice hot shower, while my dinner prepared itself in the oven, I tested again, now getting a decent 5.8 (104), and I was fortunate enough to maintain in-range levels the rest of the evening.

Today I am to give that presentation to 140+ students at 5:15 PM in the afternoon. While I have ample lab work to do today, I also have to take a break to prepare my talk (only the slides are done, and I haven’t had time to test whether what I want to say fits with the slides and the amount of time available, so I might have to make some last minute adjustments). I just hope that, despite me being busy today too, the BG will behave this late afternoon!


Chrissie in Belgium said...

Heidi, its hard and its upp-hill, but be on the positive side - you ARE managing OK. I do understand that it doesn't feel ike it when you are struggling through it.

Scott said...


Do you find yourself testing less frequently when your days are so busy like that? Could that have anything to do with it?

What a scary low before practice!

AmyT said...

Hi Heidi,
My lows ALWAYS seem to hit on busy days, too, making me feel useless just when I need my energy most. Either there's a correlation, or it's Murphy's Law.

Keep up your good work!