Thursday, February 09, 2006

I posted this on a support board I am a member of, but I thought it would be good to post this here, as well. The fact is, I could use any and all insight, advice, and support I can get. Since I've received such great advice and comments from others before, I'm hoping to get the same feedback again.

These last few days have been, for lack of better words, HELL-ISH. Let's put it this way, my Diabetes control is NOT in control. It's been way out of control...and I've been freaking out, which is my general reaction when this happens. I know, I know...not the smartest way to handle this, but I can't help myself sometimes. Ok, that really does sound like a little kid's excuse. But the truth is, I let my emotions get the better of me and I lose it. Yes, I openly admit it... I lose my sanity.

Tuesday, I woke up high and my blood sugars just seemed to climb from there. I tried everything to get my numbers down...changing the site (actually did that 3x out of sheer panic ), changing insulin vials, not eating carbs, and even exercise, and nothing worked. Finally, after taking correction dose after correction dose, I came down. Actually, I bottomed out. Woke up in the early morning hours, and I was in the 40s. I was actually relieved to see that I had come down, but seems like I'm constantly dealing with extreme numbers-typically ones on the high end of the spectrum :(. Actually, this wasn't just the case for Tuesday. The last few days have been pretty much the same.

I know that I need to make more of an effort in getting this under control. I know I am not doing everything I can and should be doing...and then I wonder why things are the way they are . One thing in particular-keeping a good log of sugar levels, insulin bolused, exercise, and food. After reading that article about those 2 brothers who have lived so long with the disease, and hearing how meticulous they were with their logs, I think it would definitely benefit me to take better notes, so to speak.

I also need to not be afraid of making changes. It's definitely worth taking a risk if it helps to find something that works. I think this especially pertains to the issue of exercise. Seems like I have been having this issue for months and nothing has helped. Yes, it's discouraging and sometimes I do wonder if I am better off not exercising. However, it's probably benefiting me more than doing harm- so I am not planning on giving up. I just wish I could get a better handle of things.

The issue that's causing me so much aggravation, for those who don't know, is that my exercise is affecting my night time sugar levels- actually making them extremely difficult to control. My current workouts are purely cardio...I will usually use the elliptical machine, treadmill, or arc trainer (mix between stepper and elliptical machine) for about an hour or so. I usually will work out moderately intensely. I like to get my heart rate up, b/c I know that it will help to burn fat and calories...and I like to feel like I have worked out. However the typical blood sugar response is for me to have a hypoglycemic episode immediately following exercise. Then I'll eat dinner, usually pretty low in carbs, and I'll test later in the evening and I'll be high, usually in the high 200s if not higher. I usually have a heck of a time trying to get it to come will even carry over to the next morning often. Ugh, it's very frustrating .

I know there are a lot of variables at work. Yes, it's interesting in a way, but I think it makes it very difficult and aggravating at the same time. It makes it very hard to figure out what is going on and what I should do to improve things. I'm going to try and hunt down a copy of the book, "The Diabetic Athlete" . Maybe it will provide me with a little more insight into what's going on with me. I'm also going to make more of an effort to be more observant and conscious of my blood sugar and maybe, hopefully, I'll get somewhere.


Blogger Kelsey said...

Here is my experience, for what it's worth: Until about a year and a half ago, I was a "runner"- and I use that term sort of loosely :) I ran about 3-5 miles per day/4 days a week. I usually ran after work, around 5:30-6 p.m. I'm on humalog and lantus injections, and I do my lantus at bedtime. I had to load up on the carbs not to get low in the early morning hours after a run. I hated it because I felt like all the calories I'd burnt running were being replaced to keep my blood sugar up! I slowly but surely lost a few pounds, but felt frustrated with the amount of effort it all took.

For the last 6 months, I've had an insane schedule of work and school, so the only time I have to work out is at 5:30 a.m. I got these Tae-bo tapes (there are a ton of different ones!) Each workout is about 45 minutes and it's amazing! The workouts are challenging and it works wonderfully doing it first thing in the morning. I test first, if I low I drink about 4 oz of OJ, if I'm high, I do a unit or so of humalog. I don't have to eat more throughout the day to combat lows, I just have a much higher insulin to carb ratio for breakfast on the mornings I workout, like 30:1 and I still have a snack later. It's worked great for me. In fact, even when my schedule opens up, I will always be a morning exerciser from now on, there are so many benefits for me!

I'd encourage you to do a couple things: think about the timing of your workout, maybe another time of day would allow you to work with your insulin and food to avoid the highs/lows or having to eat extra. Or, it could be the workout could use some tweaking. Running is still something I enjoy and I plan to incorporate it come spring, but all running didn't give me the results I wanted or the diabetes "reaction" I needed.

Let me know what you find out, I'm always interested in new info about exercise and diabetes.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

I just got that book (The Diabetic Athlete), but haven't cracked it open yet. I've got a few others I need to finish off first. I ordered it online from the Diabetes Mall I think.

There are so many things that are going on with the body and the metabolic processes that are necessary to provide the energy used to exercise. It's terribly complicated, but that doesn't mean we need to know every detail. Many of us trial and error our way through it, which is frustrating, but sometimes the only way.

I personally want to learn more about how all that stuff works, just because I'm curious.

If I learn anything useful through my trial & error journey, I'll be sure to share it.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...


I'm hoping I eventually get to the point you are at...finding something that works for me and sticking with it. I don't think I've reached that point yet :(

I like working out at the gym, for various reasons, especially becuase I can keep track of the calories I'm burning (kind of anal, I know) and I have the option of trying different cardio machines. However, having to come home and deal with sugar issues isn't's extremely aggravating.

I've tried tapes before, but my apartment doesn't really allow for me to exercise here. It would shake the whole house and I don't think my land lady would appreciate it. I did break down yesterday and buy a set of exercise DVDs- it's a yoga, pilates, and weight training set(the "For Dummies" series, for those curious). I figure it's a good way to supplement my cardio workouts and maybe will help me deal with stress. God knows, I need something, being a typical type A personality here. Ugh.

If that doesn't help, I may have to try changing exercise times, as you suggested. I have a hard time getting up in the morning, but if it means my control improves, so be it.

Thanks so much for your thoughtful and helpful response :)


You bought the book? Please do keep me updated on what you find out from the book. I could use all the help I can get. I reallly appreciate your advice, opinions, and feedback.

Thanks! :)

1:51 PM  
Blogger mytime79 said...

Andrea, I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed that this all gets figured out for you. Please please please if you find someting that works (or the magic answer) share with us. Workouts are such a pain in the ass and it would be nice to not have to worry about all that "D" stuff that follows or at times prevents from doing what you want to do.

On a side note, it's sad but I'm obsessed with Myspace. It's kind of addicting, lots of friends from highschool are on it. I wouldn't say its the place to pick up guys, but it at least adds a little bit of brainless activity to get through the day.

3:18 PM  

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