Tested my blood sugar before leaving work tonight: 72. That should be a number I'm really happy about, on the low range of my goal, perfect at a time when I probably will eat a meal soon-ish. It used to be. However, with all the yo-yos I've been having, especially around exercise, and without my pump (I am on shots for a few months to give my pump sites a break; scar tissue was causing really crazy/bad absorption), 72 makes me not happy.
On the pump, I would've turned my basal rate down or off for a while, and probably been fine. Maybe had to eat a little bit of something, maybe not. But on shots...
72 usually means that if I don't do anything, I will get low by the time I'm home or during the trip home, which usually includes almost a mile of walking to and from trains. If I had planned on biking all the way home, forget it. I'd have to get on the train unless I felt like eating a ton of food and risking getting low in a place that I don't feel so comfortable stopping by myself and want all of my strength (mental and physical) and biking abilities that make me safer.
So tonight I ate a fruit leather (bougie hippie natural version of a fruit-roll up) before I started walking even though I didn't really want to. I prefer not spend my food money, appetite, and calories (yeah, I wanted to leave that last one out of this story but I'd be lying) on eating dried fruit or gatorade instead of yummier, healthier, cheaper, more fun real food. That I could eat when I actually am wanting to eat instead of having to.
And I still was low (55) when I got home.
That's not a terrible low, but not where I want to be. Enough to make the walk home less fun, and make me cranky enough that I might pick a fight with family or friends trying to interact with me while I'm low. Also, lows, even really mild ones, don't facilitate good, conscious eating. It's more like grabbing whatever I see and inhaling it standing up instead of enjoying a thought out, balanced meal that I enjoy. And feeling low certainly isn't going to have me actually cooking anything for dinner. Besides being frustrating in and of itself, this is also frustrating and ironic because part of my up and down roller coaster blood sugar issues are because of this very thing - not planning or counting (carbs) well enough, not scheduling sit-down meals on a consistent schedule enough.
I've pinned the problem with not having a pump and exercise or scheduling problems down to 2 major issues, at least for me:
1) Not being able to have different basal rates at different times of the day (eg lower for exercise, higher for sitting around at work). With shots (lantus), you just have one basal for all day and all night.
2) Not being able to make decisions about my insulin 0-120 minutes ahead of time, as you can with the pump. With shots it has to be the meal before and/or the lantus shot up to 24 hours earlier.
How do people not on pumps do exericse? Or... life? I don't get it. I guess the privilege of having the pump for 6 years has really pampered me. Maybe my blood sugars are more wacky and variable than other people's, and I'm sure my erratic schedule doesn't help with that. But really!? How do you do exercise unless you're willing to eat a lot of fast-acting sugar constantly? Or your exercise is a planned trip to the gym at the same time every day that isn't too long of a workout and then you make sure to not move for the rest of the day? That's not really the type of exercise I like or how my life is and I want it to be. I need and love my little walking or biking trips interspersed throughout my day to keep me happy, sane, focused, and to have the time to fit in a lot of exercise because it is part of my commute. And to not have a car, which I don't want (and probably couldn't afford now anyways).
I'm off to attempt a run, hopefully without another low or a high enough to stop me after rebounding from that 55 (and, of course, overtreating it).
For non-insulin-pumpers that need help with vocab: a glossary