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Chasing a Low While Being Chased!
Do you remember the first car that you owned? Was it a new or previously owned automobile? How excited were you about having the independence of those 4 wheels? It may not have mattered what your “ride” looked like. It is just plain exciting having that car of your very own. To share with you, the very first car that I owned was a used car that was in excellent condition. It was a bright yellow Pontiac Firebird. It is so ironic that a gal like me would end up with a power car of sorts since even as a young driver, I drove like a “granny.” And guess what, I am not kidding when I tell you that I literally only went over the speed limit 2 times when I owned that car. The speed over the limit was just 10kms both times & would you believe that both of those times, I got pulled over by a policeman & given speeding tickets. That car was like a neon sign for tickets that way but I thought that car was the bee’s knees! Navigating some of the back roads for my counseling job in that car during winter months in the Grey & Bruce counties was challenging at times. I still remember trying to get up a big hill that was covered in ice one day & having to take about a dozen runs at it. Being young & a bit naïve, it really did not faze me that being out in some of those road conditions literally dragging snow under a low car is not exactly the wisest decision. It was a fun car & brings back great memories.
What’s all this talk about cars got to do with either diabetes or 365 challenges, Saundie? Some cars can go from a low speed to a very high speed in very short time. Guess what? The same is true of our blood sugars when we are managing our diabetes with insulin. Do you love those days when the snow is all gone & it is gorgeous outside? Me too! If we take off our snow tires & put on regular tires for the non-winter seasons, then we may equate this to how we also may at times look at our insulin sensitivities. My insulin sensitivities are definitely linked to the non-winter seasons. You may find that this is true for you too. During the non-winter months, my walk duration increases exponentially. For instance, it would be fair to say that I go from the average winter walk of 1km to 5-7 kms a day during the other seasons. My speed of walking increases a great deal too. In the spring when I think of the introduction of each subsequent season, I get pretty gung ho about getting into that fast walking & increased duration of walks. It is a little like coming out of a mini-hibernation. I find that I cannot contain myself. The trouble comes though when trying to figure out what kind of cut back in insulin I will need to consider prior to the walk & the duration of turning my pump either back or right off. It is a little like a moving target initially each spring. My vehicle (body) is operating a little different each spring with each passing year so what worked last year is not the exact formula this year. This week I have found that I have hit low blood sugars on walks 3 days in a row even with tweaks & adjustments down in insulin. I will get to the “magical number” to match the exercise yet I have to remind myself to be patient. Do you have that similar experience?
This afternoon, as always, I packed what seemed like a small diabetic type first aid kit for the walk…you know…water, fast acting sugar, slow acting sugar, cell phone, glucose tester & all that kind of stuff. I sure needed my fast acting sugar today. Just before I left to go on the walk, my glucose number was 13.7 which is not great. Being an optimist however, I did see the positive side to that number & that was that I anticipated that although the walk would certainly bring that number down significantly that it would surely not go into low blood sugar reading levels since it was so high already. Just like some vehicles that go from low speed to high speed at a fast rate, for some reason, my body did something parallel in the diabetic world to that analogy. In under 60 minutes, my blood sugar number went from 13.7 to 4.2 & I could feel it going down, down, down, down. Yikes, I felt like the temperature out was that of Arizona dessert conditions & strangely, I could see something like black dots. That is a strange thing that happens to me rarely when my blood sugar goes down from a very high number to a low rapidly. Okay, you know that I have a sense of humour so we are going to get to it very soon.
At 4.2, I thought that I would chase the low blood sugar away by “hoovering in” my fast acting sugars at the speed of sound. I am sure that I looked like a person who had not eaten in a long time that was eating like a maniac. The ironic thing is that I am amongst the slowest eaters I am told. I think my cousin Lindy actually holds the world’s title on slowest eater so I am especially excited when I dine with her! Too funny. The trouble is that I realize while I am shoveling in the fast acting sugars that I had chatted too long too many times on the walk & now was in a super big rush to get to the school on time to pick up our sons. At that point, I picked up an already quick pace to a super speedy pace. In the meantime a lady came up behind me on her bike with a trailer attached to it. I did not think anything of it until a couple of minutes later I noticed that the riders in the bike trailer were 2 small black dogs on flexi leashes. The wee dogs climbed out of the trailer & began running like trained olympic racers! The lady got back onto her bike & the little dogs were at the end of their flexi leashes just inches away from my dog & I chasing us. The irony was not lost on me. This went on for at least a km. I just kept taking in more fast acting carbs. I don’t know if you can take a fast car down to a slow speed in a short period of time yet there is a parallel world to that when it comes to blood sugars. Fortunately, I managed to get my blood sugars back up & they looked pretty awesome for about an hour. Unfortunately, after that for the next 3 hours, I was riding the high end of the roller coaster at 17.5! So I chased the blood sugars in the other direction for those hours however I laughed to think that at least there were no little dogs chasing me while I worked away on correcting the high blood sugars.
Just like you, I am determined to figure out what the formula for exercise is going to be for me. It is something worth getting right & I will get there. This week, I get to learn from the roller coaster blood sugar graph in front of me. Thank goodness for those graphs & the determination to get it figured out. It is so worth it though to get out, have a beautiful walk, a chat with community members & get the fresh air & natural vitamin D…even chasing & being chased.
My heart’s hope for you is that you find the formula that works for you as you enjoy all the activities of the season that you love best. And may any bike trailers not be contained with small dogs on flexi leashes chasing you. Lol!
Smiles, Saundie :)
Have a wonderful weekend & Monday's sharing is, "From Complicated to Simple." :)