Monday, October 19, 2009

Reminded Of Life Pre-Diagnosis

Friday night I had a couple of my friends over for the first game of the ALCS. It had been a while since we had a low key night to just watch some sports and chill out; a lot of nights at Darden quickly turn into all out black out booze fests for no particular reason. Knowing that it would be a night of sports, sports and more sports Jeff and I headed to Whole Foods to pick up some craft beers, pizza dough, tortilla chips and guacamole. Our buddy Rob brought over more beer and some wings – so this was going to be a gluttonous night, my blood sugars have been solid recently so I thought what the hell I can bolus for all of that – ummm I think I was a little wrong with that assumption!

At some point I will learn my lesson that either due to the high fat content of guacamole or something else it is just about impossible for me to bolus for one of my favorite condiments (is it a condiment or dip?). Combining guacamole with home made whole wheat pizza, wings, and beer makes for a blood sugar disaster. I first tried to use a dual wave bolus for 70 grams of carbohydrates for the chips, beer and wings, I then added a second dual wave bolus for 50 grams of carbs for the pizza. About an hour after eating the pizza my blood sugar was down in the 80s with a ton of insulin on board so I ate a no-fat pumpkin yogurt (delicious!) After my friends left I was still feeling kind of funky but for some reason was craving diet coke – then the memories started to flood into my mind.

Prior to my diagnosis one of the scariest moments of my life happened during a ski trip to Sugarbush in Vermont. A group of us were at my friend's ski condo, had been drinking pretty much all day and ate a ton of pizza for dinner. As the night wore on I remember feeling like the condo was 300 degrees and was convinced that a diet coke would make me feel better. I got in my car and drove from town to town trying to find a gas station that was open, or a soda machine (stuff closes pretty early in Vermont) but had no luck. As I drove the dark, snowy Vermont roads I felt confused, emotional and lost. I remember feeling like I was having an out of body experience yet could only focus on the idea of finding a diet coke. I returned to the condo thinking regular coke would be a good alternative – God only knows how high my blood sugar was by the end of that night; about 10 days later I went to a party with my friends who were on that ski trip, each of them were shocked at how much weight it looked like I lost over the past 10 days – that's when I started to think I may have a serious problem.

Friday night a lot of those feelings of confusion, heat and mental loss began to overwhelm me again. Although my glucose meter showed a blood sugar of 87, I knew it was only a matter of time before my blood sugar sky rocketed. I became emotional about things I shouldn't be that emotional about, I remember at one point collapsing on my ottoman just trying to get the world to slow down around me. My mind was racing from thought to thought, the walls were closing in and I was scared. I knew this time that it wasn't a diet coke that would make me feel better, but insulin.

Even though my blood sugar was below 90, I decided to give myself 2 units of insulin; I had my emergency supply of sugary food and decided if I tested every 10 minutes that I would be able to correct a low before any serious problems occurred. 10 minutes after I gave myself the bolus my blood sugar was up to 130, 10 minutes after that I was up to 168 – I added .7 units of insulin. I laid in bed at 11:40 pm and decided to read, at midnight I tested again and my blood sugar read 230. At that point I upped my basal rate to 150% and added another 1.5 units of insulin. Finally the world around me began to slow down, finally I was able to collect myself and feel as if my feet were on the ground again. I tested again in 20 minutes and was happy to see a blood sugar of 225. Although nervous because of all the insulin on board I was pretty confident that I had not over corrected; I really believe my blood sugar was headed north of 500 and the quick action I took to correct saved me from a pretty painful night.

I woke on Saturday to a blood sugar of 150 and was happy to see that; although higher than I would have liked it gave me some confidence that the bolus I gave myself the night before was just about right. It also reminded me of the dangers of thinking I can eat anything; all foods can't be exercised out of your system and good choices need to be made. Eating wings, pizza and guacamole is all ok in moderation, but eating all 3 on the same night while drinking 5 or 6 beers probably isn't the best idea for me. Usually I'm pretty good about my choices, and Friday reminded me of the reasons why that is so important.

Thankfully I was able to get my blood sugars under control to have my first cold weather outdoor bike ride of the season on Saturday and an awesome fall run on Sunday. Coach Orton has me in off season mode right now meaning I get to do whatever I feel like for exercise. I hammered away for 26 miles on Saturday in 40 degree weather with my leg warmers and winter vest on; at one point I maintained 32 on a flat for 2 miles with the biggest smile on my face. Sunday I went out for a run on Ridge Road, the leaves have started to change in Charlottesville making the farms look more beautiful than ever; I ran with joy and enthusiasm and finished the 8 mile run in an hour and 7 minutes – it's kind of fun to lay it all out there; in the off season you can take that extra day to recover, it's nice just going out there to have some fun.

1 comment:

TriGirl Kate O said...

I found your blog through Mary Eggers (she and I met up at IM Lake Placid this year). How inspiring to read of your training and management of your disease. My son is a type 1 diabetic (diagnosed 4 years ago), and we are still learning all the ins and outs of what makes his BG scores jump/dive. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing your story and journey.