Where The Hell Is My Dinner?!

I played basketball tonight, and it was miserable.

I was looking forward to playing basketball tonight. I had been on the road all day, and was tired of the inactivity. I was hungry, so I stopped at a Perkins for a bite to eat.

It was about an hour before basketball, and I was stuck at around 200 mg/dl, but something told me to really back off on my meal insulin. It was weird. Some sort of magical diabetes intuition or something.
I had a little bit of insulin on board, ate at least 60 grams of carbs, and only bolused for 25 grams. Any other time, that’s a winning combo for an evening of 300 mg/dl or higher.

At the gym, after changing into my basketball stuff, I felt a little funny. Checked my Nav, 93 mg/dl and a downward diagonal arrow. Shit. Not a good pre-exercise place to be.

I was still full from dinner. I could feel the food in my stomach. I started talking to it. “please, go ahead and digest already”, “I need you to work your carby ways on my blood sugar now”, and “any other time you’d have digested twice as fast as my insulin works!”


I tried playing a game, hoping that I would buy a little more time. Nope. Just started crashing faster. I downed a leftover third of a bottle of two-month old coke from my gym bag and ate some glucose tabs. Yucktastic. Played another game.

Still feeling low, but not “OMG I’m gonna pass out” low. Just “irritating and messing up my basketball” low. I played a bit more, then drank some Gatorade. I was very frustrated and just wanted this low to be done so I could enjoy my exercise!

After a couple of minutes, my blood sugar (or more accurately my interstial fluid sugar (CGM)) leveled off at 64 mg /dl. I was starting to feel not low anymore, but was not feeling “better” at all! My stomach was so freaking bloated with dinner, glucose tabs, coca-cola, and gatorade that I was downright miserable!

I would have just quit, but we only had eight guys. Eight guys is just enough to play full court ball, 4 on 4. If one person quits or gets hurt (or has a low blood sugar), that’s it for the whole damn group. So I was also feeling the pressure of having to minimize my “diabetes time”.

I didn’t want seven other guys to have to stop playing because my dinner vanished without a trace of digestion.

They are all good guys, and would have completely understood if I needed to quit or take a break. And I would have if I felt I was in danger. But why, even with that understanding, is it so hard to admit we need to stop everything and attend to our diabetes? There is a lot of self-imposed pressure there sometimes.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate, and Senior Community Manager at Blue Circle Health. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent my employer’s position. Read more…

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