The Effect Of My Miscalculation? Major Suckage and a Day Wasted.

The thoughts were nagging at me all morning.  What do I do about my blood sugar?  What adjustments should I make to my insulin?  How should I manage my meal bolus?

I was scheduled to meet up with some members of The Pancremaniacs this afternoon for our last team ride before the Tour de Cure (which is next Saturday).  I’ve done three of these team practice rides so far, and they have been great.  I’m so grateful to Auntly H for getting me back on my bike after so many years.

Exercise for those of us living with diabetes is a tricky monster.  It is so beneficial, but can be damn near impossible to get through without a LOT of trial and error.  With today being only my third time out with the group, I’m still trying to figure out the blood sugar part of things.  I’ve learned that my body, when my blood sugar cooperates, can push it pretty hard (relatively speaking) for around 20 miles.  It wipes me out, in a good way, cranks my metabolism, and supercharges my insulin for a long time.  Today was different.

As I watched my CGM for the first few hours of the day, I was pretty happy with a steady blood sugar in the mid 100’s.  I ate a very low carb lunch (no breakfast – shame on me…).  I was trying to keep from having a bunch of insulin in my system during the ride.  I also started a temporary basal rate, reducing my basal/background insulin, about two hours before we started.

Just before we started riding, my CGM buzzed at me, letting me know my blood sugar was rising.  Makes sense, lower your basal insulin, your blood sugar should go up.  In a perfect world, the exercise I would be doing would drop my blood sugar, and the scales of diabetes justice would balance out and I’d be fine.

A little more than halfway through the ride, I was struggling to keep up, and felt I was working WAY too hard.  We stopped for a BG check (it is SO nice riding with other PWD’s and T3’s), and I discovered that I was in the mid 300’s.  No wonder this ride was kicking my ass.  Muscles don’t work right when you are that high, and I was really sucking wind.  It’s like I couldn’t use the oxygen right with so much sugar clogging things up (I have no idea if that is how it works, but the visual seems to make sense, right?).  I took a partial correction and downed a bunch of water.

The last third of the ride felt like it took forever.  I couldn’t keep up with the group, and I was working so hard.  I hated it.  It felt like I was riding up a hill the whole way.  It sucked, big time.

We reached the end of the ride (FINALLY!), and I was so thankful.  For the rest of the day I felt exhausted and worn down.  It seems like exercising out of range is harder on the body.  That makes sense too I guess  – the fuel and energy systems in my body was all goofed up – of course it would have to take drastic measures just to make it through.

That afternoon of torture, and being wiped out for the rest of the day were all the result of a very small miscalculation (I reduced my temporary basal rate too much) early in the day.  I was totally spent.  The thought of doing anything productive for the rest of the day was just total nonsense.  I didn’t have it in me.

As I rested and recovered the rest of the day, I thought about how such a small thing could influence the way my day went for such a long time afterward.  I also have to watch out for post-exercise LOW blood sugars for most of tomorrow.

Is it any wonder why exercise is so hard for us?  There is so much more than the average obstacles of fighting our inner-lazy and finding time to do it.

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18 thoughts on “The Effect Of My Miscalculation? Major Suckage and a Day Wasted.

  1. I can totally relate, Scott. It does make exercise so scary for us, but we need it just the same. That sure sucked. I hope your future bike rides and blood sugar calcs go better!

  2. Scott – congrats on completing the ride and enduring all those blood sugar bumps. I wish a doctor knew what that felt like.
    It looks to me like the main reason you were going so high is because even though exercise like biking will drop our blood sugar, we still need a good amount of insulin to carry sugar to the cells for more energy while you exercising. That sounds overly complicated, I know, but when your body really wants is insulin and sugar while you’re biking. If we cut back on the insulin, even the insulin that’s on board and the background insulin, our muscles will pump out glycogen as they break down and our liver will pump out glycogen while we workout, and then there isn’t enough insulin to carry it!
    So next time, maybe you could try to keep your insulin doses regular, but make sure to sip some sugar as need through your bike ride. You may not drop as low as you think you would.

  3. Scott I’m proud of you for hanging in there. I gave up on sports. Either lows or highs and a whole lot of trouble in between and afterwards. I believe only real sports maniacs keep up with the nuisance..
    Good luck!

  4. Hi Tricia!
    Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to write. I’ve got your blog in my reader, but I just can’t keep up with everyone anymore. I promise I’ll get over there soon and do some reading and commenting. 🙂
    As far as the biking goes? I’m only about three / four weeks into getting back on my bike for the first time in well over 10 years. The first thing I would say is start slow. No need to jump into anything hardcore.
    The next thing would be to make sure your bike fits you well, and that you are comfortable on it. I was a bit uncomfortable on my bike, which made me not want to ride it. I got a different seat (it’s nice and cushy!) and some taller handlebars, which make being on my bike a pleasure, which makes me WANT to ride more! The guy at the bike store said “you should be sore from going on a bike RIDE, not from being on your bike”. Take your bike into a bike store and talk with them to make sure it fits you right, and see what your options are for making you comfortable on it.
    Then? Just get out and pedal! Go on a short ride. Then another, and another, and another!
    That’s about all I’ve got at this point – maybe I’ll have some more tips and tricks after I spend more time with and around more cyclists. 🙂
    Thanks again – and good luck! You can do it!

  5. Scott,
    I’m still amazed and proud of you for hitting the pavement. Even through the craziness of the ‘d’, you are still moving mountains. Keep riding hard and enjoy!

  6. It’s so frustrating when you work so hard to keep your blood sugar form crashing while you exercise, only to have it soar through the roof!!! Good for you for sticking it out and finishing your ride. Just keep tinkering with those temp basals – I know you will find the right level and soon you’ll be breezing through those miles!! 🙂

  7. The smallest thing can totally throw a wrench in the whole machine! I hate that.
    But dude, I am so proud of you. Keep it up and you know what, you have been good to go the other times so you will get it!

  8. Scott –
    I’m a type 1… 24 years old, D for almost 16 years now. I have not been consistently exercising for the past couple years because I have been crazy with nursing school kicking my butt. Anywho… I decided this summer would be the perfect time to start getting back into bike riding. I was never super into bike riding, but I definitely enjoyed riding for rides in the forest preserves and neighborhoods in previous years. I am wondering if you might have any tips on how to get back into riding (and hopefully do a real charity ride some day in the next couple years) be successful, and more importantly, STAY MOTIVATED. I need to do something to get healthy again (my diabetes is very well controlled, but the rest of my body needs to be in better shape again). Reading your posts about your rides has made me really want to get back into riding to make a positive change for me. How should I start, should I follow a certain weekly or monthly schedule, and how on earth can I make myself stick with it for the long haul?
    Sorry about your blood sugar sabotaged day… that’s a bummer!

  9. Scott,
    Amen, brother! It is so complex to exercise with diabetes. Sometimes I figure it out and it feels easy. But sometimes I guess wrong, plan wrong, and the D ends up kicking my arse. Know that you’re not alone.

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  11. I despise this the most with Diabetes! Trail and error… we are lab rats or something 🙁 Im battling Maddisons swim team chaos right now, I hear ya! Trial and error seems like its here for quite awhile.

  12. I know the BG wasn’t cooperating, but that headwind on the last 1/3 of the ride sure didn’t help any. Since it’s all trial and error, we’re going to have to have lots more trials! (I need them too, you know). The Pancremaniacs will ride all summer – anyone is free to join in…

  13. I’m so sorry Scott. That is major suckage. 🙁 I hope you are feeling better by now.
    I’m rooting for you for next week! I hope it all comes together and the bgs cooperate and you can have a great ride.