A race against Dear Diabetes

Some people race the clock when riding their bikes, but not me – I race the lows.

At least, that’s what I did on Saturday.

Dear Diabetes stopped cooperating in the middle of the night before the ride. At about 3 a.m. I noticed the blood sugars trending up due to a missed low around 1 a.m.. I gave a correction, but by the time 6 a.m. called, they still hadn’t corrected to that optimal pre-ride, wakeup BG (for me, it’s 5-7 mmol/L).

Still, I did my usual Saturday morning strategy – no deviation.

I didn’t correct for the suboptimal blood sugars.

I didn’t eat anything different.

I gave myself my regular bolus reduction and basal reduction at the appropriate times prior to the ride.

I know my body fairly well, and it is way more sensitive to insulin than it is to those highs.

I – full disclosure – guessed as to how it would react. There was no science to my decision making beyond a gut feeling.

And sometimes, that’s okay.

I felt if I corrected for that low, if I deviated from my normal strategy, I’d be battling lows before I even got on the bike or within 10-15 minutes of the ride.

And for me, that’s just a hard no.

I can muscle through highs, but lows interrupting my sporting endeavours, no. That just pisses me off.

My BG was 7.4 by the time I started my ride.

It’s a nice place to be generally speaking before the start of exercise, but I had a feeling they’d be dropping lower.

I ate 3 Swedish Berries and hit the road.

It’s about a 10-minute, uphill ride to meet up with my Saturday cycling friend. I checked my Libre once there and my blood sugars were at 6.2. I guzzled back an applesauce pouch.

BG check
When your cycling partner gets a must-take phone call, perfect time for a BG check and fuel up!

Our ride that day totalled 61 km. It was fairly flat, and in some sections pretty fast.

My go-to low symptom these days is hunger – especially when I’m on the bike. Pretty much I was starving that entire ride!

My blood sugars fluctuated on the way into Steveston between 4.4 and 5.2. I kept stuffing my mouth with Swedish Berries as it’s the easiest for me to eat while moving.

When we stopped in Steveston for a tea, I got a muffin, which I rarely indulge in on rides as I’m often stumped as to how to manipulate my insulin for it with the exercise. But, see above, I was starving.

I turned off my temp. basal for the duration of our stop, and ate about ¾ of the muffin. I did give a bolus, but not a full one. We were stopped for about a half hour, and my blood sugars started to soar. By the time we left they were 10.9 with a straight arrow up.

I didn’t restart a temp. basal.

With about 30 minutes remaining, I checked the sensor again. My blood sugars were now 8.1 with a straight arrow down.

BG check 2

Still, I didn’t want to restart that temporary basal as I’ve found that if I can go full insulin for about 20 minutes prior to the end of a ride, I won’t suffer as badly with acute hyperglycemia post ride.

So, I ate a few more Swedish Berries and hoped like hell my legs could pedal hard and fast enough to get me to that home finish line before the lows came crashing down.

They did 😎

I finished the ride with a respectable 5.2.

Better luck next time Dear Diabetes … or not 😝

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