Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

I don’t understand you, Diabetes

Sometimes you do everything right, and the numbers just don’t add up. In fact, most of the time with diabetes, that seems to be the case. I can’t (and probably don’t have to) tell you how many times I’ve pulled out an infusion set after realizing that is wasn’t working, only to find something that looked as pristine as the moment I took it out of the package.

And then sometimes everything does work right, and you pull this out at the end of a miraculously stable 3-day rotation, and you wonder how in the hell that happened.

Mysterious, non?

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Marathon Training Weeks 1-2 Wrap-Up

Well, I’m now officially 2 weeks into my 18 week marathon training program…I had planned to write a post after the first week, but I was running low on both sleep and internet access at the time, so that didn’t happen. So far, the actual running part hasn’t been too bad. The 3 weekday runs were only 3 miles each, which I had been doing anyway. The “long runs” on the weekend were 6 and 7 miles respectively, which still aren’t terribly long.

The biggest negative on the 6 mile run was that I had to do it in the freaking desert, as we were visiting family in Arizona. (Oh, and that dry heat thing? Yeah, that’s true…it does make a difference. What they don’t tell you is that there is absolutely no shade, and it’s 85 degrees at 6:30 in the morning. Basically whenever you step outside, it’s like standing in front of a giant hair dryer.)

Saturday’s 7 mile run was done back in the comfort of North Carolina, but when I say “comfort”, I really mean “miserably hot and humid business park after a rainstorm”. So that kinda sucked. The temperature was about the same as my AZ run the week before, but the humidity was just awful. That factor may or may not have led to the most troubling part of the run, which occured at around 6.5 miles.

All of a sudden, I started getting chills and goosebumps, obviously not something you would normally expect in those conditions. Along with the chills, I had this odd mild electric shock sensation whenever I touched my skin. This happened to me once before, right at the finish of my half-marathon last December. The part that confuses me is that I can’t seem to pinpoint what is causing this. Had Saturday been the only occurence, it could have dismissed it as a heat-related thing, but since it was about 35 degrees at the time of the previous incident, that doesn’t really work. Dehydration seems like an obvious choice, but both times I had a good amount of water before and during the runs. My blood sugar was fine after the run on Saturday, around 140-ish. I was low at the end of the race last time this happened, but then again, I had just run 13.1 miles. I just can’t figure it out. I’m going to try calling my doctor today to see if he has any ideas.

Until then, I’m going to enjoy my “rest day”. Happy Monday, everyone!

I ain’t as good as I once was…

Ok, first of all, I apologize for resorting to a Toby Keith song for the post title. I’m better than that. I always try to come up with clever titles, but you can’t knock it out of the park every time, I suppose.

Anyway, on to the real topic. This morning I had my semi-annual appointment with my endocrinologist. As far as appointments go, it was really quite painless. I had barely sat down in the waiting room before the nurse came to call me back. I didn’t even have time to twitter about sitting in the waiting room and enduring the excruciating terror that is the CNN morning show. Since the nurse was so quick (probably helped that I was the first patient of the day), I’ll try not to berate him too much for referring to my “machine”. It’s a meter, okay? I already feel enough like a cyborg, you needn’t imply that I’m hauling around an iron lung.

The visit itself was pretty routine, I was weighed (blah) and blood pressured (yay!) and of course we reviewed the menagerie of medications that I take daily. The endo and I had our usual question and answer session, and then we reviewed my lab results from last week. Again, nothing bad, but my A1c has gone up to 6.8 from being 6.5 on my last 2 visits (and 6.3 before that), which is a little disappointing. I didn’t think I was doing any better than before, but I didn’t really think it was worse either. Looking at the sensor/bg data, it’s pretty clear where the problems are occurring: everything is pretty normal and within range, except the nighttime numbers. It’s not really a basal issue, as my morning numbers are fine if I go to bed with decent sugars. It’s just that dinner time is when I get more adventurous with food, and I guess I just haven’t been as accurate with the pre-meal bolus. I usually test before bed and correct if necessary, but I suppose the carbs are still working at that time, so the numbers often still continue to rise. This has become even more of an issue with the marathon training, as it’s hard to really do your best running in the early morning if your blood sugars are off.

Not to sound too complain-y, I just feel like I’m stuck in a bit of a vicious cycle right now. I’m trying to get in better ridiculous shape (and lose weight), which logically would involve more exercise (and less/better food for the weight part). However, the effect of the increased exercise on my blood sugars usually means more food and less insulin, so I feel like I’m chasing 3 different tails at the moment. Maybe if I can catch one, I’ll at least be able to swat at the other two…we’ll see!

It's a vicious cycle..."I eat because I'm unhappy, and I'm unhappy because I eat."

It's a vicious cycle..."I eat because I'm unhappy, and I'm unhappy because I eat."

Summer of 69 (mg/dl)

Man, is it hot here. The heat index reached a high of 108º today. (Can’t wait to go to Arizona later this week, where it is actually 108º. Yeah, I know, it’s a dry heat, but that BS is a topic for another post.)

With the aforementioned heat in mind, I decided I would get up early and run before work to try to avoid the worst of the heat. I actually really like being up early…the world seems a lot more peaceful before everyone wakes up. So I prepared last night for my normal routine. I set my alarm for 5:30, so that when the alarm first goes off, I check my blood sugar to make sure things are okay, start the temporary basal on my pump, and hit the snooze button a time or two before I actually get up. This gets everything in order so I can start my run around 6 a.m.

Back to this morning: the alarm goes off and I drowsily roll over to grab my meter. Things didn’t get off to a great start when I got the “Error 5” on the first test because I jumped the gun on the blood application (Editor’s Note: I do this A LOT.) On the next test, I get the lovely surprise of a reading of 69 mg/dl. Not a terrible low, but definitely not where you want to be to start out for a run. Normally this wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, I could just have a quick snack and wait a little longer for the carbs to kick in. Today, however, I had an additional variable: I had an appointment at 8:45 for my lab work at the endocrinologist, and their instructions were for no food or drink within 6 hours before the labs. That being the case, I couldn’t eat anything to bring up the low, so I accepted the fact that I would have to run later in the heat, reduced the basal anyway to bring the blood sugar back up, and angrily rolled back into bed.

Fast forward to this afternoon. I’m trying to tie up the loose ends at the end of my work day so I can get out of the office. I decided around 5 p.m. to do a quick test just to make sure I’d be okay to run when I got home. I tested a few hours earlier and had a 130-something, so I figured everything would be fine. A quick shunk and 5 seconds later, and look who’s back? Mr. 69 mg/dl. This number is determined to ruin my day. At least this time I was able to do something about it, I had some apple juice at work and then a quick Powerbar Gel at home before my run. It’s annoying, but I can’t help but laugh a little that my run has been postponed by a 69 twice in one day.

P.S. That’s what she said.

I hate you.

I hate you.

26 point who?

Hey internet, it’s me again. Sorry for the lack of entries lately. Truthfully, other than my random gripes about everyday things that annoy me (see other recent posts), there haven’t been many blog-worthy events in my life lately. And like they always say, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Pretty exciting day here at 25UTG though (we here at 25 Units to Go are trying out new acronyms…what do you think? Oh, and by “we,” I mean “me.”). Today I’m starting my next big athletic adventure – training for a marathon. Specifically, the Thunder Road Marathon in Charlotte on December 12th. I did the half marathon last year, but I’m hoping to go all the way this time around. Silly, right?

A little back story. I’ve never really been much of a runner. For the first 25 years or so of my life, running was something I was either forced to do as part of participation in another sport, or a speedy way to get to (or away from) something. In college I was on the crew team, so the only running I really did was for off-season training or on days that it was too windy to go out on the water. In the summers during college I took up cycling, which I found very enjoyable. In fact, cycling is still my favorite sport, the only problem is that it requires a very substantial time commitment, both in terms of time on the bike and the getting ready/equipment maintenance side of things. So, when I “grew up” and got married, a full-time job, and lost the ability to function on a few hours of sleep, I had to find a suitable way to stay in shape that I could fit into my day on a regular basis. My wife has been a runner most of her life, so I started running with her in the evenings after getting home from work. At first, I hated it, but over the years, I’ve learned to enjoy running, and it’s certainly a lot easier to fit a 3-4 mile run in the evening than a 1.5 hour bike ride to achieve the same level of fitness.

Back to this new goal of mine. I’m not really one of those “bucket list” kind of people, partially because that movie was just awful, but mostly because I’m not really sure of everything that I want out of my life just yet. However, I know I’d like to be able to say that I’ve run a marathon. I know I’m not going to break any speed records, but it will of course be good for my health in general, and I’m always more motivated to work out on a regular basis if I have a specific goal to train for. I’m looking forward to it. I may question my sanity before it’s all over, but for now, it seems like a good idea. Also, it should provide fuel for more blog entries, so it’s a win-win!

Well, I’d love to stay and chat, but I have a date with Hal Higdon and my running shoes. Stay tuned!