Thursday, April 14, 2011

If I Could Have One Day Off From Diabetes.......

I would leave the house without checking my blood sugar or eating breakfast just for the liberating feeling that I can race out the door without thinking of ratios, the dawn phenomena, carbs or boluses.Once at work I would go to cafeteria for breakfast and get pancakes with syrup. Real syrup on real pancakes- and I would indulge in a breakfast that I have hidden away from for years due to the high sugar content.  I would attend all my meetings at work with only a notepad and a pen- no diabetes bag or CGM and wouldn’t have to worry about having an unpredictable low during an important meeting or event.
I would maybe have a mid morning coffee since I wouldn’t need to bolus for the what I call the "caffeine effect" and would be able to meet my co-workers in the cafeteria for lunch without stopping off to check my sugar and take my shots. For lunch I would take the plunge and get a sandwich despite not knowing exactly what kind of bread it was and how many carbohydrates that means.  If something came up and I wanted to save the rest of my sandwich for later, it wouldn’t be a big deal, I wouldn’t have any insulin on board waiting for that other half.
After work I would go out for a long run and maybe even a bike ride too without having to eat a snack first and I wouldn’t once worry about how blood sugar was doing. I would instead be able to totally focus on my workout and enjoying my “me/stress-free” time. I wouldn’t stop to check my CGM or blood sugar and would only turn around to head back home because I felt like it. I wouldn’t head home because I only had a half an apple before my run or because I felt my sugar dropping. I would stop my workout on my terms- when I felt as though I had gotten in a full good workout.
I would shower and get dressed happy to be getting ready without worrying about concealing the CGM device I typically wear and hide under shirts and dresses.  I would borrow back one of the small clutches or wristlets I have passed on to my sister since they don’t fit all of my diabetes stuff and go out for dinner and drinks with only a small bag that would not include a meter, strips, needles, granola bars, and glucose tabs. I would order a sugary strawberry daiquiri or cosmo instead of my typical white wine and if it took a while to get a table I would know I wouldn’t need to pop a few glucose tabs to hold me over. At dinner I would order whatever I wanted- again not worrying about carbs, how fat content would affect my insulin dosing, or hidden sugars. I wouldn’t need to hide blood sugar testing under the table or take my shots discreetly and I would maybe even order my very own dessert.
9:30PM would come and go without my nightly long acting insulin dose and I would get ready for bed without checking my blood sugar. I wouldn’t need to make sure my meter and all necessary supplies were on my nightstand within easy reach and I would sleep better than I have slept in years knowing that my blood sugar would be stable despite my exercise that day, food/alcohol intake or hormone fluctuations throughout the night. I wouldn’t be woken up in the middle of the night by feelings of shakiness or sweats associated with a low or by a beeping CGM device.  I would wake up after a restful night sleep and realize my one day off from diabetes was over. No more pancakes, worry-free workouts and clutches for me. I would get out of bed, walk downstairs to find my meter, and I would check my blood sugar.

Monday, April 11, 2011

First Group Bike Ride!

As some of you may know, the part of the triathlon that is scaring me the most is the bike ride. I am sure I should be just as nervous (or maybe even more nervous) about swimming in the Schuykill River or trying to get my legs to even move after a swim and a 25 mile bike ride, but the biking is what worries me the most. Getting comfortable on my new bike has been a sloooooow process but I am happy to say that I survived our first group bike ride this past Sunday.
My practice on the bike before Sunday had progressed from riding around an open parking lot near my house and just practicing getting on and off the bike to being out for close to 45 minutes on West River Drive two Saturdays ago. I was pretty excited about my 45 minute/8 mile personal record but realized I still had a long way to go when I overheard some real bikers say at a bike “101”  last week that 45 minutes is a mere warm up. (I didn’t realize this sport was going to be so time consuming!?! Sheesh!)
Anyway I was very nervous for Sundays bike ride since I knew we would likely be going 20 miles or so and I still get nervous about other bikers, curves in the road, how to pass, and lots of other things related to my bike. I wasn’t sure exactly how long the ride would be but I wanted to make sure I was prepared with all my diabetes stuff just in case. When go out running I typically carry glucose tabs or GU but I rarely bring a meter or my CGM. Since we would be out biking for a while and for a distance I had never gone before, I figured I needed to load up my bike bags with as much as I could.
In my front bag (one I could access with my hands if I had the courage to take one hand off the handle bars while the bike is in motion) I had my CGM, a meter, strips, a lancet, and glucose tabs- all in plastic baggies in case it rained. In my bag in the back I had my stuff to fix a flat (yea…not like I know how to use that yet…), a protein bar, sugary GU candy things, and a small Gatorade. It was a tight fit but I felt more comfortable knowing I had all of this with me.
My blood sugar was high when I woke up Sunday AM from Sean and I going a bit too nuts with the chips and guac at dinner out the night before so I took some correction insulin, but reduced my bolus in half for my toast with PB & banana to account for the ride. The ride began right near my house which was super convenient and I along with all my diabetes stuff, started out the ride near the back of the pack but with some teammates I had rode with before. The ride overall went well. Near mile 9 or so I saw my CGM buzz “LOW- Under 70” so I stopped to check my sugar. Some of the girls went ahead to stop off at the bathroom and I stayed back shifting through my front bike bag for my meter and strips. Although my CGM said I had dropped to 48 my blood sugar was 101- which wasn’t all that bad. I popped a few glucose tabs since I knew we were only about half way through and we went on our way. My sugar stabilized the rest of the ride and I ended the 20 mile bike ride with a BG around 140. We were out for about an hour and half and I felt good. I was tired but not too exhausted and had gone a lot faster and further than I had before. I had gotten practice on some small curves and hills and was getting a little more usto yelling “left” when riding by people on the bike path.
Today my legs are sore but a good sore.  And if it wasn’t for the 80 degree weather I probably would have taken the day off from training since I had pushed myself hard with my work outs Friday and Saturday too- but I just had to get out there and run today since the weather was so beautiful. I know I still have a lot of training and practicing to do, but overall I am feeling a lot better about the biking. When I go out on my bike it is now more because I want to- instead of feeling like I NEED to in order to overcome my fears and begin training. Now if I could only get usto my clip-in bike shoes!!!