Thriller in the Chiller: Day 1

‘Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, or an hour, or a day, or even a year. but eventually, it will subside. And something else will take it’s place. If I quit, however, it will last forever.’

First days are always nerve racking. Whether it’s the first day of school, the first day on a new job, or the first day of a 4 times a week 6am intensive boxing boot camp during Winter.

‘No alcohol, no drugs, no smoking’. Those were three rules told to us after we gathered around in the large, cool, sports hall. It helps to already be a non-drug taking, non-smoker, and cutting out alcohol won’t be an issue. I’m committed to Thriller, not going out for drinks. I’m going to go one further and cut out fizzy drinks, too.

‘100% effort 100% of the time’. Again, not an issue. When I would be doing homework or sports at school, my mum would tell me not to worry – that I could only do my best. My expectations of myself sit high above anyone else’s expectations of me. I’m always determined to do my best. I’m not afraid to fail. Failure doesn’t matter as long as you gave it everything you had. You can’t fail if you don’t try. And you can’t try if you quit. Never quit. Push yourself and your limits. You don’t know your limits until you push yourself through them. 

We did a big warm up and were shown the correct form for push-ups, sit ups, squats and burpees – the core exercises of each session. I struggled with the push-ups, as I expected. My arms were trembling and I don’t have the upper body strength to complete them…yet. And then we did a beep test. One person argued that they made it to the line within the beep, when the trainer caught them out. They were expelled from the boot camp.

Overall, there were a lot more females than I expected to see there (I’d say almost 50%), and an all around decent level of fitness. I’m looking forward to Day 2!

Thriller vs. Diabetes
Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 09.27.02

I started off this morning a little higher than I’d have liked, but still within range (6.4). My blood sugar spiked considerably post-boot camp (12.3), and didn’t drop after an hour without insulin (13.1) – This has never happened to me post-exercise! At this stage I injected insulin to get the glucose out of my bloodstream and to my muscles where it’s needed. With the high probability of being sensitive to insulin post-work out I took a moderate 3 units of NovaRapid (1 unit usually brings me down 1mmol/L – so even if I was doubly sensitive, I would still be in the higher end of the safe range). Exactly an hour later I’d dropped to 3.8. Dammit. Still an hour before the insulin I injected peaked! I spent the following hour sat down and popping the occasional jelly bean into my mouth when I felt the shakes. It’s been another hour now and I’ve come up to 4.0, still with the shakes so I’ve had one more jelly bean to stay in the safe zone and got myself a yummy vanilla protein shake before work. 

I refuse to see diabetes as a disadvantage during Thriller training. I see it as me having an extra job of figuring out what my body needs, not only to stay safe but to achieve my peak performance. If anything, having diabetes only fuels my determination to succeed.

EXPERIMENT #4: Pretending I can eat carbs like a normal person

I’ve had beautiful blood glucose levels all week. Just look at my graph, staying pretty steady and within the safe lines.Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 17.35.50

Do you notice anything? Let’s me talk about Tuesday. Tuesday was a good day. We made the 5 hour round trip to Invercargill for my post-surgery follow up appointment. I’d had a delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs and avocado, and the day had been alright. But then we made the long drive home and the decision to go for a curry as soon as we got back. We were so hungry. At the Indian, I made the decision to eat the naan bread with my curry, along with 2 spoons full of rice and some onion and spinach barges. ‘I’ll just cover for it all with insulin’. I said. ‘I’ll test before the 2 hour mark to check I’m not too high or too low’ I said. Well, this happened.

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 17.19.24

My beautiful green dots were ruined. It took me 13.5 units of fast acting insulin, 8 hours, 7 finger pricks, 4 hours of abdominal pain, 3 injections and 2 middle of the night alarms to get me back into the healthy range.

The curry was lovely, by the way. And I don’t regret it. But look at the graph. Look at the insulin. Look at the effect of the carbs on my blood sugar and my stomach. Quite simply, they are not worth it.

Experiment #3: Testing BS 90 minutes after eating

NovoRapidAs diabetics, we are told to test our blood sugar 2 hours postprandial (after meals). This is because of the rate of digestion combined with the activity level of the fast acting insulin we’ve taken to cover the carbohydrates (and protein) in our meal (I take NovaRapid before meals, whose onset is 10-20 minutes, the peak is 1-3 hours and the duration is 3-5 hours).

With NovaRapid, I find that it’s peak is at 2 hours. So it kinda makes sense to test at the 2 hour mark. However, I’ve started something new:

MySugrIf I’m really not sure of my carb count, or insulin amount, I’ll test 90 minutes after eating and injecting. Depending on the number, I can correct either way before I suffer a hyper or hypo at the 2 hour mark. This worked perfectly last night. I had a fillet of Salmon, Shirataki noodles (I had two servings which only amounts to 6g carbs!) and half an orange pepper. Obviously the carb count was low but according to my app, the protein count was high, which is why I still took 1.5 units of insulin. Because I was unsure, I tested 90 minutes later and was at 4.7 mmol/L…and dropping. I went and had a tablespoon of peanut butter, and found that balanced me out perfectly so I prevented a hypo… Yay!  

Experiment #2 & 3: Reducing my basal insulin & trying bulletproof coffee

08:00     5.0 mmol/L (two cups of coffee)

09:00     5.0 units Lantus

Bulletproof CoffeeI reduced my morning basal by 1 unit today – from 6 units of to 5 following yesterdays drop. I had two cups of filtered coffee and then I decided to experiment with ‘Bulletproof Coffee’ as I was neither hungry nor doing anything other than lying in bed, so I thought, why not?

Bulletproof coffee is regular coffee but instead of adding milk or sugar, you add grain fed butter and oil before blending it up to mix it thoroughly and give it some froth – I added a teaspoon of coconut oil and a teaspoon of butter to an average sized mug off coffee before adding it to my bullet blender.

10:30     6.0 mmol/L (bullet proof coffee)

I wasn’t happy with my reading of 6.0 mmol/L and reached for my NovaRapid pen, ready to correct. I stopped myself after squirting a test unit, and put it away. I decided to see if my basal would bring me down without bolusing unnecessarily…

12:00     5.2 mmol/L

…it did. Yay. After this discovery, I decided to make breakfast and bolus for the protein.

12:30     1 unit NovaRapid with breakfast (4 pieces of bacon and 3 medium eggs – approx 15g protein)

Bacon and eggs

Postprandial blood sugar reading was 5.9 mmol/L. Sweet.

Today’s BS range: 4.7-6.4 mmol/L

Experiment #1: Splitting my basal insulin into two shots

This morning I woke up to a beautiful level:

08:30     4.6 mmol/L

4.6 mmol/L I took my Lantus half an hour later, as for the last couple of days I’ve been injecting it in two equal parts twice a day (6 units at 9pm and 6 units at 9am) because of Dr Bernstein’s opinion that ‘there is no 24-hour basal insulin’. This is based on the studies that have shown a 24 hour basal only lasts so long when the injected units are in higher doses, which has the detrimental effects of a diabetic needing to eat more often during the day to prevent a hypoglycaemic episode (I’ve noticed this every morning at work). Yesterday was my first full day on a split dose and I woke up at 5.1 after drinking more than a bottle of wine the night before, and while any other day would have seen my levels continue to drop, mine only dropped to 4.8 two hours later when I ate breakfast. Two hours after 3 eggs, bacon and mushrooms with no fast acting insulting I was 5.6, so I took a unit of NovaRapid to keep me within range. I’ve got my fingers crossed that splitting the dose has helped keep my levels even more tight. The only weird thing that’s happened recently is my need for Lantus has increased from 8 units to 12, which I think is quite a jump?! I also changed from disposable Lantus to a pen with cartridges and have noticed it doesn’t sting like before.

09:00     6 Units Lantus

11:30     3.8 mmol/L

Bacon, eggs, spinach and mushroomsInteresting! I just hit a 3.8 after 3 fasting hours after waking and taking my morning basal. maybe it’s too high now I’ve split it into two doses. I didn’t consume any fast acting glucose to correct because I felt completely fine and figured It must have been a slow fall so I finished making my bacon, eggs, spinach and mushroom and ate it as normal. I’ll see how I am in an hour and throughout the day to see if I need to re-assess my basal insulin. maybe it was just one of those unexplainable diabetes moments.

TODay’s BS range: 4.0-7.7 mMOL/L