Life Is in the Details

Whenever I’ve gone out into the internet in search of helpful hints and suggestions regarding insulin, diet and nutrition, and exercise, I end up finding lots of inspirational and compelling stories about individuals and families out there who are conquering their diabetes but very little information concerning the details. So, that’s what I’d like to do with this site. I want to provide all the details of my own struggle with type 1 diabetes so others can see what works and what doesn’t. What works and what doesn’t is subjective and depends on the goals of the individual. However, I can’t help but think that normal (and stable) blood sugar levels and loads of energy are not important to lots of diabetics.

Here are some details about my day-to-day insulin dosing. I take 18-20 units of Lantus (a basal, slow-acting insulin) split into two shots a day — one around 5 a.m. and the other around 5 p.m. Yes, I suppose I’m an early riser, and I’m not on a pump. I’ll talk more about pumps in a future post. In addition to Lantus, I take between 0-4 units of Novolog (a rapid-acting insulin) at each meal depending on the number of calories and amount of fat, protein, and carbohydrates contained in the meal and the expected level of activity following the meal.

So, let me provide an example of some of the details I’d like to offer in this site. I’d like to give an example where I was successful in achieving the goals above and one where I wasn’t so successful.

Earlier this week, I had a doctor’s appointment about three miles away. Since it was a beautiful morning, I decided I would walk. For breakfast, I ate an egg scrambled containing half a red onion, three mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper, and half an avocado. I didn’t take any Novolog and walked out the door. My blood sugar was 87 when I woke up and 124 when I got to the doctor’s office. I was at the doctor’s office for about two hours. I checked my blood sugar again before I left and was pleased to find it holding steady at 115. I walked the three miles home in time for lunch and found my blood sugar was 100. I considered this outing a success because in the five hours between breakfast and lunch, my blood sugar was stable, and I had enough energy to walk the six miles to and from my doctor’s appointment. I was proud of the outing, but there are many outings that proved not so successful.

Last week, I decided to go to the gym after breakfast. This time, I ate some sausage and cantaloupe. The cantaloupe required some insulin, so I took two units of Novolog. I didn’t account for the half mile walk and subsequent workout following this meal, so I ended up crashing at the gym. I know better than to take fast-acting insulin before physical activity, but I will hopefully learn from this.

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