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Honeymoon Over (I think)

31/08/2011

I haven’t bounced back to where I was pre-exams with regard to my insulin dosages. Which makes me think that my honeymoon phase for my diabetes is over.

I am having to inject slightly more long-acting insulin and my meals need extra short-acting insulin as well.

This has thrown my old carb counting out and turned meal times into a bit of a guessing game when it comes to dosages of insulin. I have gone hypo a few times from over injecting, which is still one of the worst feelings ever but has at least given me the chance to eat some Ferrero Rocher chocolate  (which has been sitting on my table for 3 months)!

I have just started doing a food diary for my dietitian so she can calculate my correct dosages for meals. This requires me to check my glucose levels constantly, my poor fingers are going to be sore for the next 5 days!

I am going later to get blood taken to check my HbA1c (3 month average for my glucose levels), a little nervous as it’s been harder to control my levels now. Then I will be off to go see the Endo and see what he thinks.

Next week or two will be interesting!

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Simonstown Triathlon

28/06/2011

About 2 weeks ago I did the Simonstown Triathlon. I kind of found out about it the night before so gave the race organiser a phone call and she graciously gave me an entry!

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So I woke up on Sunday at the crack of dawn and had a massive breakfast of muesli and ProNutro. I did this to increase my blood sugar levels before the race. I also mixed an energy drink for the bike leg of the tri.

The weather was absolutely perfect! No wind and calm seas and the day turned into a warm sunny day, very unlike Cape Town winters!

The start of the race saw me have a not so good swim. I had a guy holding onto my back at the beginning of the swim until I turned around and push him off but then got elbowed in the eye and had my goggles fill with water. So I rounded the first buoy and then emptied the goggles. I think I still finished the swim in 8th or 9th. It was around 800m.

The bike section was pretty amazing 30km. It went up Red Hill and then around Cape Point and back to Simonstown. I had two guys fly past me before we hit Red Hill but it was OK as I took them on Red Hill. At the bottom of Red Hill I had a really fast dude past me to I up’ed my speed and drafted him until Cape Point. My legs were burning the whole time and my heart rate was sitting at 180bmp which is pretty good going. At Simonstown I headed back into transition.

The run I really enjoyed! Been spending a lot of time on my running and I got to see some rewards for it. The run was a flat run from Simonstown to Glencairn and back to Simonstown, about 6km. I ran it in 23 minutes and kept my heart rate between 175bpm and 180bpm.

I managed to run myself into 8th which I am happy with.

My sugar levels after the race was around 8mmol which I was happy with. So I headed to prize giving and had lunch there. The thing I watch after exercise like that is that your sugar levels drop. They can even drop hours after exercise as your body is still needing fuel for the body. So I tend to keep a close eye on my sugar levels.

 

My biggest mistake so far…

24/05/2011

On Saturday night I made one of my biggest mistakes since becoming a diabetic.

It was my sister’s birthday dinner and we had a great roast. The food was great and the company was awesome!

My younger sister made a berry and chocolate pie for dessert. The temptation was too great for me and I decided I would just inject extra insulin for the dessert.

So I injected my mealtime insulin and then when dessert came I injected extra.

The mistake is that I completely miscalculated the needed dosage and injected WAY too much! 30 minutes after eating the dessert I went hypo (low blood sugar level), sweating, dizziness and confusion. I drank some orange juice and ate some muesli and yoghurt.

This sorted me out for about another 30 minutes until I went hypo again. So I ate more muesli and yoghurt and this brought me right. But 30 minutes later I started going hypo again. This time I was a bit worried because I was so full from eating and couldn’t eat more to bring my sugar levels up. So I gave my doctor friend a call and asked her for advice. She said I should eat sugar now as I have eaten enough food and don’t go to bed until my sugar levels remain normal.

So I started shovelling sugar down my throat and then waited out the insulin. The short acting insulin last for about 2-3 hours. This worked and by the time the insulin had worn off my glucose level was 7.1.

It is strange after going hypo three times I felt absolutely broken! I was exhausted!

So what have I learnt…

Well I its better just to not have dessert. It is just to hard to guess how much insulin I need to inject. Its sad, I enjoy my desserts but I don’t want to go through that again!

Stress

19/05/2011

Had a few new experiences recently with my diabetes.

I have been writing exams which causes me a little bit of stress but not a lot.

So the weekend before the exams I was under a little bit of stress with the usual things like have I studied enough and so on. I had my usual meals and injected my usual amounts and then two hours later tested my glucose levels. They were high. So I injected more insulin and there was little change. This made me begin to start stressing about my glucose levels now as well which increased my overall stress. I did some quick exercises to drop my glucose levels down to a safe reading.

It seemed that the stress caused my body to become less sensitive to insulin. I wasn’t sick and wasn’t getting sick so it wasn’t that.

I am going to see my Endo soon because although I think it might be stress I also have a few other theories like:

  • My body is just becoming resistant to insulin (which would suck!).
  • My honeymoon phase for my diabetes is coming to an end (Honeymoon phase means my pancreas is still producing a very small amount of insulin but will stop soon).

It could also be a mixture of the stress and the end of the honeymoon phase.

So I have basically increased my long-acting and short-acting insulin and have managed to get it under control again. The stress is over now but I am still not back to normal (old insulin dosage).

I guess I will never stop learning. So in future I prepare well so that there will be less stress.

There will be hard times but I count my blessing, keep on persevering and never surrender!

A helping hand, something I want to give more of!

11/04/2011

Last week I finished up my swim at the gym and was in the steam room relaxing. I was chatting to my friend about diabetes (as one does in a steam room at the gym).

The guy next to me started asking me questions about diabetes. He told me he had been going to the doc for test and was pretty worried and that’s why he was at the gym to get in shape and take control of his life.

So he had a few questions for me. I tried to encourage him and get him to persevere and not give up with exercising and living a healthy lifestyle.

I think I walked away feeling more encouraged than he did. Trying to show people that there is hope and that a long and healthy life is possible. It’s an honour and a privileged, something I want to get more involved in!

Some Sports Science

08/04/2011

Been a bit quiet over the last week.

I have been at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa with Eduardo and his team having tests done. The tests have had nothing to do with diabetes but I have still had to keep a close watch on my glucose levels as the tests were very strenuous! So I have just eaten a sandwich before each test to increase my glucose levels.

The idea behind the tests is that the researchers don’t know what’s happening in the brain during exercise. So this is where I come in. I have had two tests already and will probably have another two in the following weeks. They want to do an MRI of my brain and see what happens as I get more fatigued. Very interesting and apparently a first in the world!

The first test is a normal VO2 max test. They made me cycle on an indoor trainer and slowly increased the resistance until you can go no further. While they are doing this they are checking your oxygen consumption, heart rate, lactate acid and muscle activation. At the end of every test you feel pretty broken, not something you want to do too often!

The second test was similar to the one on the indoor trainer but this time they had me lie down in a fake MRI machine. I kept cycling while they increased the resistance until I couldn’t go any further. While I am in the MRI they strap my head into a helmet so it can’t move. It’s a very confined space in there and warms up a lot, meaning I sweat like a pig!

So I think I will still have a few more of these test as the guys at the Sports Science Institute are still doing a few tweaks here and there before they stick me into a real MRI machine.

Check out a few of the pics.

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Diabetes and being sick

23/03/2011

Yesterday was the first day in 2 weeks that I have been feeling better. Not sure what I had but it went straight to my lungs in the form of a cough and every time I did something strenuous I would feel wiped out, my muscles were also aching. Super strange but I learnt tons in managing my diabetes over these 2 weeks.

Every time I started feeling better I would go out and either swim, bike or run and then afterwards feel completely wiped out. So in the end I decided to take some time off from exercising. It was hard but well needed.

I have found that in these 2 weeks of being sick my body has become less sensitive to insulin. I think it’s because of doing less sport but also because of being sick. So I have increased by long acting insulin a little and also increased my short acting a little. I am not too worried about this because I think that as soon as I pick up the training again my body will become more sensitive to the insulin. I have had to check my glucose levels more often (my poor fingers) because what I would inject for my usual meals was suddenly not enough. So there were a few bedtimes were I was doing squats and push-ups to drop my glucose levels before I hit the sack.

But like I said I am feeling so much better now. So this evening I will go do some swimming (weather is rubbish) and see how I feel afterwards.

I have a race on the 16th April, The Mast Challenge, which is another incentive to get better quickly! I am doing the King of the Mountain section which is to run to the mast on top of Constantiaberg Mountain (11km to the top) and then run down and hop onto my bike and ride to the top. It’s going to be very tough but I am interested to see how my body will respond. Still haven’t figured out my nutrition on the run section, don’t want to go hypo.

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