Monday, April 8, 2013

Insulin needed

A beautiful Sunday the weather said. The temperature was finally going to be in the double digits! (well in the  50's F) Ryan and I went out for an intended casual ride. One of the beauties (downfalls?) to living where we do is that in order to get anywhere to ride, an escarpment needs to be climbed. We rode the long gradual hill out of town and into the country roads. We rode it with an insane headwind. A quick break at the top for a snacky-poo and a BG check.

Before I left the house I had slightly elevated blood sugars but ate only eggs for breakfast. Nothing I was overly surprised at. I would have normally taken a bit of insulin for that but because of the impending ride I chose to forgo an injection. Right before we left I hoovered a home made gluten free chocolate chip cookie faster than you can say Cookie Monster. So at the top of the hill my BG was sitting in the 10's (180's). I was hungry but decided to wait for my BG to come down a bit more before eating. Surely it would come down. 15km's later of rollers and headwind so hard it nearly stopped us from moving forward I definitely wanted to eat and had earned it dammit. BG still in the 10's and no insulin on me.

I left the house without my insulin pen because I simply forgot. I'm not used to riding on injections much less outdoors. My pump was always with me regardless so there was no remembering involved. My BG usually always drops while riding which allows me the ability to eat without taking any insulin. Not this time. I stayed stubbornly in the 10's. We stopped at one point and I was abso-fucking-lutely famished. I had with me in my jersey a PB and honey sammich on GF bread, a Clif bar, a GU and a package of blocks. I couldn't have any of it. I couldn't risk the high BG while out riding. I feel the icky affects of high blood sugar at 14 or 15mmol/l (250-270mg/dl). I was only 5'ish mmol away from feeling like a pile of ass.

Here's the conundrum, you'd think that since exercise lowers blood sugar that I could eat whatever I felt like and the riding would be my natural insulin. I am still a human and an athlete just like any other non-diabetic and that means I still need fuel for exercise. I need energy. But I had no insulin (very VERY sad face) which meant I couldn't eat without dire consequences.

Even half the Clif bar or a couple bites of the PB sammich would have sent my blood sugar soaring. What are my options? Sickly high BG's and unable to ride or hungry and empty gas tank unable to ride? They are both evils and I chose to just be hungry and empty (and slow).

Disgruntled stomach and an empty tank

We stopped at the cafe for a soup bowl sized coffee before heading home. I tested my blood and was chanting, "please be low, please be low". It was up to 11.4mmol/l (205mg/dl) I drank my coffee but it made my stomach even more unhappy.

By the time we got home I was nothing short of a wreck. It was a casual and easy 50km ride (with some wind that felt like walls) but on an empty tank that sucks nanny goats. I felt like absolute shit. The rest of my day was pretty much a write off to boot as ye olde body attempted to recover from the deluge of shit I put it through. My digestive system sucks to begin with so to throw this into the mix was fucking crap.

I thought about popping into a drug store and buying a vial of insulin and a handful of syringes on the ride. Between Ryan and I we only had $25 on us. Not enough (more sad face). I began looking at things and thinking, are there any carbs in that? Maybe I'll gnaw on some sticks or suck on some of that old dead brown grass from last fall. I was already riding and my BG wasn't showing any signs of levelling off so exercise clearly wasn't going to help.

I swear I'll never take that trusty insulin for granted ever again and I'll never forget it on a ride.

I'm glad I managed this awesome photo of Ryan riding Frankenbike.


  1. I hated seeing you like that and knowing there was nothing I could do to help. That's always the toughest part for me, feeling helpless.

  2. Man, that sounds so sucky. I'm sorry. When you're hungry enough to wonder if tree bark has carbs, that's a bad sign.

  3. Wow, I don't know how you do that, with the headwinds and no fuel to back you up. Glad you made it through.

  4. Glad that you made it home safe. That totally sucks and of course diabetes being what it is would not cooperate and have your BS's go down with exercise as it normally would. You are one tough chick to have made it through. Here's to the next ride being better!

  5. Yep - HATE being hungry and too high to eat :( GOod for you though for sticking it out.


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