Thursday, October 8, 2015

With the good comes the bad

Whenever I'm out cycling my motto is always, "What goes down must come up". It's because I'm not very good at climbing hills. I look at routes based on how much damn climbing I have to do instead of focusing on the awesome fun descents. It's just the way my brain is wired.

The GOOD run! Nice splits, decent paces.

A few days ago I headed out on the trails for a run. I went to a spot nearby and did a route that I always love doing. I was alone and without music or even my phone. Just me, some water, a couple GU's shoved in my sportsbra and my glucose meter. I started the run with a BG of about 10 (or 11, I can't remember). I had no insulin in my system and hadn't eaten anything in awhile. Half way through I tested and was 5.7. A lovely number, yes, but not when I have another 5km to go. I downed a GU. Once I got home and chilled out for a bit I tested again and was 6.0. I'd say that's a perfectly executed run - diabetes wise. I was pretty happy with that. No tankage later in the evening and a smooth night also. Happy.

The next day I went for a run with Ryan. Different trail but virtually same time, same conditions. No insulin on board and hadn't eaten for awhile. Tested with an 11.1 before we left. Did nothing because 10km trail run was supposed to take care of that.

SUPPOSED TO. Because it did the previous day.

The BAD run. You can see at 4 km where we slowed down. On the map it's where we started backtracking the shortest route out instead of staying in the trails as planned.

I was struggling a bit because of the 9.3km rather hard run I did the day before. I don't run often and I'm certainly not up to par with day after day. My legs were aching. I couldn't catch my breath and was slowing to a walk up even the smallest hills. Something ain't right. About 4'ish km in I tested. 15.6. All the squirrels in all the forests must have heard me scream "FAAAACK".

"Are you going to take some insulin?" Ryan says.
"I can't, it's at the car." I say.

Not too long before the struggle became more real than I had intended. Look how happy Ryan is! I wish we could stay in that lovely moment.

We both know immediately that our run is over. We're the farthest from the car now. My brain starts spinning. What the fucking fuck fuck? No insulin in my system. No food before the run. Hydrated regular. It was a regular day, nothing out of the ordinary. I wasn't stressed or tired or anything. My stomach is in pain. My body is in pain. I'm nauseous. I try jogging it out for a bit in hopes that movement will have an effect. I test again. 15.9.
"It's over." I say, "I can't run any more, I'm just shuffling as it is."

Ryan offers to run to the car at breakneck speed to get my insulin and come back. I said no. Whether I inject now or 10 minutes from now I'm still looking at 1.5-2hours before I'll start coming down.
I choked back a few tears. Why didn't I have my insulin on me? Because yesterdays run was so beautiful and set up just the same. Of the amount of times I need insulin during exercise is pretty slim. Again, not like it would have mattered. I was in it deep now.

I know for some people that might not seem that high. YDMV (Your diabetes may vary). For me, this is my red zone. Anywhere above 14 or 15. If I see a double digit starting with a 2? I'm probably dead.

I slump into the car and test again. SEVENTEEN POINT FUCKING ONE. Well fuck!!!!! I jab my quad with 3u of insulin and fall into a puddle of tears.

"have you ever seen me cry because of diabetes?" I asked Ryan.
"No, I don't think so." He replies.

I hurt. Every muscle in my body feels like a knot. My stomach is so tight and nauseous. I'm frustrated because I don't know if this could have been avoided and I've totally ruined what was supposed to be a beautiful fall trail run with Ryan. He comforts me. I know he wishes he could help. Sometimes I wish he could help too.

The worst part? I know I'm going to be in this world of hurt for a couple hours. We got home and I curled up into a ball on the couch. The tunnel always seems so long and dark when I'm feeling like shit.

2 hours later I finally saw a number starting with a 10. We were getting ready to go out. Less than 30 minutes later and still no food in my system I started feeling sick again. BG blasted up to 16.4.

NOW I'm ready to throw myself off a bridge. What the fucking FUCK is going on?!

On our way out. Hours of high blood sugar and a breakdown into tears. Frustration. Coping not going so well.

Some coffee, more insulin and a couple hours I am finally back in normal land where I remained. I have no explanation for what happened. Both my insulins were fresh out of the fridge within a week and both were working fine before and continue to work fine after so it wasn't that.

I had two runs in two days. One was so awesome and amazing and the other was utter hell. Guess which one sticks out in my mind? Yeah. cynically pessimistic me.


  1. The face in that last photo says it all. Sorry you had to go through this.

  2. Ugh, that sucks. High blood sugar is the worst. I mean hypos aren't any fun either, but at least they're easy to treat quickly. I always feel super moody--some say cranky and despondent--when I have wicked high BGs.

    Here's hoping runs #3, #4, #5, and all the rest are more like run #1.

  3. As crappy as your story may sound, you have time to get outside and enjoy nature with the person you love. No emails or text messages from constant sounds of trucks rumbling down the kids proclaiming their need to use the overdosing on the highly-acidic, highly-diuretic cheap office coffee. Just the two of you, outdoors, with the crisp, fall smell of the outdoors and the crackle of fallen leaves beneath your feet.

    As crappy as your story sounds, it does make me feel a little bit jealous. Believe it or not.


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