Quick post about technology. We all use technology and we all need technology. Diabetics rely on technology to live. We have blood sugar meters and insulin pumps which most of us could not imagine being without for even a few hours. I am thankful for all the technology that lets me live the life I want to live and 99.9% of the time my technology works perfectly but at times it doesn’t and you are left to use your knowledge and best judgement.
Today was one of those days. I ate a bit before my run and drove to the Y. I looked at my sensor and saw that my sugars were not rising so I ate a half of a granola bar. Once I got to the track, my sensor alarm went off alerting me to a high blood sugar. Not a bad thing since I was planning to run for an hour. I checked my blood sugar and was shocked to see a reading of 295 while my sensor said 195. This is a bit higher than I wanted to be for my run plus I now had to account for the granola bar that I mistakenly thought I needed to eat. Now my sensor and meter were not agreeing which meant that I needed to recalibrate my sensor in 20 minutes. This run was clearly not going as planned.
I took a correction dose of insulin and began my run. For the most part it was going fine until my sensor asked for a new blood sugar. I checked my blood sugar while running, a feat I mastered a few years back. 169 and 3.4 units of insulin still flowing through my body. This my friends does not make for a good recipe when running.
I stopped running and grabbed my glucose tablets. Ate two. Headed down to the cafe and grabbed an apple juice. Spent ten minutes scrolling through my phone and sharing my frustrations with other type 1’s on Instagram. They all felt my anger and annoyance. I hate the feeling of an unfinished workout. Ten minutes later I checked my sugars and somehow I was at 250. I’m so confused.
Decision time. Finish my run or be done? My decision, finish my run. I put my headphones back on, turned up the music and ran 20 extremely determined and focused minutes all while thinking that with each step I was squashing diabetes like the annoying little bug that it is.
Finished my run and did some lifting and ended the whole charade at 160 and still was not totally clear on what had all happened.
The problem became quite a bit clearer after I took my dog for a walk later that day and my meter and sensor were off by 100 points again. I just received a new sensor transmitter the day before and was planning to start using it the next time I changed my sensor. It became abundantly clear that this change needed to happen today. So I changed my sensor and I have high hopes that this may have solved the problem.
Sweet technology, I love you I really do, but there is no guarantee that technology will always work perfectly. This is why our knowledge and gut instincts are still so very important and why we need to be aware and prepared for whatever odd ball gets lobbed at us. As diabetics we know our bodies better than most and we know our typical reactions. I knew that I was safe to keep running. If my sugars hadn’t started to trend up I knew I was done working out because no workout is more important than my safety.
There are times when we need to trust our instincts and fall back on all the things we have learned over the many days, weeks, months and years of living with this disease. This is not something that comes in a box on the first day you are diagnosed but it grows over time and we are constantly learning and experimenting.
Trust yourself, be vigilant, and be alert when things seem off. These wonderful devices we have been given are only as good as the data they are fed and the knowledge of the person using them.