A Comment About The Big Blue Test

I enjoy taking part in the Big Blue Test, but I do have one problem with it. We expect to see the numbers drop after the exercise, and we want to think that the exercise caused that drop. There are, however, some people who will have insulin on board or have recently eaten some food, either of which will affect the blood sugar level. Food not accompanied by enough insulin could cause the blood sugar to rise after exercising. In order for the BBT to be as informative as possible, all participants should be urged to take the test when they do not have any insulin on board, and have not eaten any food within the last hour or so.

We'd all have basal insulin on board whether it's "afterarket" (T1, etc.) or "homegrown" (T2, etc.). Part of the challenge of diabetes is to manage BG during exercise in diverse situations and to study what happens. I think that if a participant learns that their BG goes into a nosedive if they have IOB, that's a useful fact and that the data should be put into the pot with the rest of it to celebrate our diversity!

I see your point, Rock. There are different ways of looking at the BBT.

I'm sure we could all email them our data but it would be a hurricane/ tornado/ explosion!!

Then there are those of us who don't exercise per se. So I just put in whatever my blood sugar is at the time.

I thought the point was to "test, get active and test again"? Last year it was sort of funny as I had surgery like the day it started and my usual frenetic activity was reduced to walking the dog and hoping she wouldn't poop as I wasn't sure I could bend over to pick it up.

I'm not an exerciser, AR - not everyone is! So I could choose to not participate altogether, but I choose to participate by just recording my blood sugar. I like the idea of solidarity with other PWD's by all testing simultaneously. I dislike being told "here is the right way to do it". (whatever "it" is!) So I do it my way.

...but you could probably squeeze a 14 minute stroll into your day. Test, walk 7 minutes out, turn around and go home. C'mon, everyone else is doing it *the right way* to get the data cooked up properly!!

I hate Frank Sinatra about as much as I hate exercise, but I'll let him speak for me. "Everyone else is doing it" is not an argument I respond well to. The idea of walking nowhere for 7 minutes then walking back is ludicrous to me.

The Big Blue Test has evolved since I've been on this board and not for the better imho.

LOL at my guess on the Chairman!

It would be ludicrous but it may affect your BG which seems to be what they are looking to investigate through the study. It's sort f a "flash mob" approach and, if you want to do it your way, obviously I'm not going to fly to California to nag you in person but it seems to be a reasonable request to try exercising, try testing and see what happens. Richard points out a potential flaw in the experiment and you are suggesting another one but, to me, it seems to be a moderate and reasonable request to try something "outside the box" since so many medical people, insurance people, legislators, media people, first ladies, etc. are interested in putting us into a box (frail, fragile, weak, pathetic, unable to do anything...) that I like participating in the prescribed manner. I can't see anything sinister in the DHF/ researchers motives in this. Even straight people benefit from getting moving and, if you have greenspace in which to conduct a test flight, you'll benefit from exposure to that.

If you and Mrs. AR fly to California I would much prefer drinking some good local brews and listening to good music of the non-Sinatra type!

When I first participated in the Big Blue Test, I remember exactly where I was because I still lived in Guatemala and was out for lunch with a friend and sitting in one of the beautiful garden settings of restaurants there. I interrupted our chatting at the exact time to test and tried to explain to my non-D friend why it was so exciting to me: that thousands of PWD's all over the world were testing their blood sugar at the exact same moment - that, in other words I wasn't alone with this condition. (I believe I had only recently joined TuD). I don't remember there being anything about exercise in it at that time though that could just be my selective memory. When I got back home I was excited to see one person after another posting their BG. We had numbers all across the board but for all of us it seemed like a wonderful experience.

Since then it's switched from being just a TuD thing to being a website where you go and post data and then some people cross post it on TuD and some don't, and it's become about the exercise. Does exercise lower blood sugar? Sometimes, and sometimes it raises it. It also seems to be another variable to throw in that makes managing D more complex. Which is why I semi-jokingly say I'm better off without it! Is exercise good for our health in general? No doubt it is. For various reasons it's not a habit I've developed in my life. When I lived in the city ironically I walked a lot as my main means of transport, and years ago rode my bike everywhere. Now I drive.I also used to go to the clubs and dance for hours, but that is no longer a part of my life. Exercise for its own sake seems silly to me. Would I be healthier if I exercised? Probably, but at this point in my life I have many other goals and ways I choose to spend my time that are more important to me.

You are athletic, AR, it's obviously a big part of who you are, and that's great. I'm not, and I do other things that I'm sure would bore you to tears.

But bottom line is I liked when testing our BG at 2PM Pacific time on 11/14 with thousands of other PWD's around the world and posting to TuD our large common living room was about COMMUNITY I'm not interested in being a part of a study, or running for exactly 14 minutes and 0 seconds, or posting data to a website, anymore than I'm interested in being a part of social media, reading (or writing) blogs, or responding to boring monthly "discussion topics" rather than ones that come up organically or news flashes from who knows where. I still love TuD but some of the direction it's taken has seemed too big and too conformist for this Diabetic's taste. So I take what I need and leave the rest. I don't see anything sinister in this approach, just a tad one-size-fits-all. YMMV.

As for bucking the image of Diabetics as frail, fragile, weak, pathetic, unable to do anything - there are many forms of strength.

I teach a class on Wednesdays from 2:00 to 3:15. I'll start class on that day a minute late so I can test.

Maybe it would help if we did the Big Blue Test for the reason it is offered and promoted:

"The funds from the Big Blue Test will save the lives of thousands of people with diabetes in need," said Manny Hernandez, president of the Diabetes Hands Foundation. "Through this program, people with diabetes help themselves and help others."

That is how I look at the BBT :)

If you are talking to me, Karen, I do do the Big Blue Test for the reasons listed, and have done so for three or four years, whenever it started. I just do it my way. I've been an active participant in this community for that length of time and will continue to be helpful to others as well as use the community for support. I also see TuD and Diabetes Hands as two different entities, both very valuable, one which I choose to be active in. YMMV.

What you thought I would like Frank Sinatra?? I'm a baby boomer; we're the very first rock and roll generation and defined ourselves by our differences from the prior generation who liked....well, Frank Sinatra. The very first records I owned were Elvis Presley 45's! My musical choices when I left home at 17 were....well, acid rock (before it was called that!).

I was 'talking' to the point of the Big Blue Test and to no one person. I felt the grant and initiatives deserved a mention.

"Maybe it would help if we did the Big Blue Test for the reason it is offered and promoted"

Your post was right under mine Karen, where I stated I do the Big Blue Test in my own way for my own reasons.

I don't control how the post algorithm works but I do know that if I were to be putting my reply to you directly, I would hit the Reply in blue after your post. As now...this reply 'connected' by a dotted arrow and is in direct reply to your last Reply.

I guessed you'd be Frank-averse given that you are in Northern California!

Can't find all the darn "reply" buttons. Not sure I get the connection between California and being Frank-averse. Actually, my adversity to what I considered old people music started long before I was (borderline) old myself, when I was a kid growing up on the right hand coast (New Jersey)

RE the BBT, I'm checking it out while getting ready for the JDRF walk and noting that the test requests either "moderate" and "vigorou" exercise but I wouldn't say that the 26 min/ mile pace (I timed us with my Garmin last year...) would be either of those for me. The test instructions define the terms as "Moderate ("I can talk while I do them, but I can't sing.") Vigorous ("I can only say a few words without stopping to catch my breath."). I'd like to see the test include a "low" category to cover activities that may involve singing or otherwise be more active than non-activity but less active than moderate, as defined here?