Thanks, Jen. Some of this is just in the hands of the heavens, but I’ll do the best I can. I have very limited confidence in my ability to deal with severe symptoms associated with lows because I don’t have much experience with symptoms like this. Maybe this is a diabetes-confidence-thing. I’m hoping that I become more accustomed to symptoms or that they become less intense.
My BG regularly alternates back and forth between 30 and 400 while I’m skiing at this mountain, sometimes multiple times over a couple hours. That stuff happens even without eating. Its a rocky, ungroomed mountain where I have to jump around a lot in order to avoid trees and rocks. Its my favorite. I suspect that it has a lot to do with a combination of adrenaline, aerobic, and anaerobic activity. In general, if I’m skiing very well or really enjoying myself, it goes high - that’s why I suspect adrenaline is involved. BG does not strictly correlate with exercise intensity. I downhill in a highly anaerobic way on this mountain, which we all know produces higher numbers. I think its because I’m half scared to death, I tend to lean backwards in my skis, making the activity more strength based (because I’m continually using the large muscles in my upper legs). But, there are periods of ‘skating’ around on level ground, which is more aerobic. 15 minutes of skating (like on XCountry), last year, in general, might spike me to 400. I suspect that my body pushes adrenaline and maybe releases sugar to account for high intensity exercise.
Lows are much harder for me to predict and just seem to appear randomly on this particular mountain. The only predictable pattern of lows that I have identified is that exactly four hours after leaving the mountain, I will have a very rapid, very severe drop. Even in the best of circumstances, it has almost knocked me out suddenly, so I know to watch the Dex really close, starting at hour 2 after leaving the mountain. That has really helped.
I’ll search for some strategies for dealing with severe lows from our community. I will not drive the 8 hours home from the mountain. I think that’s one of the major sources of risk that can be easily avoided. If I go off the road, there may not be another car for 12 hours. I will avoid going inside nearby buildings- that should decrease risk of seizure from flashing lights that I believe have prompted seizures (in me and others) in the past. I will wear the Dex. I will prepare by skiing small hills and X-country to see how my body attunes to both aerobic and anaerobic patterns. I will confide with trusted patroller friends that I a little nervous and tell them that THEY are in charge if anything bad happens. I’ll carabiner clip myself into the chairlift so I don’t fall off if I pass out. I may not ski at altitude. I will not ski in the middle of nowhere. I WILL NOT LET THE BOYS PEER PRESSURE ME INTO CLIMBING UP ANY MOUNTAINS in order to ski down in the moonlight. I will only climb quickly uphill for a sustained distance if someone is (badly) hurt. Maybe I will get a hat that says “type 1 diabetes.” I will bring a cyanide pill incase I am captured by enemy ski patrol. That should help reduce risk.