So I am very new to all the D stuff, but just when I think I am getting a handle on it, I am thrown a curve that reminds me of just how out of control this disease can be. Don’t get me wrong, after spending a lot of time on here the last month or so, I think I am pretty lucky to be able to manage my blood sugar with some pretty standard schedules in both food and exercise.
For starters, I exercise twice daily and schedule my regimen around my meals. This works well with breakfast and dinner and I am able many time to have lower BS 1 hour postprandial that my pre-prandial numbers. That along with a low carb diet, I am usually <80 at 1 hour and then I’ll see a slightly higher rise in the second hour but well below 120. By hour 3 my BS is back in the 85-90 range. Lunch is little tougher as I don’t have time to eat and exercise so I just make sure I stay low carb and let my BS go where it may, but usually its <135 at 1 hr, 100 at 2 hr then back to normal. All in all pretty good, although Tuna fish is long in the tooth so to speak.
Exercise is pretty straight forward for me and thank god I have always been a pretty active person, with the exception of the last few years, but that’s another story. In the morning, I do 3-4 miles on a treadmill in about 45 minutes. Then in the evening I either swim (hopefully) or run out at couple more miles if the pool isn’t an option. As long as I don’t mess with too much, this system works pretty well and my numbers are stable day after day.
Now, I have noticed that when swimming, I have a tendency to go a little lower than when I run. For the most part it doesn’t worry me too much, but on a couple occasions I have checked my BS half way through my swim and have hit in the low 50’s and on one swim, I hit 45. I have also found that even with my BS in the 70’s during my swim, I run low on energy so I began tweaking my evening meal to include a few more carbs on days I go to the pool. Now this has two great benefits for me personally. First of all, I love swimming and I find it much more enjoyable than running. Since I get to carb up a bit, I also get to enjoy quite a bit more carb than run days (<25 on run days, 60-70 on swim days). For the most part I usually just eat my normal meal with the 25 carbs, then pound down a protein shake and fiber bar before I jump in the pool. But every now and then I treat myself to a sandwich, with 2 pieces of bread! And here is where I got trapped.
So last night I decided it was a sandwich night. FYI, I am a total foodie and a bread freak, which make this disease completely ironic for me. It also makes sandwich night quite the treat these days. So I go to the local sandwich shop as I was out and about and wanted to save little time on the way to my pool. I do this place quite a bit and I know the sandwich to get that keeps me in good range and lets me get the full 1 hour swim I crave. While standing in line, I get a bug up a** to try something new. So I am going through the nutritional information for the menu and find a Asian chicken sandwich that has the same amount of carbs as my regular meal. Perfect, sounds great and little change is good. Right? So I order my sandwich, gobble it down with delight and head across the street to the pool.
Its 6:00 by the time I hit the water and I figure that is perfect. I need to pick my wife up just after 7 so I can swim an hour, shower off and head straight to pick her up. Stick my finger just before I hit the water, and as expected, 99 and on the rise. Now based on prior experience, this is right where I should be and if I check again in 20 minutes, I should be around 80. As long as I crank out the laps, BS will stay below 80 until I quit swimming which will be around 1:15 postprandial, numbers will rise for another 30 minutes staying below 120 and by hour 3 I should be back in the sweet spot. At least that s what is supposed to happen, but tonight will be different.
Its now 6:45, I’ve gotten in 15 laps and some playing around and decide I better check myself. Since I have 15 minutes left if I need to do some sprints due to my meal change, I’ll have the time to get it in before I go. I get out of the pool, stick my finger and wait the magical 5 secondss and… 118!! Now I know that is really good, but never have I worked so hard and been in that range. Since I knew my BS would continue to rise, and I was concerned since this was different than the norm, I wasn’t sure how much it would rise, I figured more sprints were in order. Ok, no problem. Sprint.. sprint… lap…lap etc. Stick finger, wait 5 seconds…118..again!! ugh!
So now I’m afraid to stop swimming. But I took 5 minutes to think about what was going on.. and then I remember. The sandwich shop I go to does not list sauces in the nutritional info. Since I normally get a turkey sandwich, the carb count is correct. But in this case, the Asian sauce must be messing with me. Ok, last time I go off plan (ya right), but we can work through this. The wife hasn’t paged me yet so I’ll just swim another 45 minutes, which will put me well after 2 hours postprandial, and that will at least keep at this stupid 118 and then I should be on the downhill slide. If she calls, I’ll just explain I had water in my ears and couldn’t hear my phone. And then I’ll admit my mistake and move on.
Back in the water, swim swim swim. More laps, a few sprints. 20 laps later, I am exhausted. I can’t swim any more. I feel a little shaky so figure I must be a little low which in this case, since it’s just a little low, I’ll be thankful I worked through it and move on. I get out of the pool, stick my finger (this time my virgin pinky just for good measure)…118!!! F’in carbs!!!!! I wasn’t low, just exhausted!! (confirmed the 118 on a second meter I keep in my swim bag). By now I can’t swim any more laps, I’m late to get the wife, I’m exhausted and I figure its early enough if the BS goes too high I can just do some running when I get home an have rested a little bit. By now I have been swimming 2.5 hours and I have done all the damage I can, I’m outa here.
When I get my wife, I explain my mistake, check my BS for good measure and as expected, the BS is on the rise. 159 and still heading north. Of course I reason with myself, just to make myself feel better, that while I am 160 and going up, I was only 118 1 hr and 2 hr postprandial and that’s the important numbers right ;-). Forget the fact at hour 3 I’m seeing numbers I haven’t seen since I got my BS back into a good range.
As much as I hate these numbers, and am disappointed in my mistake, I keep it in perspective. In 3 months since dx, I have lost 40 pounds, have a daily average BS of 98 testing fasting, pre-prandial, 1 and 2 hr postprandial and night time BS every day, every meal. I’ve come a long way in a short amount of time, yet every now and then I am reminded that I have limited control (if control is the even the right word) over my D. On good days I swim faster than my blood sugar. On bad days, it catches up with me just to remind me it’s still there. Like the constant counting of carbs, of calories, or mile run and laps swam, doesn’t remind me constantly of this disease.
On the other hand, every now and then my body kicks back in and give me a small victory. After heading home and resting for about 30 minutes, I decided I better get to my run. So I can get my BS back to normal before I head to bed. Another stick of the finger…98..whew!! no run tonight!