What just happened?

So I test and I’m 200, but I’d eaten only about a half-hour before and am about to work out, and I had some active insulin on board.

I go to the gym, work out for about 20-30 minutes then start to feel low. I reach for my meter, but oh wait, I left it on the table. Since there was no one to call, I drink some gatorade, wait 20 minutes until I feel better, then head home.

I test, I’m 458. Clearly I wasn’t low. I give myself insulin, and test 45 minutes later. I’m 503. Figure I have a bad site, change it, and give the full recommended dose. Test right after it finishes giving it (10 minutes after my 503 reading) and I’m 245. Test again, 239.

So now I am eating 8.8 units worth of food and testing every 15 minutes.

Can sugars jump like that? I’ve never experienced that much of a jump before. Is my meter bad?

Hi Carly! Sorry to hear about this experience!! How nerve-racking…

Exercise can make your blood sugars go up fast if you don’t have enough insulin in your system (and this can be dangerous…), but the fact that your numbers jumped around a lot makes me think of another problem that Manny posted about recently in this discussion. Do you think that there is any chance there there was something (like sugar, milk, etc) on your skin when you tested??

Hope that your numbers are back to normal!!

The comments above are extremely valid – stuff on your hands and exercise both can have unexpected results. When I used to play ice hockey, I’d notice that my blood sugar would drop faster AFTER the game than DURING it. That fast drop (assuming the tested sugars are accurate), could be due to that.

Also, I wonder if some insulin might have pooled and “clogged” under the skin in your old infusion site, and when you removed the old site, you agitated it enough so that it can move through the body and get absorbed. Effectively, this means that the bolus at 458 and the bolus at 503 both got absorbed by the body at the same time.

This can be really frustrating. Just work on getting yourself back to normal (and keep detailed records, at least during this incident), then you can go back and try to figure out “why” later. Feel better!

EDIT: Oh – and to answer your “is my meter bad”, which one do you use? I’ve found the BD meters to be wildly inaccurate. I’ve had bad meters, bad vials, you name it.

Thanks for these tip! I wash my hands after I exercise, so I’m pretty sure there wasn’t anything on my hands when I tested the first time. Does anyone know if alcohol swabs work well? Interesting theory about the pooled infusion site, I’ll have to pay attention for that!