9.13.16

The Reason I’m Sticking With Shots… For A Couple More Weeks

How To Exercise on Levemir or Lantus

Never fails. The thought enters, I love my pump, never had better control, and so thankful for it. Then, subtly the morning sugars are a little off.  Then, I find myself chasing blood sugars. Then, I start doubting the pump and begin thinking about insulin resistance in pump site locations. Then, I switch back to the ol’ long-term/short-term game. Every couple of years this sneaky process plays its way out.

Well, the initial thought mentioned at the start of the post happened about 2 months ago. I was experiencing a radical morning shift in schedule, getting up when the moon still had 3 hours of dominance left. The dawn phenomenon was, a phenomenon of which I could not deal. In the fridge hibernating were pens of Levemir. So the venture back to the injecting-through-the-dress-shirt-and-pants side began. And the dawn phenomenon resolved. I started waking up in the 80s.

Usually, this fun little flashback to the 9 year old days of diabetes management concludes after a couple of weeks. This go-round, it has lasting power. Mainly because the morning blood sugars have provided a burst of momentum in control. Secondly, is the reason why I write this post:

Lows Are Rare When Exercising

When on the pump, I exercise with only short-acting insulin on-board. Much care is taken to limiting the amount of insulin in the system prior to a bike ride or run. This comes from experience. Lows can derail a gnar-shredding session on the slopes or a bomber descent on the trail. Oftentimes, even with limited insulin on-board and an entry blood sugar of 160+, I’d end up low in the first 30 minutes, where I’d then down a snack.

But with Levemir as the background insulin, I’ve seen a stabilization. Especially on runs, where I haven’t been low post-run in two months. This is a huge deviation in exercise patterns. Even on the bike for an hour or two, I rarely get that intense dropout in my legs when glucose has left the system. Steadiness abides.

Interesting it has been. Confidence is building in my ability to close out a workout with my best stuff, essentially not low. During the afternoon today,  I’ll embark out on a trail ride (at Lake Draper in OKC) with a banana in my backpack, knowing there’s a good chance it will still be there when I arrive back at the car.

Former co-founder of DiabetesDailyGrind, Ryan's mission is to motivate others with diabetes to live their own authentic life. Most days, when not in the hospital during his medical residency, you can find him on the bike, surfboard, or yoga mat. He believes in the power of clean eating, and loves his Dexcom.

4 thoughts on “The Reason I’m Sticking With Shots… For A Couple More Weeks

  1. Wow, this is really relevant to me right now. I have been struggling so much with my infusion sites… I’ve changed 2-3 times a day for the last 4 days. I am not sleeping well for fear that I am going to roll on the set wrong, mess it up, and not get insulin all night. I’ve thought about going back to long lasting insulin and injections, but my first reaction was- it will be way too difficult to plan workouts without my pump. Reading your story, however, has helped me realize that I rarely run without getting low!! Just last week I was so frustrated because I had to inhale a bunch of carbs before my run and still wound up low at the end (despite having suspended my pump an hour prior.) I know there will always be frustrations with diabetes management but I can’t help but think that trying something different might at least give me my sense of autonomy back again… thanks so much for sharing!

    • Hey Trista! Right? It’s not like insulin pumps are bad, they just get in a funk sometimes. And yes, the lows after exercise! Happy to hear someone else has experienced this too. So interesting. If you decide to go MDI (multiple daily injections), we’d love to hear from you. Thanks for verifying my own frustrations!

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