Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Day: Carb-by-Carb, BS-by-BS

I’m making notes and going through my day step-by-step. Of course, not every day is exactly the same, but I find if I stick to a routine, my body responds better not only with diabetes, but other things. So here it is…

*We’ll start with last night before I went to bed, since this is when I give myself my insulin shot. I went to bed early last night, so I gave myself my shot at 9:30. With Lantus, it’s important to give yourself the shot as close to the same time everyday as possible: I aim for between 9:30 and 10:00.

So, at 9:30 last night, I took 35 units of Lantus insulin in my stomach. It’s that 35 units that will sustain me through today. (I do have to say, though, that I did have some leakage after I pulled out the needle, so it may be more like 33 units. Don’t you love the smell of insulin, she asked sarcastically.)


5:00am: First alarm went off, and I took two of my many prescriptions. One is Synthroid (I also have Graves disease) and you have take it at the same time everyday, and you have to take it on an empty stomach and then wait for an hour before eating. Since I usually work out first thing in the morning, and often have to eat before I do, I have to make sure the hour is past. So I take my medication at 5am every morning (including weekends), then go back to sleep.

5:45am: Second alarm goes off and I hit snooze for about 1/2 hour before finally getting out of bed.

6:20am: BS: 89. If I’m below 100, I eat something before I start exercising. This morning I have 1/2 a Nutrigrain bar (Cherry is the best, 15g carb) and a small can of V8 Juice (7g carb; I can finally drink it without holding my nose). [1-1/2 carb units total.] (I also let the dogs out and filled their water bowl, just in case you’re tracking every minute.)

6:30-7:15: On the treadmill, in my spare bedroom/office/exercise room/throw-whatever-we-don’t-want-anyone-to-see-in-here space. I don’t run. In fact, I should probably state outright that I really, really dislike exercising, but it has such an undeniable impact on my sugar, that I can’t not do it. So I walk really fast while reading a book (I can read in any position, doing anything, anytime—a habit I learned at age 7 and have since mastered). I go at a speed of 4.0 and when I’m finished, I’ve gone 2.79 miles.

7:15-7:20: 50 crunches with the ab roller while simultaneously dodging the dogs who are trying to kiss my face and figure out why I’m on the floor.

7:25am: BS: 96.

7:25-7:35am: I make my lunch and eat breakfast. Breakfast is: one Fiber One Oats & Chocolate Chewy Bar (29g carb), glass of light white grape juice (18g carb), one Light & Fit raspberry yogurt (11g carb). [Four carb units total.] If I don’t work out, I skip the yogurt. While my sugars are at 96, they’ll continue to decline over the next few hours due to the exercise.

7:35-7:40am: Straighten my kitchen. If I don’t pick everything up, the dogs will have a field day with whatever they can find. I also have to put the kitchen stools in front of the drawers, as one of them has figured out how to open the drawers and empty their contents.

7:40-8:05am: Brush my teeth, do a flouride rinse (just went to the dentist; need to step up the dental hygiene routine), shower, blow-dry my hair, get dressed. Raining today, so I put on my thick socks over my regular ones and tuck my pants in my green boots. I’m out the door.

8:05-8:25am: Drive to work. Park in my parking space, which is several blocks from my building. I have to rent my space, and it’s cheaper if it’s further away.

8:25-8:35am: Walk the rest of the way to work. Again, at a fairly quick pace. It’s raining and I don’t want to get drenched.

8:35am: Sitting at my desk and ready for work. Well, not exactly working quite yet, since my boss isn’t in. I’m actually writing my day up until this point. When she arrives around 9:15, I’ll stop. I’ll check my sugar around 9:30, since it will be two hours since I’ve eaten and I’ll want to see how my breakfast is holding up.

9:40am: BS: 95. I should mention that my sugars, even without exercise, since the beginning of my diagnosis, have always run lower in the morning. With the exercise in the morning, they can get downright low and nasty. I tried to exercise at night, when they tend to run high, but by the time I get home from work, I’m not really up for exercising and wind up skipping it way too often. If I don’t do it first thing in the morning, I rarely do it all. I should be a fairly slow descent in my sugars from here, though. I usually eat something around 11, so I’ll check my sugars again closer to 10:30, 11:00.

Also, I should mention that at work, I’m sitting at a desk all day. The only exercise I get is to pick up my print-outs from the copier room (24 steps) and to get water from the drinking fountain outside our office door (52 steps—and no, I’m not that obsessive, I counted specifically today for this blog). Also, the women’s bathroom is on the other side of the building, but I haven’t been yet today, so I don’t know how many steps yet. And, technically, there’s no food allowed in our office, so there isn’t a kitchen and there aren’t usually snacks laying around—no temptation. I usually only eat what I bring, unless it’s Girl Scout cookie time. Then I skip some of what I bring and go with cookies. Not healthy, no, but I can’t refuse Peanut Butter Tagalongs and Samoas. And, I used to be a Girl Scout and had to sell hundreds of cookies, so I feel like I’m contributing to a good cause (any excuse that makes it okay, right?).

10:45am: BS: 85. Felt a little cloudy in the head, a little widgy. Could either be low BS, or my sinuses acting up (my head hates damp weather). I usually don’t feel low blood sugar until I’m below 80, then my first sign is generally extreme crankiness. 85 is a number where I could eat if I wanted to, but since I’m not really hungry right now, I’m going to wait a little longer. Yes, playing with fire, but I’m pretty sure I can hold out until 11:30 and probably still be above 75. Shall we see?

11:20am: 112 steps to the bathroom. I just counted.

12:00 noon: BS: 62. Ooops. Waited a little too long to test. Remember, as D-Life says: Test, don’t guess. I’ll fill my water bottle again, then eat lunch at my desk. Lunch today: mini-pretzels (15g carb), turkey & spinach roll-up (16g carb), Quaker Peanut Butter & Oats Morning Minis (24g carb—love these!). [3-1/2 carb units total.] I know the pretzels are 15g carb, because each week when I go to the grocery store, I buy a big bag, then use my trusty digital scale to weigh out the exact amount that makes up 15g carb, which I put into little baggies and keep in a bowl on my countertop, along with other little baggies of things I’ve measured out. The turkey & spinach roll-up I also made myself (made five of them on Sunday, so I could bring one to work each day), using a low-carb tortilla, some oven-roasted turkey, fresh spinach leaves and a smear of Neufchatel to keep it all together. I drink water with lunch.

Now, I do get an official lunch break (about 45 minutes) and I do take it somedays. If the weather is nice (over 45 degrees and not raining), I put on workout clothes and walk over to an outdoor track that’s about a 3-minute walk from my building. It’s a 1/4 mile track and I go round and round (I walk backwards for about three laps—don’t laugh, it works a whole new set of muscles) for the full 45 minutes, listening to my i-pod and occasionally dancing as I walk (I’m at that point in my life where I don’t care if I look weird, as long as I’m amusing myself.). I’ve tried to keep count of how many laps I do, but I always lose track after about 4. I’m guessing it’s about 8 or so laps, so probably around 2 miles (walking backward takes longer). I don’t walk incredibly fast, because I do have to go back to work, and I don’t have the opportunity to take a shower. (I just go with windswept hair for the afternoon and reapply my deodorant after a quick wipe-down.) With the weather being as unpredictable lately as it has been, I’ve only been able to go outside 2 or 3 times a week. But still, it’s exercise, and, as I said, it has a definite impact on my sugar.

Today, it’s raining, so I’ll probably just skip the break altogether. When I do go for a walk, it’s usually at about 2 or 3 o’clock, a couple hours after I’ve eaten. I check my sugar before I go, and once again, if it’s under 100, I eat a quick carb unit. I also check my sugar when I get back and eat if necessary.

Since I’m not walking I won’t check my sugar again until about three. The 3-1/2 carb units I had for lunch should carry me through plenty fine.

2:55pm: BS: 103. Pretty typical for this time of day, especially when I don’t walk at lunch.

4:45pm: BS: 91. Sometimes I crash around 4:30/5 for no good reason, so I usually check my sugar around this time and determine if I need a snack. I work until at least 6 about half the time, until 6:30 a 1/4 of the time, and until 7 the rest of the nights. If my sugar is high enough to drive home and back into my garage without hitting my husband’s car, and I know for sure I’m leaving at 6, I don’t eat anything, because I’ll have dinner right when I get home, and, as noted, my sugars run higher at night, so I hate to waste a carb unit on a snack when I could be saving it for dinner. If I’m too low, and I know I’m staying later, I’ll eat a carb unit—again, sugars run higher and that one carb unit will stay with me longer. I’m pretty sure I’m leaving close to 6 tonight, so I’m going to hold off on eating, which probably means I’ll be pretty low when I get home.

5:55pm: BS: 70. I tested once more before getting ready to leave. I was feeling a little cloudy and obviously, I was right. I ate a light applesauce (11g carb) to get me home.

6:00-6:10pm: Walked back to my parking spot.

6:10-6:40pm: Drove home. Was greeted at door by happy-to-see-me dogs. And husband.

6:40-6:45pm: Looked through mail. Put on many layers of clothing. I got my gas bill the other day and decided I would not have another high one. So no matter how cold it gets outside, or inside, my heat is off for the season. It’s cold in here. 52 degrees. (Another number.)

6:45-6:55pm: Updated here, while oven is preheating for dinner.

7:00pm: BS: 78.

7:00-7:20pm: Watching TV while dinner is cooking. For dinner tonight: flat-bread pizza. I make it using a low-carb whole wheat roll-up (17g carb). I put it in the oven to crisp up, then top with cheese and veggies. For dessert, I’ll have about three or four caramel Hershey kisses (somewhere around 10g carb). That’ll be it, and hopefully my sugars will be okay at bed. [2 carb units total].

7:25pm: Dinner!

Rest of the night: Watching TV, playing Mah Jong on the computer, petting the dogs.

10:00pm: BS: 109. Right where I should be—yay! I’m giving myself 34 units of Lantus, in the stomach again.

SUMMARY: Okay, even for me, some of these numbers are lower than I’d like them. I’m blaming them on the extra exercise I’ve been doing—the walking at lunch. Up until about two weeks ago, I wasn’t able to walk regularly due to the weather. Now that I am walking, it’s finally hitting my sugars. That’s the way exercise works with me. If it’s something I haven’t done before, or done in a while (a month or two), then it usually takes a good two weeks for the exercise to consistently affect my sugars. On the plus side, if I do it regularly for at least a month, I can skip about four days before I start seeing my sugars rise (good for when I’m sick). If my numbers stay consistently low for a couple more days, I’ll drop my insulin dosage a unit, then see where I land. An fyi, I often adjust my dosage, and I’ve been as high as 42, and as low as 30—so I’m in the low range now.

And that’s it. I’m going to bed so I can get up and start all over again. Time to make the donuts.

As always, more to come.


Laura Williams said...

Wow, that's incredibly detailed. And really great numbers there too. You sound amazingly organized.

Kerri. said...

This is a great "diabetes slice-of-life" post. Thanks for raising your voice!!