“Are you alright?”
“You seem quiet today.”
I knew why my work mates were asking. Diabetes has been affecting me so much at work lately, to the extent that my feelings could be read off my face with ease.
“I’m fine. It’s nothing.”
It wasn’t nothing. But the last thing I felt like doing was talking about it.
Going to work with the insulin pump has really tested my patience. I’m on my feet and moving around for much of the day, which makes insulin a lot more sensitive than normal. My work day is a prolonged period of physical activity, and not simply an hour of exercise. I guess what makes the insulin sensitivity more of a big deal with the pump, is that my basal insulin is being delivered to me live and continuously as I’m working, unlike Lantus.
For a few days last week, the hypos were relentless. I recall having at least three on one day, in particular, last week. Three. Every time I crack open a fresh canister of skittles, I hear my diabetes educator’s voice ringing loud and clear in my head.
Minimise the lows. The first thing we need to do is to minimise the lows.
Hypo unawareness is my biggest fear. With every passing hypo, all I think about is was whether I can feel it or not. I think about how much longer I will be able to feel them. At the end of it, all I really want to do is succumb to the defeating exhaustion that follows.
I had talked over my work day with my diabetes educator in the beginning. On a scale of 1 to 5, I’d rated my level of physical activity at around a 3. We’d anticipated a reduction in basal insulin requirements while I was working. I just never anticipated that the taps would take so long to turn down. I’ve now reduced my basal rates to about one seventh of my normal rate, and it finally seems to be holding me steady through the mornings.
The other factor that I am also starting to consider is the insulin I take to cover my meals at work. I’ve been plummeting quite quickly after my lunchtime insulin dose, and I’m starting to think that I might need to reduce my bolus by a certain percentage.
I’m hardly a role model for physical activity. I’d never have guessed that it would be such a significant issue for me on the pump. Not in a million years did I expect to be here, writing about physical activity and diabetes!
But I’m close. I’m really close to nailing this.