A few days before I was planning on ending my pump break, I pulled my pump out and reviewed my basal profiles. I have, I guess you could call it, a ‘base’ set of basal rates. These are the tried and tested rates that I know work for me most of the time, given that my lifestyle and activity levels have been largely consistent over the past couple of years.
It has also been so hot in recent weeks. I am so sick and tired of this heat. Even after dinner, I end up regretting going for a walk when it’s still 32 degrees outside at 7 o’clock. Yuck.
So yeah, as soon as I resumed pumping, I quickly found myself going low after almost every insulin dose. My insulin sensitivity was epic. Was it due to the heat? Or the fact that I’m feeling far more relaxed after Christmas? Or did my pump break give me a natural reset to my insulin sensitivity? I suspect it was a combination of the three.
Whenever something doesn’t feel right with my diabetes, I go by something I like to call the rule of 10%. In this instance, I simply went through my basal profile and dialled my basal rates back by 10%.
Likewise, I suspect that by late April or May I’ll be upping my base basal rates by 10% as the weather gets cooler and hibernation gets a bit more tempting. Ditto for those periods when I’m feeling a bit more stressed, being less active or facing whatever else is going on in life.
I’m not saying any of this is easy, or that I’m completely on top of all of this. But 10% saves me the stress of having to think about every single basal rate, every single increment, in every single time block of the day. My basals still follow the same pattern, with a typical elevation from 1am, an increase around the time I wake and then a holding pattern for the rest of the day. So it makes sense that an increase across the board will help plug the leaks.
If only there was some kind of golden handbook with answers to navigating sick days, stressful periods, relaxing periods, hot weather, cold weather, active days, lazy days and everything in-between.