Goldilocks and the Three Basals
Being a diabetic is a little bit like being Goldilocks. Sometimes you get too insulin in your system, sometimes you don’t get enough insulin in your system, and hopefully through the journey of it all you learn to find the amount of insulin that is just right. Like Goldilocks’ journey to finding the perfect bed to rest in, diabetics are looking for the right amount of insulin to function with. It’s a constant trial and error battle. I wish that the process was as easy as Goldilocks’ one, two, three journey, however, for a diabetic once you have found your just right it can easily change down the road.
On my journey to finding my just right basal rate, I have to do something that I will admit I have not done in a while, test my basal rates. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what a basal rate is, it is a low rate of continuous insulin supply needed to control your glucose and amino acid uptake (thank you Wikipedia). My insulin pump has this feature where I can set a basal rate rather than have to give myself an injection with Lantus like I used to. My insulin pump pumps in small doses of insulin throughout the day to control random raises in blood sugars. It is important to have your basal setting just right because if you’re getting too much you will get low blood sugars and are likely to experience weight gain. So, I am going to test all of my basal rates: Morning, Afternoon, Evening, and Overnight then tweak what I need to. Then I’ll have to go through the Goldilocks effect once more until I get my basal rates just right.
I started this madness by testing my morning basal rates. I woke up with my blood sugar at 150, which is higher than normal for me, and then had to skip breakfast to test my basal rate (you cannot have any caloric food or active insulin in your system during the test). I always have needed to eat breakfast even prior to being diabetic. It just makes me feel nice, and is part of my morning routine. I wake up I shower fix myself something to eat and drink my coffee in bed until I feel like its time to put on my make up. But today I have to distract myself so I won’t feel sick with the lack of food in my body. By the end of my test my numbers had decreased 33mg/dl, which means I need to make some adjustments to my basal rate and then test the adjustments to see if I am still getting too much, not enough, or if I am finally getting them just right.
Day two didn’t happen quite how I would have liked. I was going to test my afternoon basal rates and found test stopped before it began. I ate a big breakfast loaded with protein thinking it would hold me over until I got home from work. Then I decided to have a bagel…. I carb counted my bagel punched all the right numbers into my pump and then two hours later had to do a correction bolus. I am beginning to wonder if my problem is not only my basal rates, but also my lack of carb counting knowledge.
Day three I tested my evening to bedtime basal rates. This was tougher then I thought it would be. I ended up making the hubs dinner and it looked and smelled amazing! My body instantly wanted to eat, but I refrained. Then I was watching Keeping up with the Kardashians, I know people think they are ridiculous, but I love them. Every single commercial break was primarily food oriented. It took all of my will power not to just grab something out of the fridge. I began the basal test with my blood sugars at 162mg/dl at 5:00pm and by 7:30pm was at 82mg/dl. I stopped the test and food entered my mouth almost immediately, ok immediately. I am beginning to think this basal test was long over due because my sugars should not have dropped that way.
My basal rates definitely need some work. I have to admit I am happy that I finally attempted testing my basal rates. I still have to test my overnight and afternoon basal rates and I am going to I just didn’t want to postpone a new post. Until then, this Goldilocks isn’t anywhere near finding her just right basal rate.