Monday, 18 January 2010

Levels, levels, levels...

I know you probably don't necessarily want to hear too much wailing from an insulin dependent diabetic who can't keep control of their levels, but perhaps some of you might find it comforting to know that even the most  experienced pump users run into sticky situations, and then how they try to work their way out of it!

i've mentioned when i've had bad levels before, but that might just be one or two over twenty and i'll have a pretty good idea of the cause. but the levels i've had since after christmas have been ridiculous and inexplicable.

generally once levels get high they are very difficult to keep back down again, so it's always best to prevent that through exercise, healthy eating and regular set changes. but we all know that some of these can slip out of falter quite easily, can't they? actually, i think my problems started once i got back from my round the world trip (see some of my previous posts for more info) as i went from a very active routine on not much basal insulin to one with very little exercise on the same amount of insulin - and i didn't figure it was too different that it needed a change, what a silly person i am!

fyi, whenever you change your routine, do a fasting blood glucose to redetermine where your basal rates should be at, as they will almost definitely need to change along with your everyday activities! if you don't know what a fasting glucose is, it's basically where you fast for one meal, and check your levels every hour within that period. it's a very effective way of checking your basals are right. there's just one tiny problem with have to start with a good level - something i've not been able to do properly yet!

so what i have done to keep myself in order with these levels is:
  • to change my infusion set - i find that different batches of sets can sometimes be the problem, so open a new box if it doesn't seem to work well on the second change.
  • to eat super wisely - i always do this anyway, but writing down what you eat, how much and when can help to determing whether this is making a massive difference on your levels - any secret fats?
  •  to up the exercise - which becomes increasingly difficult when you start to run out of energy, but a walk is always good, just make sure someone is with you
  • to keep drinking loads of water and do ketone tests, if you show signs of ketones you might have to go to hospital for permanent supervision as this is really dangerous
  • to get a good amount of sleep - your body will need rest and recuperation to restore it's body back to health, which will take some time for sure, give it the chance to have good sleep by going to bed earlier than normal
  • to phone the hospital after 3 successive days of trying and constantly bad levels you don't understand - i spoke with a nurse who insisted it must be my basal rates or an underlying illness (i now have a cold and a much higher basal rate!)
well, i still haven't got the levels down properly but they are much better. i'd like to be able to put my set somewhere else to help with better absorption but i don't have a lot of fat in my arms or thighs, like at all, so i don't know how that would work? i'll sort my basals out first and then let you know...

have a great day all of you!