Sunday, 31 May 2009

basal rates

To all of those of you who know that sometimes its easy to slip into bad habits, I understand. I do too.

I had a huge wave of bad sugar levels this last month, with no particular obvious change in lifestyle; except that I've been on holiday 3 times...but my whole life is fairly unstructured and unroutined, I thought this wouldn't make much difference.

Anyways, its totally easy to start accepting bad sugar levels, and it can become a bit of a routine. Thats bad. Thats why its important to have someone close to you who can ask you important questions...someone who understand the ins and outs of Type 1 Diabetes. Most people don't have a clue, so its important to train someone up. Someone who can keep an eye on you.

For me, this is my mum. She helped me a lot when I was younger, and she is always the one to make sure that my sugar levels are on track. This has changed a bit as I've gotten older.

During university when I wasn't living at home, I kept a sign on my wall, door or wherever that said, "What's your sugar level?" That seemed to work, though I had to keep moving the sign around, otherwise I got too used to it, and stopped reading it. I tried making new signs as well, and these were a helpful prompt.

I am terrible with writing down my sugar levels and keeping an accurate record of them. I always have been. I have never found a system that works for me. If you have found one, please let me know! I think I need to ask my specialist for a tester kit that does reports. I used to have one, but it died.

Anyways, so this last month I was going down this slippery slope. And the more bad sugar levels I had, the less aware I was of everything, it becomes harder and harder to look after yourself when sugar levels spiral out of control, awareness is practically nil.

And so, it was two days ago, on holiday in Greece that mum asked me when the last time I changed my basal rates was. It was such a wake up call. I looked at the rates, and they were so low. So, I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to try out some higher ones, and see how it went.

As it turns out, that was a brilliant idea, because my levels have been perfect since then!

I'm still waiting for my skin to return to normal, and my energy levels to increase, but I am pretty sure they will soon! Woo hoo! And I must start running twice a week again, and swimming...and pilates. Oh, and walking the dog helps too.

So, for those of you suffering with bad sugar levels on an insulin pump, have a look at your basals, that might just be the solution!

For those of you that don't know what a basal rate is, its the constant flow of insulin into the body through the infusion set. Mine vary from 0.4 to 0.75 throughout the day. And changing it by the tiniest fraction can completely change your balance. (I really should have thought of it sooner!)