It’s the end of the weekend, and Sunday night is spent as usual: folding laundry, tidying the kitchen, and organizing my work stuff for the next day. I just emptied out the pack I carried on a long coastal walk with my family today, and I found a handful of test strips at the bottom. In a two-hour period — the whole time of the walk — I tested my blood sugar 8 times. When I started the walk, I was at 105 and ate a banana, and yet my glucose went down from there: to 75, to 69, to 59. I had turned down the basal rate on my pump to 40% of the usual rate, but clearly that modification and the banana were not enough to prevent hypoglycemia, so I disconnected. For a while, I sipped at juice boxes. A few times my husband and I sat down on a bench and let the others go ahead. When I walked, I shuffled slowly, believing myself to be conserving energy but not actually sure.
After 59, the numbers started to rise again: to 77, to 101. At the halfway point of our walk, on Boston’s Castle Island, we all stopped at Sullivan’s for a snack. Everyone had ice cream but for me. I chose the French fries for their high glycemic index. Soon I was at 125 again, which is where I remained for the remaining 3 miles of our walk.
Low numbers are desirable until they’re not. You really can’t get too far very fast when your blood sugar is 75 and falling. Today I really felt myself to be disabled, when most of the other walkers in my party — the ones without diabetes — walked, skipped, and ran ahead blithely in the sun.
It was a beautiful day, and I enjoyed it. Still, it was a task to manage that enjoyment.