Diabetes a Day Before Surgery


I’ve been nervous for the last few days. I haven’t been running, I’ve been eating more than usual because I’m nervous and not running (I know this is counter intuitive but I eat less the more I run), and I’ve been getting myself ready for surgery. All of this has had a negative effect on my blood sugar levels – they have been higher than normal.


I met with a surgeon last Thursday. He examined me briefly and told me there was no need for further testing. I have hernias on both sides. I told him I wanted to get the surgery over with as soon as possible. So he set a date for tomorrow morning.


Since then I’ve been busy preparing for my surgery. I got a blood test, an EKG and met with the anesthesiologist this morning. I have also spent a lot of time speaking to different people from the insurance company, making sure everything (or almost everything) is covered. Surprisingly, everything is covered and I didn’t need to argue – now that’s a first.


My meeting with the anesthesiologist took half an hour and a good part of it was spent talking about blood sugar, insulin and insulin pump. She asked me about my diabetes, when I was diagnosed, how often I have hypoglycemia and if I’m aware of it when it happens.


“Have you ever ended up in the emergency room?” she asked


“No, never, thank god,” I replied.


She told me that during surgery all people, not just those with diabetes, have elevated blood sugar levels and that unless my blood sugar goes way out of control (north of 300) they wouldn’t do anything about it, especially since it’s such a short procedure – only 40 minutes.


She also told me that my blood sugar would be tested before going into surgery and that they would decide then if to lower my basal rate or suspend my pump depending on the result, but that most probably I will keep the pump on me during the surgery.


My surgery is scheduled for 11 a.m. and I’m supposed to fast for 6 hours before and be at the hospital by 8:00 a.m. so I don’t expect any big blood sugar surprises. I asked if I could take a correction bolus if I woke up high and was told that I could.


I wish I could say that I wasn’t nervous about my surgery, but I am. I’m nervous about so many things, from the success of the procedure to gaining weight from not moving and taking much more insulin than usual. I’m also nervous about my blood sugar levels during and after my surgery. What happens if I go low, will they notice and if they do what will they do?


And when I go home how will my healing body react? Will I spend a month bolusing continuously to try and get my blood sugar in range?


I wish I had some answers but I guess I’ll have to wait and see. 

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Robin Cacopardo
10 years ago

Thanks everyone. I’ll be on my way to the hospital in a few minutes.
@Debbie. Thanks for your suggestion – I didn’t think of taking infusion sets with me but I will now. 

Nathan Shackelford
10 years ago

I think it’s going to go well!
Yes, you might have to correct more often than usual during recovery, but that’s expected. You will just roll with it and come out the other side glad you got it over with. I had wisdom teeth removed a few years back and it was really nerve wracking leading up to it, but coming out and recovering was fine.
P.S. sometimes pain meds can make some people feel worse, so be ready to ditch them when you can.

10 years ago

Make sure you have extra pump supplies with you including insulin.  You never know when someone will “accidentally” pull your inset out and most hospitals will not have your insulin nor pump supplies on their formulary.  Also have your glucose monitor handy.  It will cost you about $1 to test your blood sugar and it will cost the hospital and then you $30 for every glucose monitoring stick!

Jeff Nobles
Jeff N.
10 years ago

Best wishes, Michael! Hope it flies by with ease and quick healing.

Deborah Kanter
10 years ago

I appreciated reading this–gives me some idea about any future procedures as a PWD. Sounds like your prep talk was thorough and you should be confident that things will go smoothly. Wishing you well Mike!

10 years ago

Good luck! Wishing you a speedy recovery!!!

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