Injecting the Air


Last night I checked my blood sugar before going to sleep. It was 73. I checked my pump and saw I had no active insulin, but fearing a low, I ate a two small pieces of watermelon- just in case.

This morning when my alarm woke me at 4:55am I staggered quietly out of bed and checked my blood sugar before getting ready to run.  228!  I assumed that my high waking sugar was a “rebound” from an overnight low.  This is known as the Somogyi effect or rebound, and it’s something I suffered from frequently before getting an insulin pump.  Normally after an overnight low I feel terrible in the morning and sometimes can barely lift my head.  This morning I didn’t feel that bad¸I just felt a little hammered- something I could attribute to three mornings of waking up pre-dawn.  (Monday and Tuesday were 3:55 a.m. wake ups).

Other than the Somogyi effect, I couldn’t think of any other explanation for my ridiculously high blood sugar so I took some insulin to get my blood sugar down to normal.  And since I’ve had very little success running after nighttime lows, I went back to bed.

At 7:30am I felt fine and went about the usual morning chores .  At 8:15am my blood sugar was 238. Frustrated, I bolused again.

A few minutes later I looked at my infusion site. I’ve been placing my infusion sets a little bit toward my back after getting some good advice, once again, from Jerry Nairn on TuDiabetes “Diabetics Who Run Marathons”.  Jerry suggested this as a place where the set won’t come out while running.

My site looked more or less fine, but I decided to change it anyway since it had already been a few days. When I detached the set I understood why my blood sugar had been so high even after I bolused. The set had detached and the cannula was out and bent down.

Broken Cannula

Annoyed, I changed my infusion set and decided to try and lower my blood sugar and my frustration level by running. It was late (9:00am) and very hot and humid, but I decided to run any way. Since my blood sugar was still high I didn’t lower the basal rate on my pump. I stopped to check my blood sugar after 35 minutes. It had dropped to 195. I decided to lower the basal rate to 35% (where I usually run) and continued for another 25 minutes. The heat was unbearable and after an hour and a little under 7 miles, I decided to stop.

When I got home I checked my blood sugar again. It was 160. Not perfect, but better.

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Kim L.
Kim L.
11 years ago

Hi, I’ve tried the teflon cannula infusion sets on my daughter and I don’t like the way they go in nor do I feel confident about how they attach.  I’ve heard from other parents about pinching the teflon cannula and frequent occlusion alarms. After talking with my daughter’s health care team, the nurse suggested very low failure rates with steel cannula sets versus teflon.  I’ve gone to infusion sets with a steel cannula we’ve never had a site failure, going on 2 months now. Another bonus is they are cheaper to buy as well. Old school is still good school… Read more »

kathryn demarco
11 years ago

I hate this so much too.  Now, when I get a high number always touch the site and see smell my fingers to see if there is insulin…insulin that is going into the air and not into my body.  Lots of times, this is the fix. 
I am so addicted to running, that a low night or high morning wouldn’t stop me in the morning, but I can’t say I would feel great doing it.  
Do you all take your meters and glucose when you run?  

11 years ago

I hate it when my infusion site comes out.  One time recently, the site didn’t pull out, but I looked down and it had become disconnected.  That was weird.

When I exercise or am just very active during a high, it causes me to run ketones.  I always have to wait until my BG is down to 180 or so before I can even begin to try to bring it down more with exercise.

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