The Detritus of the Day


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.

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Dr. Margaret A. Morris
10 years ago

One of the parts I hate most about diabetes is not being able to comfortably do things like stroll along the beach. Someone suggests after dinner an impromptu stroll to see the sunset, and it’s a whole production for me, ending with me 45, trying to pretend that nothing is wrong because I don’t want to ruin the fun for everyone. My husband has learned enough to notice and insist I measure myself, at which point we begin the correction and explanation process, and the sitting-on-the-bench-sorry-guys process. You’d think I would learn, and just admit ahead of time that I’m… Read more »

Catherine Price
10 years ago

I know the feeling. Suddenly it gets harder to move, you feel like your doing the same thing as before but you’re slower and working harder. It sucks, but what can you do but eat something, keep going and beat it.

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