The Law of Threes
Tonight, I returned to the gym after a two month absence.
My goal was to start off October with going to the gym, but for some reason that just never happened. Not sure why I decided not to, but I didn’t.
Then came this past Monday. Perfect opportunity really. Except for the fact my hip was incredibly sore from walking nearly five miles in Brooklyn on Saturday. So I thought, I’ll give it one more day.
Then came yesterday. Again, would have been perfect. Except for the fact I only had one test strip left in my meter case and I didn’t feel like driving all the way home and then all the way back to the gym. It was almost eight o’clock at night, I hadn’t eaten dinner and my blood sugar (using my last test strip) was 119 mg/dl. So I thought, I’ll do it tomorrow.
Which brings me to today.
After work, I drove home and changed into my gym clothes. Packed up my bag with a juice box, my iPod, glucose meter and test strips, a book and the latest issue of Us! magazine (trashy magazines are a gym staple).
Pre-gym blood sugar: 166 mg/dl.
Then I decided to do something revolutionary, something astounding, something incomprehensible!
I wore my insulin pump while working out.
I know, I know, but it’s true.
You see, I’ve noticed something that happens to me when I work out. Some might even called it a trend. When I disconnect, and either eat a snack or skip it – it really doesn’t seem to matter much, my blood sugar will drop slightly over the course of the hour or so workout, and then promptly spike about twenty minutes after I stop. It’s ridiculous, honestly, and slightly infuriating when half the reason you’re at the gym is to help lower your blood sugar.
So I decided I needed to do some exercise testing. It’s the same concept as basal testing, only it’s with exercise. Rather than influencing my exercise with external manipulation such as temporary basal rates, disconnecting or additional food, I’m simply going to do nothing. I’m going to eat like normal and wear my insulin pump like normal. For three days. Just to see what happens.
I thought, how can I make adjustments for something when I don’t even know what’s going to happen?
I’m starting out slowly with this whole exercise testing, and I will do it for several days before I decide whether or not something needs to change – just like with basal testing, the first, and even second, test can sometimes be influenced by those other variables. You really need to do something at least three times to get a sense of trends.
Tonight was easy. All I did was about forty minutes of cardio, and some light stretching. As I said, my pre-workout blood sugar was 166 mg/dl. After the forty minutes of cardio, my blood sugar has dipped down to 118 mg/dl. I drive home, filling the gas tank on the way.
This would normally be the part where my blood sugar will then skyrocket. But when I get home and test, I find my blood sugar at a nice and easy 128 mg/dl. A perfectly reasonable rise, considering the fact most meter averages have a plus or minus average of a dozen points.
Am I expecting every night to be like this? Of course not. That would be insane. But I am curious to find out how an increase in physical activity at the gym will impact this. Maybe instead of disconnecting all I will need to do is lower my basal rate a bit beforehand or eat a small snack before heading in.
I suppose only time will tell.