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Murphy’s Law of Diabetes

October 16, 2007

The original Murphy’s Law goes like this:


Well, I would like to revise this to fit the diabetes model of the world.

“Blood sugar can go wrong, and it will go wrong. Just as soon as you think it won’t.”

Today’s example follows up on last week’s declaration of pumping while gym-ing. Truth be told, I am kicking myself for not deciding to try this soon (and flabergasted that so many other people pump while at the gym as well! And here I thought I was being innovative…). The blood sugars have been great. I start off the gym at just a smidge above normal, say, 160 mg/dl or 190 mg/dl. Do some stretches and the elliptical for about forty minutes. Dip down into the 120s. Drive home. Hang steady in the 120s. Haven’t had too many noticeable post-work out lows.

I actually became so pleased with how my blood sugars looked I wanted to test just so I could see the number and be smug about it.

That is, until last night.

Yesterday, as usual, was filled with great numbers. A slight rise to 198 mg/dl at lunch, but I blame underbolusing. It happens. But I didn’t go any higher than that.

About forty minutes before I left for work I tested because I felt a bit low. No direct symptoms. Just that “sixth sense” you get sometimes. I was 104 mg/dl, so I ignored the feeling.

When I arrived home, I was holding steady at 112 mg/dl. A bit on the lower side for pre-gym, so I munched on a handful of granola from Trader Joe’s and changed into my gym clothes. Post-gym, I was 180 mg/dl.

Hm. Maybe I overdid it? Took a 1.5 unit bolus and drove home. When I got home, I changed into my loungewear when I noticed that I wasn’t connected to my insulin pump.

Strange, I thought. I wonder if I disconnected when I was putting on my gym clothes.

I tested again, and registered at 203 mg/dl. Okay, not terrible, but obviously hadn’t been getting any insulin. My usual Gym Effect was, well, taking effect. Took another correction bolus, including the insulin I had obviously missed before.

Dinner was some Indian lentils from Trader Joe’s, an English muffin and a spinach salad. Settled down to Brothers & Sisters with a mini-bag of popcorn. Bolused for dinner.

At bedtime, I was 242 mg/dl. I figured I tested too close to when I bolus, and my insulin had fully brought down any post-prandial spike. It sucks, but it does happen. (Please, no Symlin advice. Been there, done that.)

Plopped into bed around 11:00 p.m., right after The Hills and checking e-mail.

6:45 a.m. A low. Figures. With all that insulin after exercising, it was only a matter of time before it all caught up to me. Munched on some turkey luncheon meat and a slice of cheddar cheese to satiate my panicked “eat or die” reaction. Snuck back into bed for a bit longer.

After oversleeping, showering and dressing, I finally tested before hopping into the car.

203 mg/dl.

Eh? 203? All I had was a juice box. I so did not overtreat! I was good! I could have had Ritz crackers but I didn’t! I had cheese!


At work, I poured myself a bowl of Kashi’s Heart to Heart cereal. Realized that my pump had been “Low Resevoir” alarming all morning and I discovered I needed to put in more insulin before I could bolus.

An hour and a half later, and I’m getting sticky cotton-mouth. A quick check reveals… 379 mg/dl.

In the words of Hannah Montana, “Say what?”

More muttering and a quick Bolus Wizard calculation reveals that I don’t actually need insulin. But I’m a silly girl sometimes and I override the Bolus Wizard. I give a half-correction of 4 units instead of 7 units and grab a Diet Dr. Pepper out of the fridge.

At lunch, I’m praying to see a three digit number that begins with a 1. But Murphy must be feeling especially mischeivious because all I get is a 237 mg/dl. At least I’m heading the right direction, I think, has a dive into my sushi, Ritz crackers and soy chocolate pudding (I attempted an apple but it seemed a bit mushy today).

Three hours roll around.

191 mg/dl.

Well, we’re almost there. I’m sure a quick hop on the treadmill and a dozen or so crunches will tame the blood sugars but sometimes I just wonder what possesses blood sugars so much that they don’t respond to insulin. I mean, I understand there are a variety of reasons for why blood sugars go up. I could have eaten too much granola, I probably had my pump disconnected, I could have (somehow) underbolused for that bowl of cereal. But the staggeringly slow descent is mindboggling. There has to be some kind of demonic force in the universe that causes our bodies to ignore the command of insulin.

And when I find the demonic source of this stupid Murphy’s Law of Diabetes, I’m gonna kick his ass to next Tuesday!


  1. October 16, 2007 6:36 PM

    And yet, you continue to keep your sense of humor and your creativity. You’re really an amazing young lady.

  2. October 16, 2007 8:42 PM

    Whoever says diabetes is controllable obviously has no experience living with the condition!

  3. October 16, 2007 10:23 PM

    I’m with ces. Good humor rocks!

  4. October 17, 2007 10:10 AM

    Sounds like that drunken snail I mentioned on someone else’s blog.

    I think you need to draw this like a map with the BG values being stops along the way. It would be a long strange trip!

    I hope today is a 100 all day kind of day. Doesn’t that kind of loopiness just COMPLETELY wear you out?

  5. October 17, 2007 10:18 AM

    We’ve all had days like that, I know. It seems you have a good attitude about it and are eating well, testing a lot, exercising, y’know, doing a lot of good things for yourself. You should be proud of that regardless of what the number on the screen sometimes shows.

  6. October 17, 2007 12:31 PM

    Controlling diabetes…herding cats…yep they’re the same. I hope today is a better day.

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