For a dead organ, my pancreas is pretty opinionated


(Andy) #1

Can someone please explain to me how my pancreas knows when Im doing yardwork? I dont know why this happens but whenever I spend the day doing moderate yardwork, my blood sugar just skyrockets and no amount on insulin has any noticeable effect.

I mean, seriously, wtf?

I do hot yoga weekly. I spend about 150 minutes a week doing sweat inducing bike riding. I stay active at the gym. I do resistance and strength training, I lift heavy weights. My pancreas stays calm and my blood sugar stays within range.

God forbid I go out into the garage on Saturday and touch the lawn mower. I pay for it all friggin day. It’s 830pm and Im sitting here with almost 400 on my CGM. This happens each and every time I do yard work… mow, trim, weed, pool, sweep, rake. (This has been happening all summer long. Doesn’t matter if I eat, shoot, ignore, placate, or drink)

IS it possible my body (as a new diabetic) doesn’t like hot weather? Really, that’s gonna be a deal breaker for me. Does diabetes have a “return” policy? What is going on? I sweat more at the gym, for cryin’ out loud.


(Steven) #2

Hey Andrew. Just the opposite. When I do yard work, which I love, BTW, my bg drops, drastically, like 50’s, 40’s. I am afraid of hot weather (Texas) because I’m not sure if it’s my blood glucose. The gym tends to raise my bg’s. (anaerobic). Just know what you trend and test. Yes. It sucks. I get it.


(Andy) #3

I’m just gonna chalk it up to “one of those days” and go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day.
Going to the beach.


(Steven) #4

Every day is “one of those days.” Watch out for sharks. No beach in Dallas. SW


(Steven) #5

Sorry. Didn’t mean to sound so pessimistic. For whatever reason, every day is different. We are doing our best. Always. Enjoy the beach!


(Andy) #6

No worries. And i was right. Today is a new day. Woke up at 114.


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #7

I hear you Andrew @AJZimmerman, the pancreas is an amazing organ and does lots more than produce insulin. Yes your body has apparently killed off your beta cells which are responsible for insulin production but apparently your t-cells and alpha cells are functioning well and are sending signals to your liver to release glucagon/glucose.
I suggest that you look at some of the exercise / sport Topic strings already posted here [magnifying glass upper right] and learn about types of exercise - aerobic, anaerobic. Each of us is effected a bit differently and you will need to learn - by trial and error - when you cross the line from aerobic exercising which generally lowers BGL to anaerobic which has the potential to cause BGL to sky-rocket.
Another thing about exercise, especially prolonged moderately to heavy exercise is that the effect on your BG may show up many hours later, as many as 24 hours later; that delay has sometimes confused me in determining if the bike ride I took yesterday caused my BG to drop today or if it was today’s light walk.


(Steven) #8

Well said, Dennis. I could have been more helpful than saying, “yep, it’s a crapshoot”.
I had problems with lows after swimming. I swam after work and even though I snacked and checked my BG before my swim, I would sometimes crash before I could catch it. It was pretty scary. My endo suggested that I change the timing of my long-acting insulin shot from morning to bedtime. It helped. I guess there was just a cumulative effect of my insulins and the exercise around 5 pm. They say the long-acting insulins don’t have a peak, but they do (a small one). Changing the time of dosing the long-acting insulin is something to consider if you are noticing a pattern of relative lows or highs at a certain time of the day. Of course, you should discuss it with your doc.


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #9

As you’ve probably already figured out Steven, long-acting insulin are the hardest to predict, and timing is important relative to activities. I used long-acting [three different types] for my first 47 years before switching to a pump.
As I recall, when I used the long-acting, I had to anticipate any extraordinary activity a day ahead so I could adjust the dosage - usually incorrectly. For me, a pump has been terrific in that I can “suspend” at any time, or run my background insulin at a reduced rate for activities.


(Steven) #10

Thanks Dennis. I’ve been resistant to using a pump because my go-to exercise is swimming. I’ve been managing well (My A1Cs are probably too low, 5.4, 5.6, I’m kinda OCD.) But I’m trying to relax my standards a little bit and put up with some BGs I would have previously considered too high.
Do you think a pump would be too cumbersome if I swim almost every day?

Sorry Andrew, we’re discussing lows when your issue was highs. Eventually, all the info is handy. Peace.


(Andy) #11

No prob. I never mind getting hijacked. Some of the best information is found in hijackings.

Im talking to my MD this week actually about going on a pump. I know this is small potatoes in the big scheme of things but my biggest concern is how to keep the damn thing 1. From showing (vanity reasons) and 2. Out of my pocket (I hate being bulgy pockets guy)


(Andy) #12

being a water person myself, I hadn’t thought about how cumbersome it might be on a daily basis. Would be nice to hear others perspectives…


(Steven) #13

It’s not small potatoes. I think your concerns are valid. I don’t want to be attached to a machine because I don’t really trust technology. I trust my math skills more. How many units? 5?,8? Got it.
Yep. Cargo pants are officially out. Pretend you are Secret Service and attach an ear-pod as cover.
Let me know how the pump talk goes. As I mentioned, I’m hesitant. Dennis seems to be on board. But I swim, you got the CA beaches. Do you keep having to unplug? I don’t know. I’ll be interested as well.


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #14

Steven, suspending pump operation and disconnecting from my body takes less than 3 seconds time and is extremely simple. I resisted a pump for my first 47 years [the first pump I was offered was worn as a back-pack] because I didn’t wand my life regulated by technology and instead did the math in my head - it was said years ago that PWD had to be good with math formulae.

How wrong I was in resisting a pump - my pump has added tremendous flexibility to my lifestyle - flexibility as to meal-timing especially with business travel and executive meetings as well as with exercise. For instance, when I’d be headed out on my bike for 6+ hours, I’d lower my basal rate to 20% about an hour before start and I’d be fine. Yes, my bike bag carries juice boxes, granola bars, packaged crackers & PB as well as a sandwich, apple and Kindle reader - I have the Garmin tracker set to sound a “stop & check” alarm for every 60 minutes of peddling. Having a pump eliminated the need to adjust Lantus dosing the evening before - yep, in retirement I can do anything at the spur of the moment.
When I began pumping, my HbA1c ranged between 5.9 and 6.1 for several years.


(Steven) #15

Thanks Dennis. I will really give it some thought. I’m stubborn, but you sound pretty convincing.


(Taylor) #16

Hey Andrew! I had the same exact reasons for not wanting to wear a wired pump. I was just headed to college and though I’m not ashamed of having diabetes and am very open about it, I also didn’t want the first thing people noticed about me to be a medical device. I have the omnipod which is a wireless option pump stuck on by a super sticky adhesive. I have never regretted the decision and can wear it in water. It’s sometimes noticeable through clothes but only super form fitting stuff. Let me know if you have any other questions about it!


(Steven) #17

Hey Taylor, Thanks. I’ve heard of the Omnipod. Will research it. What’s the longest that you’ve been able to wear it? I really don’t care if it looks like I have a tumor, but I have to deal with Texas weather (hot, humid) and pool water. Just curious. Still considering the best option for my lifestyle. SW


(Taylor) #18

You get three days from the time you put it on (to avoid scar tissue and infections) If you have extra insulin in the pump at the time, it will allow you to keep it on for an additional 12 hours before you get an error and it cancels out on you.


(Steven) #19

Again, thanks.
I’m trying to survey the pump users so I can make an informed decision as to what’s right for me. Have you ever used another type of pump? If so, what and why did you switch?


(Steven) #20

Dennis, any thoughts? All suggestions are welcome. Just trying to wrap my head around the technology. I’m oldskool. SW