Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Big Crash

No, not the epic, over the bars, yard sale, road-rash, have to shop for replacement parts and new kit ala bIG MIKE in oz, but a nasty blood sugar crash. Things have been good lately, my numbers have been pretty stable, no really high or low readings. I've attributed this to tracking my food intake more closely, using the FitDay on-line food and exercise log to see what I've been stuffing in the old pie hole. This has really worked well for me.

Until last night. I got in a good 2 hour ride down Park Point Tuesday night, but my sore knee didn't enjoy it too much. It got stiff and swelled up soon after I got home. So last light I did an hour spin on the flats. I even hauled my bike down to Superior Street so I didn't have to climb back up to my house. It was a nice afternoon, I felt good, but I still stopped after an hour of controlled spinning, no stress on the knee. That didn't do any good, it's still swelled and sore this morning. After a poor choice dinner (frozen pizza), I sat down to watch the Tour of Romandie, and it hit. Light headed, hot, dizzy, and confusion. Hypoglycemic blood sugar, or low blood sugar. I stagger up the stairs, drank a glass of milk and took some glucose tablets. After laying down for an hour, it was time to pick up my step daughter from her dad's place. I felt like I was driving drunk. The hang over effect is still lingering today, like I was drinking a lot of alcohol, which I wasn't. This is the worst episode for while, and I hope not to repeat it.

There's the rub. Putting foreign substances in your body to combat a disease is risky. A hypoglycemic coma is a possibility when combining insulin, Byetta, and metforman, though rare.
The big problem is the confusion in not realizing it's happening. There is no warning, no rhyme nor reason for when it hits. Things are going along smoothly, then BAM!, I'm out of commission. So far, I've only passed out only once, and that was the most horrible feeling I've ever experienced. I was alone at our old camper, redoing the flooring before we sold it. I had had a couple of beers, then went to bed about 10 pm. I remember getting up to use the bathroom, and bouncing off the hallway wall. Around 3 am, I woke up at the bottom of the outside stairs, under the stars in my underwear. I was a mess, having cut off the end of a finger, lost body function control, you get the picture. I could have died, or suffered permanent brain damage. You know, it really is sobering after writing it down. THIS COULD KILL ME!!

Funny thing is, it never happens during exercise. Ive ridden for several hour on a small intake of carbs hourly, and no problem. I think the exertion wakes up your hormonal system and all the functions start working as designed. After knee surgery, I'll have the glucose meter installed in my back to monitor glucose levels minute by minute. It'll be a pain, but will be interesting to see how my body reacts to different stimuli. In the mean time, I'll concentrate on weight loss in the hopes to cut down on the Lantus. I've got a lot of work to do.


Jim said...

So that's hypoglecemia, eh? My blood sugar levels are fine, I have them checked regularly due to family history, but I was getting hot flashes like that last fall during 'cross season, when I was cutting back a little on food and trying to ramp up my base miles to recover some of the fitness I lost through the race/rest/race cycle you do in 'cross. Pretty weird feeling.

Boz said...

It's weird, but it doesn't happen to me during effort, but just when I'm sitting around or when I'm sleeping. Maybe I'd better ride more and relax less. But the sleep part...

JW said...

My 8 yo is type 1 and so is on short acting (novolog) and long acting (lantus).

I always wonder how he'll cope with hypoglycemia stuff just like you are talking about. He had only one really bad episode where he just lay down in the middle of the floor and kept telling me he wanted to go to sleep. We gave him some fruit juice and he came around, but you can't always have someone with you.

Just wondering how long you have had type 2 and if you are on any short acting.

Boz said...

JW - I've probably been Type 2 for @ 10 years, but did something about it 4 years ago. I'm on Lantus and Byetta, along with metforman. So, far, I've been able to avoid the short term insulin.