My experiences this time around are not so much about travelling & diabetes but more so how a change of environment can open my eyes to what I didn’t realize at home given my daily schedule. Recently my time at home has been terribly busy. As a result based on my experience I’m going to share the sensitivity to changes can be more difficult to determine.
Based on previous travels I know that heat & travel affect my blood sugars, that is a known fact. I understand that I need to accommodate to this. One elimination of variability is that Honduras is only one hour time difference. That does not seem to be enough to affect my blood sugars. The heat is a definite contributor to a higher risk of having a number of low blood sugars. Adding activities such as swimming & kayaking frequent testing & temporary basal rates on my insulin pump are essential to hopefully avoid or at least minimize the number and severity of low sugars.
With that being said I had one late evening & night that the lights were on but nobody was home. Upon coming to my ‘senses’ I was perplexed. My activity level & the heat didn’t seem to be enough to affect my levels for so long & so severe. Still, I have not been as active in the past number of months as I used to be & decided it was attributed to increased activity. Based on that, I didn’t make changes, I determined I needed to be more aggressive in how I set my temporary basal rates.
The next night was just as bad. But, I clued in. I reviewed my basal rates on my insulin pump. I suddenly came to the realization that from 6pm to 12am I had increased my rates a few weeks before leaving. I did so due to the fact my sugars were running too high for my goals. I made the changes due to the fact I thought it was from hormones.
The other variable which was the ultimate eye opener….I was getting frustrated with my current infusion site (Sure-T stainless steel 6mm by Medtronic). As a result, I switched back to the infusion site I had used for 8 years, the Silhouette by Medtronic. It ‘felt’ better.
With the low blood sugars I experienced I realized that the Sure-T was driving my basal rates higher due to the fact it was not always a good ‘fit’. It ‘clicked’ when I saw that my basal rate from 6pm-12am was 0.6u/h. I have NEVER ran a basal rate that high! When I switched back to the Silhouette my insulin needs were not as high due to the effective infusion of insulin it provided. With that, I ran into very serious low blood sugars I have not experienced in quite a long time.
Once I adjusted my basal rates & did what I usually do when travelling, all was good!!
After 38 years, I’m still learning how to live with diabetes. Always learning to live Beyond the Borders. Sharing with you so you can live with Diabetes Beyond Borders too!!