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No More Larry Bird.

Dexcom - I need  you back!They left me alone for several months, but now the lows have returned, and they brought friends. Last night, before we left the house to go to the gym, I tested at 137 mg/dl. Knowing I'd be doing at least 30 minutes of cardio and some weights, I figured I should eat something. Grabbed a bar from the cupboard and chomped on it.

"Will that do it?"  Chris asked as he mixed up his protein shake.

"Yeah.  It has like 18 grams of carbs.  If I disconnect and eat this, I should be good."

Munch, munch.  Feeling good.  We drive off to the gym and go our separate ways - Chris to the weight room downstairs and me to the women's cardio section.  I hit the treadmill and dial up a 30 minute workout.

Music is loud - a little Muse.  My legs feel strong and my sneakers pound against the treadmill.  Strong, healthy, strong, healthy ... the words jostle around in my brain with each step.

But I start feeling a little funny at the 20 minute mark.  The music is too loud.  My headphones feel tight against my ears and my hands are numb at the very edges.  I scan the far wall of the room and the walls look a little wobbly.  My legs are a little wobbly. 

With the treadmill still running, I jump off quickly to the side and grab my meter from my gym bag.  Jump back on to the treadmill with the meter in hand, slowing down the pace so I can unzip the bag and lance my finger.

33 mg/dl.

"That sucks."  I press "Stop" on the treadmill interface and open my bottle of juice, taking eight long slugs from the plastic bottle.   My legs, which just a few minutes ago were holding me up just fine, feel like they're made of yarn.  Leaning against the railing of the treadmill, I finish the bottle.

This low feels particularly rotten.  Waves of nausea and a feeling of extreme light-headedness are coming up from my knees and cresting over my eyes.  I know I need to get downstairs and find Chris, just in case.  My legs work on autopilot, bringing me downstairs and into the weight room, where Chris is working out.

One look is all he needs.

"How low?"


"Hmm.  Larry Bird."   He guides me by the elbow over to where I can sit down.  "Did you drink juice?"

"Yeah. I'm frustrated.  I only got 20 minutes into my workout.  And I feel like I'm all ..." Words aren't processing properly in my head.  "Mushy.  I feel mushy."

"You just need a few minutes.  You'll be okay.  Right?"

"Right."  The affirmation makes sense.  "Baby, I'm sort of tired of Larry Bird."

He smiled and we waited for the numbers to climb.

I don't know where these lows are coming from, but they are sneaky, intense little suckers that buckle me at the knees and steal the words from my mouth.  I'm waiting on my next order of Dexcom sensors to be shipped, but last night was one of those moments where I missed the Dex.  I would have at least seen the low creeping up on me a little bit.

But the wildest part is how strong I feel when I'm in that range, that 90 mg/dl range.  It's my magic number.  I feel strong, capable, almost borderline athletic.  (For those of you who know me in real life, you know how remarkable that statement really is!)  It's crazy how much just a little fluctuation in these numbers can really change how our bodies respond. 

Dex, I need you back, buddy. 


We need the Dex stat! I know you love LB but not like this!

LB meaning Larry Bird not Low Bloodsugar :)

hi kerri,

i am sure that you are old hat with working out with the pump, but wanted to share something that works for me. my dr at the joslin recommended not completely disconnecting from the pump when exercising, because the complete absence of insulin can cause delayed highs. so usually, i will set my basal at 40 or 50% and then have a snack of approximately 20 carbs, with protein, as i am sure you know! but the trick is to turn down the basal rate about 1/2 hour in advance of working out, because it usually takes the pump that long to stop delivering the insulin... maybe your bad low while running could've been caused by rogue insulin delivery?

like i said, you are the diabetes pro, but just wanted to share a good tip!

laura r.

I feel you on the lows. I went to the endo yesterday and while i had an amazing A1C (5.8!!), i also had 96 lows in the past thirty days! Lows really interfere with life and they really suck too...

It's amazing how we survived for so long without the Dex and now it's a crucial part of keeping diabetes in check.

Sort of like the cell phone, I didn't have one 5 years ago but now it's a reason to turn the car around and drive 15 minutes back to the house because I forgot it. :P

George - Thankfully, the sensors just arrived via FedEx!

Laura - I am definitely not a pro at diabetes. I'm still figuring all this nonsense out, even after all this time! Thank you for the tip!!!

Lori - I hate lows. They make for a good A1c, but they tend to kick my arse.

Mick - AB. SO. LUTELY.

That's really scary, how that low came on so fast.

One of the things I hate most about this disease is the way those lows can sneak up on you like that.

Glad you're okay, Kerri... and that Dex is back!

As you know I do a little teaching for part of my job.

Today I was in front of the classroom 'teaching' at 53 - oh yeah that's productive!

This Dex appeal cannot move fast enough for me!


I'm starting to track my numbers for exercise. BG Before and After; IOB; how long the exercise; etc. I figure it'll help me understand what works and how to work around issues. In the end I may talk to the folks at fit4d. But first I want to be comfortably able to do a strenous 30-40 minutes on the treadmill.

I'm glad to hear the Dex sensors arrived.

Lows are the devils work. I hate them even more because I have a tough time catching them before I get in the 40s. Glad to hear you're ok and the Dex have come in. YEAY!!!!

Well first off I second what Laura said. You definitely need to lower your basal rate 1/2 hour to an hour prior to exercise especially cardio work. Another thing I'm not sure about is how long you are into your exercise routine? If this is something you are just starting and plan on sticking to the routine then all of your basal rates need to be reevaluated.

A couple of suggestions for lows. I am an avid cyclist and have found that Hammer gels made by Hammer nutrition ( http://www.hammernutrition.com/ )are da bomb as far as raising BS quickly. They are also only a couple ounces and are 23 grams of carbs plus they are the only gels I have used that actually taste good. Second, you should see if there is a DESA http://www.diabetes-exercise.org/index.asp chapter in your area. I have gone to a couple of meetings and they are a great resource for info on exercising. Finally, at one of the meetings they had Dr. Matt Corcoran speak and he runs the Diabetes Training Camp and it sounds like an awesome program. I know a few people that went to one of the camps and they said it is the best thing they have ever done. http://www.diabetestrainingcamp.com/

I understand... I, too, feel at my peak right before I crash. Though for me, that's usually not a gym floor occurrence. It's usually when I'm on deadline and (figuratively) running in hyperdrive...

Dear Kerri, I read your page everyday and I was wondering is it just because you have Type 1 that it gets so low? I have never felt that way I am a type 2. I feel bad for you and thank god Chris was at the gym with you. He is your angel, Hopefully you will get your dexcom stuff soon.
Take Care of Yourself,

Hi Kerri,

I've been lurking on your site since my 7 year old daughter was diagnosed with T1 about 4 months ago. You really give me a lot of hope for her future.

I'm glad you felt your lows (thought that was a really scary low low) and caught it. Wish my DD did. Oh well, I guess that will come with "experience."


Although the knitter in me gets very excited at any mention of yarn . . . when it's yarny legs at the gym, that's not good. Glad you've received the Dexuses(?) . . . Dexi(?) . . . okay, Dexcoms!!

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