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Basal Testing Day - D Minus

Anna's Blog
By: FatCatAnna

The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes! Whoo! Whoo!

I am a Type 1 diabetic diagnosed back in the early 60's as a child.  I am living in Montreal, Canada and enjoy scribbling about diabetes from time to time. I’ve had my ups / downs just like any person would experience with going through life - diabetic or not.  My motto in life?  Diabetes does not control me – I control it!! 

You can find more posts/discussions at my Facebook page called "The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes" and also on Twitter under the name of FatCatAnna.  Feel free to follow me at both places or send me a private message!

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 Blog Entries
The joys of having Bowie my CGMS – Chapter 1 - Sep 02
 Okay, for those of you who have never read my #dblogs before, I give names to all my little gizmos that I use for controlling my diabetes.  What we have today, ...
In a slump and scared - Jul 21
It’s rare for me to compose a #dblog that is not all “chirpy chirpy” … I think the last time I did one that was kind of down was at Diabetes1.org ...
Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes - Mar 27
  " To the best of my knowledge, I am the only diabetic who survived years of imprisonment in German concentration camps. This is my story "   The above words ...
Sugar and Your Health - Mar 06
The other day I emptied out a 4 kg (about 10 lbs) of white sugar that I had dated a year ago when I opened it.  I use white sugar purely for cooking (I make my own ...
Eating from the ground - Yuca Fries - Feb 20
I am home now from a working holiday, in the Bahamas and Miami.  Despite the weather being abit cooler then normal (they only get 2 weeks of winter - we were there in ...
Posted: Nov 2, 2009 12:57
  • Basal Testing Day - D Minus

    Dunce Cap

    After experiencing some wacky daytime blood sugars (BG's) during the last week, I decided to go ahead and test out my basal settings on my Animas 2020 insulin pump today.  I have never a daytime basal testing  before, sad to say, and as in my prevous blog, I had asked others - "how often do you test your basal rates?".  No comments yet, and it makes me wonder, are they like myself, not finding the time to test their basal rates, when perhaps we should from time to time when BG's become abit wacky?

    I just know for myself, that if I'm going to get the most use out of my pump, I have to learn how to use it properly, so that my BG's stay stable and not having to do continual BG corrections and giving extra insulin.  I mean, I might as well go back to multiple doseage injection (MDI) - ugh!  To me, that defeats the purpose of owning/using a pump, because theory wise, if the pump settings are correct, you should have steady, stable BG's, depending on what is happening in your life of course. 

    Well this morning, I decided, this is the day to do a 09h00 - 17h00 basal test, as I'm not doing anything strenuous (no Running of the Bulls), no work deadlines, etc.  I already know that my night time basal rates that I have set on my pump are working fine for me, since John Walsh/Ruth Roberts the coauthors of the Pumping Insulin advise you to get this figured out first prior to doing any other basal tests.  Also, the basal test should only be done when your BG is 5.6 - 8.3 mmol/l (100 - 150 mg/dl) OR between 6.7 - 10 mmol/l (120 - 180 mg/dl) if you have hypoglycemia unawareness or a fear of going low.  I woke up with a 5.5 mmol/l (99 mg/dl) BG, a little bit below what is recommended, but I felt good to go, as I'm not sure when I'll have another "stress free" day like this to do it.

    So, I proceeded to wait for my next 2 hour test of my BG, and when that approached an hour ago, I tested  - 8.8 mmol/l (159 mg/dl).  Darn .  The directions in the book say to STOP - correct the BG and retest another day.  Double Darn!  I've gone and made the adjustment to my basal rate according to the table in the book (it's pretty straight forward to read even for a non technical gal like myself). In my case it was .2 units of insulin, seems abit scary to go from .65 units per hour to .85 units, but according to the book "the suggested basal changes below are less than may be needed".  So, I feel abit secure in going ahead as I trust these authors, they know their stuff.   I have presently programmed my new basal settings into my pump and will have to wait for another day to perform the test. 

    I have to admit I'm abit disappointed that I had to stop the test and I guess I shouldn't have really said "D Minus" in the title above, at least I'm one step ahead in the game is the  main thing, I'm finely doing it!   Hopefully my basal settings in my pump will soon be perfected so that I have the freedom that a pump allows you to have over MDI.  I  mean, my life has changed so much since going on the pump, I know so much more about diabetes now then before, even after 42 years, I'm still learning!  Just to be able to have balanced BG's when I  skip a meal and not go low or high is what I'd really like to attain.

    So, off I trot upstairs to have an Americano (I so missed not having my morning cup of java as the caffeine we all know would have buggered up the test even more LOL ). Oh and a nice slice of  toasted whole grain bread smothered in butter and jam, and abit of cottage cheese!  I am famished!!! Drool! Drool!

    Comments (3):
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  • By: JeffMather: Nov, 02, 2009 22:18 PM

    Hi Anna.

    I'm sure you'll get there.  I hope I get there soon, too. My biggest mistake with diabetes was not getting my basal rates correct over the first seven or eight years with the pump.  I had an endo like yours, it seems.  He started me on NPH (the asshole old fogey) and never really got it through his head that NPH sucks and pumps are supposed to make it so that we don't have the peaks and valleys.

    As for exercise, I don't build that into my basal rates; I just set a temporary basal of 40-50% about an hour before I start (if I have active insulin from a bolus) or about 15 minutes if it's the first thing in the morning.  I used to include it in my everyday basal rates, but it was a pain if I missed a day.  Of course, if I don't exercise every other day or more, my day-to-day basals get a bit off.

    I hope that helps a little.


    p.s. - And I definitely like having only one hormone out of whack.

    By: FatCatAnna: Nov, 02, 2009 14:40 PM

    Hey Jeff,

    Thanks for the reply.  Yes, I know it's probably going to take a few attempts (wow - 7!!!!) - to get that "perfect" basal setting. I'm getting more patient as I age .   I'm also self taught on the pump - basically thru' the bible (Pumping Insulin) LOL.  One day I hope to find an endo / nurse that understands how to deal with a patient on a pump - but I'm doing alright with help from the diabetic community and you!

    I just discovered now - something that doesn't happen to you lucky guys - my menses has started - so that probably is explaining why my BG's have been wacky with the hormones going out of whack.  I'll have to wait now until that is over, do redo the basal test again.

    Do you have a Exercise basal rate set - or do you do what I do - just lower my basal rate temporarily? I know of some people have a basal rate set on their pumps. Just curious.

    BTW, that Americano and toast - where soooo good. It was hard to not cheat and sneak a bite to eat.  It's all worth it tho' - from the way you've improved your basal settings on your pump!

    By: JeffMather: Nov, 02, 2009 13:27 PM


    I've been doing a lot of basal testing, too.  This is my first time doing it in 4 or 5 years.  I'm more or less starting over from scratch this time, undoing a lot of changes that my previous endo suggested without ever taking the time to follow up whether they were correct.

    Perhaps I shouldn't tell you this since I hope you keep going with the basal testing, but it took me seven afternoons over four weeks to get my 12:00 - 18:00 basals right, making little changes and getting a little further each time.  Along the way, I ended up lowering my PM basal amounts by about 40%, which seems to be helping with some very predictable (but inconvenient) lows several times a week.  And it's making it easier to exercise in the afternoon and evening, too.

    It's going to take time, but I believe it will make things better.  And eventually you'll be done. :^)

    Animas 2020 (1) BG (1) blood sugar (1) MDI (1) basal (1) pump (1) insulin (1)

    Related posts:

    Type 1 vs. Type 2  |  Keeping track  |  In a slump and scared  |  Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes  |  My 13 year old self describing her DKA in the 70's  |  Edmonton man denied insulin for 20 hours  |  Twist and Shout – Sleep Apnoea  |  Crack Free #ShowMeYourPump  |  Jenna and The Hypo Fairy  |  Wearing a dress with medical gadgets
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