Thursday, July 19, 2012

Post-retro numbers June

For some reason I wasn't focused on summarizing my results when June ended, so it's taken me till now to get this stuff wrapped up. I'll just blame it on the lack of rain. We just had our first real thunderstorm last night and I feel motivated to get caught up.

The reason I write up a health summary every month isn't because I think my readers are really interested in the minutiae. I have found, over time, that I forget how things have changed for the worse or the better. Having monthly check-points helps me to look back and see if I'm moving in the right direction.

Because my memory is impressionistic, I only vaguely remember what June was like in the BG realm. I uploaded my data and saved it for this reason. So, I'm now digging into that data I saved.

Average BG for June was: 123 mg/dl.

Standard deviation for June was: 43.
I'm pretty sure this is one of the higher ones I've recorded. It means I had a decent amount of variability in my blood sugar levels and that I was swinging a bit more than usual. I think July will be even worse because of the impact of blood donation, and less routine in the summer lifestyle.

In the second half of June my average insulin usage per day was 25 units, with 17.5 being basal and  7.5 being bolus. On my most physically active days I have used as little as 19 units.

I did not do an at-home A1C test in June.
I don't think I will continue to do them monthly because the data is redundant with my sensor data. Also, the cost for them at the pharmacy has gone up to $25 per test. As long as there are some questions to the accuracy of the test related to hemoglobin status and red blood cell life, I think sensor data is more valuable. I don't think it will be too many years before other tests and data types eclipse the A1c.

Other factors: 
Exercise: In summer I have been able to go for walks twice a day, which has added some stability in the meal and insulin department. It has helped to rapidly correct rises that I've had. It's also produced a few mild lows that had to be corrected. The standard deviation reflects some of that business.

Food: I have been eating breakfast more often during the summer. Taking an AM walk will often get me hungry and cause BG to drop a bit. So, this required me to watch the post-prandial readings for 3 meals most days instead of 2. I love breakfast, so I'm not complaining...
I have experimented with non-wheat carbs after exercise. I have read that after you deplete glycogen, your body can use a ready source of glucose for replenishment. It's the best time to have your glucose. I have used a small amount of potato, sweet potato and the occasional corn tortilla for this and it has usually worked out okay. Sometimes my body still responds too quickly to fast-acting carbohydrates, regardless to the time of day or exercise context.

Sleep: For the month of June I woke up from sun hitting my eyelids, which was generally about 6AM. I generally got enough sleep, but whenever I stayed up past 10PM with the summer family, I was getting less than optimal sleep. I have found that it shows in my BG average the next day or so when I skimp on sleep.

Symilin: I am still using Symilin with every meal. A couple times when we had special meals (Father's Day steaks and Anniversary dinner out) and I took Symilin before the meal I was disappointed when I sat down to eat and could barely stand to eat anything. I've started to take Symilin half way through the meal or just after if I plan on eating a lot. When I've skipped Symilin with breakfast I've noticed a rise that seems disproportionate to the meal. So, I think once your body is used to having Symilin with food, you are acclimated and should be consistent with it.

Weight: I plan on writing a separate post about weight management soon, but I have arrived at my weight goal that I set last summer. I am staying stable at 150 lbs. I am doing some work to gain muscle, but I have gotten to the level of leanness that is appropriate for my frame. It took me almost a year to lose about 18 pounds. I think some of my success in this area has had to do with every factor discussed above, plus daily sun exposure.

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