A voice for living well with Type 1 Diabetes

I cycled outdoors last week … five months to the day after my biking accident that resulted in a fractured left hip. The decision to get on the bike was spontaneous, as I was home alone with time to kill. It was a beautiful spring day with blue skies, temperatures in the 60s, and little wind. The weather begged me to get outdoors.

First, I wanted to see if I could even get on the bike …  the same one I rode in the accident. I leaned the bike toward the ground and moved my left hip over the crossbar. Slowly, I clipped my cycling shoes into the pedals. With my helmet on, all systems were a go.

I started coasting down our driveway and onto the street, intending to ride a short distance into a cul-de-sac and back. That went so well that I rode the entire neighborhood, then ventured out on several main streets and back home.

All in, it was five miles in twenty minutes. It felt good. My left hip loosened up and felt ok. I was back in the saddle again (salute to two music legends: Gene Autrey and Aerosmith). Later that evening, I shared the news with Connor and Kendra, and they were pleasantly surprised. Both asked if it was more mental or physically challenging. They guessed it was mental, which it was as I got on the bike. But after moving, it was about testing the limits of my hip and aerobic conditioning. I didn’t push either and became optimistic about riding longer.

It was a good day … no, it was a great day.

The following day was the polar opposite … I call them crud days.

I woke up with high blood sugar and dosed on my pump to get them down. My lips were dry and accompanied by brain fog and irritability, which signaled I was not getting enough insulin. With my blood sugar rising, I turned to manual injections (plural), hoping to get my blood sugar down to 200. All that in the morning … Aargh!

As luck would have it, my first post-hip-surgery dental appointment was at noon that day. A different array of awful … X-rays revealed a molar had decayed into the root, resulting in a root canal and crown. Holy daily double Batman! Next, I received a lecture about not eating after brushing my teeth before bed. When I could talk, I reminded the hygienist that type 1 diabetes sometimes includes low blood sugars at night that require eating. She then asked if I re-brushed my teeth afterward. Double aargh!!

I drove home and was physically and emotionally exhausted. Later, Kendra asked how my day went. I lost it. I broke down and asked her to leave, as I don’t like being seen in such moments. I don’t like myself when I feel this way. Kendra stayed with me for a while and let me have some space after ensuring my blood sugars were ok. She is some kind of wonderful.

I was so drained that we canceled dinner plans with another couple (he also lives with type 1). We didn’t share why, but I will when we see them next.

So what happened on this outlier of a crud day? Was it stress from cycling the day before? Maybe my pump site went bad. Possibly my molar was infected. All I am sure of is that my blood sugars remained stubbornly high, and I felt like crap.

I had a dia ‘beat us’ day. But tomorrow is a new one. My diabetes will be there, and I will ‘beat it.’

Reed's signature

+ Music helps on a crud day 🙂