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BEEEEEEEEEP!s and Basals.

Damn diabetes juggling act.It's January 22, and I've been sticking with my New Year's resolution of keeping a Log Book.  (Said Log Book is currently in my home, all current and three-hole punched and was almost eaten once by Abby but then I put it in the bookcase so now it's safe.)  And after taking note of all the highs I've had in the morning hours, and the weird drops I'm experiencing just before going to the gym at night, I decided to do a little basal tweaking.

Here's the disclaimer:  Talk to your doctor before tweaking your basals.  Kerri is not a licensed CDE or a medical professional of any kind, and quite frankly, if you follow her advice, you may end up tucked inside of a banana for all eternity.  [See also:  Siah.] 

I don't take a lot of basal insulin throughout the day, but I do use many basal flucutations.  It's not one steady dose for me.  I range from .45 u of Humalog in the afternoon hours to about .75 u in the early morning hours. For a while, this worked out pretty well.  But maybe it's the lack of birth control pill hormones, or the absence of wedding-related stress, or maybe the new mousepad I have at home is shifting the tides ... in any event, I needed to make some adjustments.  I could see the trends happening by watching the Dexcom screen, so I knew this was more than just a fluke thing.  (The Log Book confirmed my suspicions.  Who'd have thought that logging could be useful!)  The Dexcom was hollering at me in the morning - BEEEEEEEEEP!ing to the point where my coworkers noticed.  

"You okay?"

"Yeah.  Frigging beeping.  I have diabetes."

Laughter.  "Oh yeah."

So on Monday morning, after another frustrating BEEEEEEEP! confirmed by a meter check showing me at 267 mg/dl (thank you, glucose goblins), I tinkered around with the patterns in my pump.  I dialed up another .2 u for my mornings, hoping to stave off the highs. 

It worked.

Yesterday morning, I woke up at 6 am with bricks hanging from any firing synapses in my brain.  The Dexcom was BEEEEEEP!ing from the headboard of the bed (where it stays during the night so Chris can see it and hear it, too) and I woke slowly.  Moving without thinking, I unzipped the meter case and went through the motions.  41 mg/dl.  Fantastic.  Seeing the number cut a few bricks loose, and I was able to shuffle off into the kitchen for juice.  (Yes, there were reaction treaters in my bedside table.  No, I didn't use them.  Instead, I found myself in the kitchen with a huge knife, cutting a slice of a brownie from the container in the fridge.  Sharp knife + Kerri when she's low + wee hours of the morning could = disaster, but thankfully no fingers were severed during the course of my low.)

Reaction treated, I went back to bed, crumbs still on my shirt.  I rested my head against the pillow and the Dexcom howled at me once more, showing me the slow bell curve towards a low that had been happening for over an hour.

"No, I heard you.  It's cool now.  Leave me alone."

Chris stirred.  "You're going off.  You're beeping.  Did you hear the beeping?  You're low."  Talking in his sleep, the poor guy.  He's on autopilot, too.

"I treated. It's okay now." 

It's a little research, a little trial-and-error, and a whopping dose of blind faith required for mucking with basals. Hopefully over the next few weeks, I can make slow adjustments to this basal crap and eliminate some of those frustrating highs.  Even though I'm sleepless some nights due to the Dexcom, I'm grateful to be able to see those graphs and lines and make adjustments to my insulin doses accordingly. 

If only it could keep me from juggling knives while I'm low.  I think I need a whole separate alarm for that. 

[Dexcom disclosure


Doing some basal tweeking myself. Been fighting lows. Mine also seems to be due to the absence of birth control hormones. What's with that???

I just have to say, way to go on keeping the logbook! That's awesome. :) I know the lows and highs are a pain in the butt, and juggling all of it can seem like an impossible task, but the logbook is incredibly commendable. I make efforts toward record keeping on a regular basis, but I fail pretty much each weekend. Your endurance encourages me. And your stories keep reminding me that I am not alone. Thanks for sharing with us!

So funny how our brains work when we are low. But yes, low and knife are not a good combo!! Here's hoping you get those basals in line soon - and that it doesn't all decide to change again the minute you fix things. :)

I just want to thank you for making me howl with laughter on a morning when I'm dealing with high blood sugars and now ketones in my little Jenna. Thank you so much Kerri. You are a breath of fresh air!!

I feel a little silly even recommending this to you, but...
do you have the book Pumping Insulin? It has charts and graphs to help you figure out your basal patterns and how much to adjust when.
Before I used it, it was basically a crap-shoot and I would do whatever I felt like. Up a little - down a little...

Who knew there was actually MATH behind it!

Well way to go indeed you are so organized I wish I could be . I am just the opposite . Don't you just love those glucose goblins ? LOL!!! I love the blog as usual and keep up the good work on the logbook .

Sara: We have PUMPING INSULIN also. We were experienceing crazy numbers before Christmas with my 8 year old. My husband took out the book, copied the graph, and now we graph numbers daily, and have upped her basal significantly. She is in the zone...and we keep her there with the basal tweaking! Cheers to Tweaking!

I read your blog every day and I want to tell that you are amazing! I love your ambition and your determination. I have diabetes for 1 year and I want to learn about it and your blog definitely is a process in all this learning thing. You see, I live in Romania and here people with diabetes don't have the courage to write about their experience.
So I started a diabetes blog to inform the public about this disease.

I want to think that God gave me diabetes with a purpose..

I wish you the best things in the world and of course a small A1C! You deserve it!

Nice job on the logbook, Kerri.

I dunno why, but you describing that low was hilarious. Maybe it's because it involved a knife? LOL *shrugs*

Hi, I'm one of your fans - and a lurker! We've been totally slacking on a keeping a log book of food, activity, and insulin for my 8 y.o. daughter. Can anyone give us a suggestion for an appealing log book? Not too girly, but pretty, if possible, with lots of room to write stuff? Thank you!

I have had my logbook going since December 27th. (27 days?) I chose to jump on the bandwagon with you!
It's getting more and more automatic to record things, even when i eat something i know i shouldn't be, or neglect the insulin pen hovering in my purse, i write it down, and judge myself later.
the basal rates, when still on a long-acting like levemir... are forever useless to me. i can't make it work out. keep trucking i suppose!


I DESPISE adjusting my basal rates!! And actually just decided to screw with them this evening. I am so impatient that I have a bad habit of adjusting them once or twice a day when my blood sugars are crap. I know, this doesn't follow "the rule" of waiting to see what happens, but I want to get it right- right now. To make it even more entertaining for myself, I've also decided to adjust my insulin to carb ratios throughout the day. Sometimes I feel it is pointless to even ask my endo for advice.

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