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PSA: Wash Your Hands.

Over the last few days, I’ve logged plenty of airplane travel hours, which are hours I don’t enjoy for a dozen different reasons, one of which being how rotted out my hands become after just a few hours on a plane.  I know the air is low on humidity, which doesn’t help maintain hydration, which turns my hands into these wizened old lady hands that crack and bleed even if I’m gently pushing the lever to put my tray table into its upright and locked position.

Most of the time, I forget to bring hand lotion with me and by the time I arrive at my destination, I need to wear gloves to cover my mangled hands, but this time, I remembered.  (Forgot insulin, but remembered hand lotion.  Not exactly a even trade, but still.)  So I spent the majority of the flight with plenty of lotion slathered on my winter-ruined hands.

“386 mg/dL.”

What the what?  Sitting at my seat on the plane, I was baffled.  My CGM had me at 98, not 386 – what the hell was going on?  No sweaters on my teeth, no desire to pee every fifteen seconds, no need for water constantly pouring down my throat.

(I know you already know the source of my idiocy.)

I washed my hands, and checked again.

“103 mg/dL”

For almost three decades, I’ve been told to wash and dry my hands before checking my blood sugar.  Clearly, hand lotion is filled with honey.


9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kim #

    When did 1998 Brad Pitt start endorsing hand lotion? Yowza.

    03/24/14; 9:25 am
    • Old photo from old post that old me can’t let go of. 🙂 #rawr

      03/24/14; 9:39 am
    • abbybayer #

      I was going to refrain from the obvious inappropriate joke about this bottle of Brad Pitt lotion. But since you brought it up…

      03/24/14; 9:52 am
  2. Wendy #

    That’s why I carry those alcohol wipes. Not because I should wipe down before an injection, but for finger pokes. And cleaning up my hands at the movies after snacks.

    03/24/14; 9:40 am
    • Wicked smart. I’ve used unscented baby wipes, but they scare me, too, for the same reason as the lotion.

      03/24/14; 9:46 am
  3. Ahhhhhh!!!!
    Brad Pitt Moisturizer!!!!
    ::collapses in a puddle of giggles::
    How I’ve missed that.

    03/24/14; 11:19 am
  4. Definitely kicked myself last night as I forgot to test before using a sugar scrub on my hands. Definitely cursed a few times as I soaped up my hands, somewhat defeating the reason I was using the scrub in the first place. Lotioned like heck before bed, but sadly not with Brad PItt. 😛

    03/24/14; 12:14 pm
  5. Teri #

    “Sweaters on my teeth” – OMG – I thought I was the only one who thought that! Another reason why I love your blog!

    03/24/14; 1:25 pm
  6. This is what happened to me a couple of years ago:

    It was a sunny Pentecost morning. Me and my friend were going for a 90 mile bike ride around lake Näsijärvi near our home town (Tampere, Finland).

    Shops were closed that day, and we had to carry all the water and snacks we needed for the entire trip. Well, at least I though all shops were closed, so I didn’t take any money with me.

    Halfway through I checked my BG. It was fine, somewhere at normal range, as I expected. I had cycled enough to know how my glucose levels would behave during long rides.

    The friend of mine was in much more better shape than I was. And my bike was a lot heavier than his bike. Uhm…that’s just an excuse, actually. But anyway, what I mean is that the bike ride was pretty strenuous for me.

    Near the end of our trip there WAS a grocery store open, and my friend needed to refill his water bottles. So we stopped. He went in, and I stayed outside keeping an eye on our bikes.

    I checked my BG again. I can’t remember the exact number but I it was about 320 mg/dL. What the….?

    By that time, I was experimenting with bringing high BG down by injecting an oversized dose of rapid acting insulin. By doing that, my glucose levels would come down to normal range in about an hour instead of 3 – 4 hours. Of course a maneuver like that required leveling off the drop by consuming some carbs before going hypo.

    I’m also pretty strict about my glucose levels, and my self-hate has no limits when I go too high or too low. Lows are easy to fix, but highs take much longer. This is also the reason for my experiments. I had already learned to fix my highs quite nicely.

    But this time my experimental routine backfired. Badly.

    Right after seeing the ugly reading on my glucometer, I injected some insulin. Again, I can’t remember how much exactly, but it was something like 15 units. Yes, I know, that’s a lot of rapid acting stuff for a normal weight person during a physical exercise.

    As soon as I had injected, I realized I had made a huge mistake. That number couldn’t be right. After riding hard for a few hours, it simply wasn’t possible my BG would be that high.

    I washed my hands and checked again. 100 mg/dL. And I had just injected 15 units. And I had no snacks left, or maybe only about 20 grams of carbs. And I had no money to buy more.

    Well, shit.

    Luckily my friend was able to lend me some coins so that I could by a bottle of lemonade. That was 50 grams of carbs. But it wasn’t enough. I needed at least 100 grams more to meet 15 units of insulin.

    We still had almost 10 miles to go. It would take at least 30 minutes to get back home, and the insulin would start working in 10 minutes. The fact that insulin works faster and more efficiently during physical activity wasn’t really helpful in this case.

    I was lucky. When I got back home, my BG was only a little under normal range. I had pint of dextrose drink to fix that, and to cover the maybe-a-little-bit-exaggerated dose of insulin during the shop stop.

    The moral of the story: Don’t be stupid. Don’t always blindly believe what your blood glucose meter is telling you. Use some common sense before taking insulin, even when you’re tired after strenuous exercise.

    And remember to wash your hands.

    03/25/14; 4:37 pm

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