Last weekend I took my first "pump vacation."
It was short - very short. I had plans to go waterskiing/wakeboarding/knee skiing with Boyfriend, and since this coincided with a site change day, I figured I'd leave the pump at home for a few hours, rather than expose it to the (however slim) possibility that I'd lose it off of the side of a boat.
I think my problem was that we slept in. I had a late breakfast on Saturday, so my breakfast bolus was still in effect when I disconnected from my pump. When the time came, I figured out approximately how long I was going to be off of my pump (I figured about 4 hours), calculated my basal insulin over that time, and gave it as a bolus - then said goodbye to my pump, double-checked that my purse was loaded with juice boxes, test strips, and the Frio pack that held my Humalog pen needle, and I was off boating!
....enter low BG. I'm not sure if it was the heat (around 40 degrees with the humidity!), the stacking of my breakfast bolus + "missed basal" bolus, or the exercise from waterskiing (or trying to), but I spent the first 2 hours sucking back juice boxes just to stay above 4. The lowest I got was 3.6, but a lot of that was because I had around 8 juice boxes over that 2-hour period.
Yup -- that's 200 grams of carbs.
Looking back, I think I'm lucky it didn't end up worse than it did. I felt mostly fine throughout the day -- a little shaky at times, but overall more excited about water sports than concerned about BGs. It wasn't until later in the day that I realized just how much juice I had gone through.
At least it helps me to realize that next time I want to take a pump vacation, there's a lot more to consider than just my "missed basal" insulin. Stuff like IOB (insulin on board, or Active Insulin), outdoor temperature, and exercise had a HUGE impact this weekend. I wish I could have anticipated that.
When bad things happen, my tendency (like that of many people with diabetes, I know) is to give myself crap for letting it happen. I'm trying to be better about focusing on how I really did try - I tried to figure out how much background insulin I needed, and I didn't think it would be so hot once I was in the water, so I hoped that the effects of the water would negate those of the heat. I really did try.
So much of the daily diabetes-things seem unpredictable and (semi)uncontrollable sometimes. I'm trying to take credit for the "good" numbers, but also trying to give myself credit for trying even when it doesn't end up going so well.
Saturday did not go well. I am lucky that it wasn't worse.
I am happy that I didn't ruin a fun day with diabetes-related "sick people stuff" that would have held up our water sports.
I am very, very happy that I had enough juice boxes around to keep my sugars from completely tanking.
On top of all of that, I can also say that I've learned something. It could have been worse, but it wasn't, and I can remember this next time I plan to take a short break from my pump.
I am feeling encouraged by the fact that I'm considering this as a learning opportunity. I certainly don't want to downplay what could have been a very serious, very dangerous situation, but I also don't want to dwell on it.
On a lighter note, I hope you had a fantastic Canada day! Cheers, folks! 🙂