News Reel

Exciting things are happening in the wide world of diabetes! From celebrating our blood glucose victories, to raising money for JDRF, to sharing our knowledge through social media, we are one inspired, inspiring, and active bunch. The following items were recently brought to my attention. Read on and get involved.

The 5.5 and 99 Club

This group was created on facebook back in February with the sole purpose of celebrating that elusive and oh-so-wonderful 5.5 (or, for those Americans in the audience, 99) – every diabetic’s favourite blood glucose number. “If you have Type 1 Diabetes, this is THE PLACE to be seen. 5.5mmol/L (=99mg/dL) is the GOLDILOCKS number for a finger-prick blood glucose measurement — not too high, not too low, but JUST RIGHT. So if your BG meter registers a “5.5,” post a photo of your meter and get instant bragging rights for your obviously TIGHT GLUCOSE CONTROL.”

How fun is that?! Now, I must confess that I have yet to see a 5.5mmol/L since joining the group a couple weeks ago. I have, however, clocked in at 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, and 5.9. Seriously, diabetes? Can’t you just give me this one little pleasure? I’m starting to think that my meter is programmed against displaying this holy grail reading. I’ll keep you updated. When I do finally get my first photo for The 5.5 and 99 Club, I will certainly be making good use of those bragging rights.

Portraits for a Cure

Fellow Victorian and type 1 diabetic Natalie Woods is using her photography skills to raise awareness about diabetes and raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Natalie is the talent behind When Shutters Click Photography, and 25% of every portrait session booked before June 4th will be donated to the TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes. This year, the Victoria walk is talking place on June 12th. You can learn more at Natalie’s website.

Connected in Motion Trail Mix Vlog

CIM has just launched its new vlog series, Diabetes Trail Mix. This weekly vlog will provide an online hub for Slipstreamers to ask questions and get answers to their diabetes queries. In the first episode, Connected in Motion’s Chloe and Jen describe the process of diabetes education as akin to packing a big backpack, and they ask the question: what are you looking to add to your diabetes backpack?

Once I stopped being distracted by the Rocky Mountain backdrop and my desire to board the first plane out of Victoria to western Alberta, I was able to focus on the question. If my “diabetes backpack” is my stronghold of knowledge, tools, skills, and strategies related to living with this disease, what do I want to add?

[The following is my answer, as posted on the CIM facebook page.]

“At this point, I’m looking for all the tricks of the trade related to multi-day cycle touring with type 1. I’ve only ever gone on one multi-day cycling trip. That was a 1000km (50km there, 50km back) camping trip, and I had a day off from cycling in the middle. This summer, Daniel and I are planning a three-day cycling trip to Seattle (so excited!) and I am a bit nervous about basal rates. I cycle almost every day and have figured out what sort of snacks/basal reduction I need for short trips. But what about longer journeys?

All you veteran cycle tourers our there, when cycling multiple hours a day for multiple days in a row, what sort of basal adjustments do you need? I don’t want the “double-dip” of exercise to send me plummeting in the night. I also don’t want to reduce my basals through the night and wake up with my BG in the stratosphere. Any advice to cram into my diabetes backpack would be much appreciated!”

You can get involved in the Trail Mix conversation by posting your answers on facebook, twitter or YouTube.

That’s it for today’s updates. I hope you’re all having a wonderful Easter weekend!


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2 Responses to News Reel

  1. Andy says:

    Hi Laura,

    When I biked around Lake Ontario, it was a great lesson in managing diabetes while being very active! I had been on very long rides before the trip (a few 200k rides with friends) and had learned how to manage one day of riding, but hadn’t done consecutive days much before that point.

    With pretty much any ride more than a few hours, I turn the basals down to -90%. I generally find that while I’m active, insulin seems to be far more productive, so having anything more than a tiny drip of a basal sends me low. On long days, I also tend not to do much for bolusing. This usually means that the only time I get lows, they come on very slowly and are quickly fixed with a drink of juice/soda I keep in a waterbottle, and usually follow up with more food at the next break.

    When I was riding long days back to back (most days were about 150km) the same method worked for me. My basals throughout the day only totaled about 12-15u, with a bolus after I stopped riding which helped to cover dinner too. I was usually on the bike for about 10 hours a day, stopping about once an hour to check bgs, grab a snack, and rest my legs for a few minutes before continuing on.

    I kept the nighttime basals about half also. I never had issues with lows at night, so that seemed to work well. As with most things d-related, I just modify my plans as I go and make adjustments incrementally.

    Good luck with your Seattle trip! Bike tours are really the best way to get around :)


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