Diabetes Self-Management Blog

It’s early in the morning here in Southeast Michigan. How’s your diabetes? Mine’s doing just fine. Last night when I went to bed, however, I worried that my night might be long and fraught with blood glucose issues.

I went to the gym at 4:30 yesterday afternoon. My intention was to lift weights for an hour at high repetitions — kind of to exhaustion on the last set for each exercise, but not using much weight — and then take the six o’clock hour-long spinning class.

Lifting — as I’ve realized happens with almost any sport or exercise — is one of those things that when I tell myself I’ll take it easy, or when I’m least motivated, I end up working the hardest. No exception last night. I didn’t intend to, but I really, really pushed myself. It was one of those great in-my-head, paying-attention-to-no-one workouts where I was in the zone.

Then it was onto spinning, where the class music of the night was Halloween-themed. Yes, sure, “Monster Mash,” “Purple People Eater,” and gimmicky songs such as that were scattered throughout the class, but mostly it was some of the good stuff — “Thriller,” “Witchy Woman,” “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” For the most part, not songs I usually spin to.

The themed music was a nice change of pace — a leisurely pace — as I’d hoped. Except when Blue Oyster Cult’s song “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” came on. I can’t hear that and not think of the “More Cowbell” sketch. Am I correct in presuming you know it, too? If not, it’s a Saturday Night Live skit with Will Ferrell. The song, and the skit, drew me out of my fatigue. I smiled. I looked around hoping to share the SNL love with others, but no one was exhibiting sketch recognition.

With Blue Oyster Cult/SNL inspiration, once again I pushed myself really, really hard.

For the remainder of the evening I was careful. I tried to make sure that I didn’t experience a second low before bed. Yes, I’ve written about this before, but it is something that I worry about often. I don’t get second lows with any regularity. I don’t know why, but they just don’t seem to happen at regular x number of hours after a workout. They’re often said to occur within 24 hours after strenuous exercise, for those who get them. Eight hours later, 20 hours later, a day following my workout, without explanation, I’ll begin to feel hypoglycemic. I’ll start sweating, I’ll become ravenous, and I’ll realize, “Oh! This is because of my workout.” (Or, at least, it’s mostly related to my latest workout.)

When I went to bed at 10, my glucose was around 100 mg/dl. I worried. I was tired, but I worried. What-ifs popped into my head about going low in my sleep. I drank a glass of milk, had some yogurt, and figured there was just enough fat coupled with the carbs to help me through the night. A few anxiety dreams about failing to study for college exams was all that caused me any grief overnight, however. I woke up at 5:30 for the day and felt great. (Yes, 5:30, because my wife had an early meeting so I needed to get the dog on her walk early.)

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