Have been experiencing unusual amounts of stress lately but have never learned any strategies for it. Since this appears it’s pretty consistent… and might not be going anywhere anytime soon, what do I do with it?
Things I’ve found are that after longer runs, I have no need for a basal reduction and still have to watch for spikes (definitely not normal for me), I am very sensitive to carbs and am bouncing high with even small amounts, and I am finding my highs to be stubborn and am requiring just big chunks of insulin (and am even mixing and matching all my “tools” to get it).
I’ve been using Afrezza for a few weeks now and have gotten pretty comfortable with its pattern. Today, true to my patterns as of recently, even 20 units of it has not allowed me below a 200. I’m trying not to rage bolus here and would like to be methodical in my approach. As much as is possible on this amount of coffee anyway. Any thoughts?
Hope this finds everyone well, and I hope you guys are headed into a very relaxing weekend.
@Nickyghaleb - I’m a newbie here so I don’t pretend to have any knowledge that you don’t, and I don’t pump so I don’t understand all that stuff. But, I do have stress and unexplained stubborn highs. Seriously, taking a walk listening to my favorite music, and drinking lots of water seems to be the only thing that will help move it. I have rheumatoid arthritis too, so I imagine a lot of the stress is medical worries, and I usually walk laps on our porch or in the house. You have to schedule a time every day to do something to deal with stress, regardless of what it is, reading, playing or listening to music, take a short nap, exercise, watching a favorite TV show. It has to be scheduled like a meeting, or else you’ll find a reason not to do it, you don’t have time, something else is more important etc.
Mental stress is different for me than emotional stress which is still different than physical stress. Different in how they feel. Different in how they show up in my blood sugar.
If it is mental stress, I try to compartmentalize by giving myself an hour a day to actively think about the problem, and then after that it just has to wait its turn until the next day. I also do this with my higher strung son. When he goes through periods of repeated fears, we do “talk time” in the evening for twenty minutes where he can get it all out and then put it away again until the next night.
If it is emotional stress, it can be super hard to keep that at bay and compartmentalize. Sometimes that sort of thing I just have to ride out, although I wish I had better advice.
I definitely try to cut out all extraneous BS during high stress load times. Anything that doesn’t Have to get done just doesn’t get done in those times for me. Less screen time, less stimulation, more nature helps me. YDMV.
ETA: When BG is just crazy stubborn due to stress, I do mix in lower-ish carb meals to try to keep things respectable. I know that may not be universally endorsed but I find it helps when everything’s a mess.
Stress is not methodical, so why should your approach to it be? I remember once getting a phone call about my dad (dementia, firing his caregivers, being generally frustrating and contrary) and sitting there watching my Dex line climb and climb and climb. Rage bolus away. It helps.
I know stress is real, but I have always chalked up crazy numbers to the thousand other possible contributors. I eat badly when I stress out. I forget things. I don’t pay as close attention… it’s a general dustercluck.
I’ll go try some now. Now would be a good time. Just finished up a party of 11 very small but very loud children. Which was not all that relaxing.
I’m glad you’re trying some of the suggestions in this thread … meditation, music, reading, movies,…
Try too, to remove yourself from the front and center of it all. If the stress is coming from family arguments, isolate yourself from the family until the argments calm down. If the stress is from a project at work, approach the project in a totally different way - if possible, with totally different people.
Best of luck to all - and anyone who finds an answer let me/us know …
@Jan, I know you’re new, but I see you in here with all of your questions and already find myself looking forward to your insight. And I think I heard you say you’re a scientist, so that gives you the advantage.
I do listen to my favorite music and exercise almost every day. I don’t drink water… and probably could mix that into my routine. But the real thing I don’t do is this:
This is something I do not do at all. I think I’ll wake up in the morning and try putting it at the top of whatever I want to get done tomorrow. Thank you for the idea.
Not sure I know the difference. I think it might be all the stress. All tangled together. And alive and pulsating.
I don’t think I’m doing this on purpose, but I do think it’s happening.
You know I agree with this, and yet I haven’t done it. In fact, I’ve been into upper-ish carb meals and snacks… trying to feed something in my head that is not hunger. Definitely isn’t helping, and I think I may try to rally around this tomorrow, too. At least plan on it. I could start with that.
Because I assumed this is what you guys would suggest. What you guys would be doing in your own times of stress. There are so many equations around this place, I just assumed this would be one, too.
I’ll have you know I read this yesterday when you commented and swished it around in my head for a while. All morning I was high, but I was planning on a long run so didn’t want to get too much insulin on board. Climbed during my run. Climbed even higher after my run… and finally rage bolused away. I imagine it’s not going to hold all night, but a combination of big boluses, big afrezza hit, a few IVs, and a temp basal……. and I got me a 143.
I’m sorry about your dad’s dementia, @Beacher. That sounds really hard.
Both? I’m not doing both. I’m rising randomly now at 2:30 in the morning and hate increasing stuff in the middle of the night. I’ve set another temp rate of 150% but would consider doing an extended bolus, too… if I weren’t a scaredy cat.
Assuming it’s stress and not a site issue (just my usual disclaimer), I increase my basal by 5% at a time, giving it 2-4 hours to show me how that helps before I increase it again. I’ll also give double my normal correction dose to try to get things moving.
I find that it takes a LOT of insulin to get it to budge in a sustainable way, but once I can keep my bg close to 100 for a decent amount of time, it doesn’t take as much extra basal to keep it there.
The way I think about it (which is very likely wrong, but it is how I visualize things) is that my cells have thrown up their walls against the extra glucose in my blood stream. They are resisting letting all of it in and are just not sensitive to insulin. Once my cells finally start accepting the glucose, and once my blood stream has less extra glucose in it, my cells drop their walls and have better receptiveness to my insulin…thereby requiring less basal to maintain my bg than it took to get the ball rolling.
I have better luck managing this when it is cycle hormone driven than when it is stress driven. That’s probably bc stress is so hard to quantify…and maybe it has different underlying mechanisms causing insulin resistance.
Anyway, I adjust steadily and slowly. Guess and check is what I do.
I don’t pump, just FYI. My RDE said if I am correcting a high and having trouble getting it down, if it’s in the 200s add an extra unit (Humalog), if in the 300s add 2 extra units to my normal correction. Luckily I haven’t had to try it out.
I randomly spiked to 289 (via fingerstick) overnight. I was running +15% already for hormones. Overnight in my grogginess I just threw 3 units at it to correct it which leveled me at 170. When I woke up, I added 5% more basal (+20% total) and took double correction dose plus regular breakfast dose. Now I’m back into the 80’s pre-lunch. I’ll probably keep the +20% basal, do a low carb lunch and see how the afternoon goes.
Just how I do things. Never pretty, but it’s the best I’ve got.
ETA: Now that I’m back in range, +20% is way too much. Back to +15%.
Nice, if you are looking for parallels in the real world. It appears you have a blood sugar track that looks like the Alaskan Brooks range, the long arctic plateau and the final drive the arctic ocean there. I am not sure this helps anything, but that was my last vacation and you have created a close to perfect reproduction there. Good job!