One Perfect (D) Day

Melinda Seed

Have you ever wondered how your diabetes would react if you were able to test it under “laboratory conditions”.  Well I came pretty close last week-damn close to being the perfect diabetic-for 5 and a half hours anyway.

In the interests of science I signed up to be part of a study looking at bolusing for fat when eaten with carbs.  As the appointed time got closer I began to realise why there isn’t more study done involving people with diabetes. It sounds easy, get to Sydney Uni between 7am and 9am, with a bsl between 4 and 10-without having eaten or drunk anything  but water since midnight and no correction boluses.  Are they kidding-getting anywhere without coffee is some kind of exquisite torture!  Let alone that pressure with your bsl, sure it sounds easy but I couldn’t help that mildly anxious feeling-I’d feel like such a failure if my bsl was above 10-and we all know sometimes that stuff happens and the researcher is totally cool about rescheduling etc but you just get that feeling-how rubbish I must be if I can’t do this.

So the day dawns with a bsl slightly on the lower end of my average, get to the centre, do my first blood test with the researcher looking on AND YES, that is a 5.5 you see before you (sorry it’s not a great quality photo).  The meters that they use in the study are huge-supposedly more accurate-I like these meters!!!


Woohoo, yep, that’s just how I roll.  Even better, 15 minutes later I was 5.4-yeah this D stuff is a walk in the park. At that point I had to do a dual wave (50/50 over 2 hours) for 45 grams of carbs. It was a pre-bolus and dual wave so that this was controlled for in the subsequent days when I would eat fat with the carbs. So 15 minutes later I was presented with 45 grams of dry bread and half a cup of water.  The bread had been weighed out by a dietitian to the last gram, I ate it and over the next 5 hours, checked my blood sugar on the extra accurate USyd meters. Not only that but I had to wash my hands before testing and throw the strips into a biohazard bin. I did note all those participating brought our own finger prickers and nobody changed a lancet between tests 🙂 Other than that though we were pretty close to being perfect-no stress in the lab, we just sat around chatting and trying to work-I think we all procrastinated from our various projects.

As expected my bsl went up to 12.6 (I think the bread outpaced the dual wave bolus) but came back down to be 4.3 at the end.  I am curious to see if it would drop further-perhaps my insulin does last longer than I thought or I need to pull back my afternoon basal a little-then again maybe just the lack of stress or the accurate carb counting were factors.  In any case I was too hungry and in need of caffeine to continue the experiment any longer.

As unbelievable as it is, I have been to the second session and freakishly my bsl on arrival was 5.5-I kid you not. Interestingly enough, after 15 minutes without doing anything, it had jumped to 7.7.  That day seemed to be one of some quick rises and falls as towards the end, after I’d eaten the bread with fat this time,  I fell from 8.8 to 5.5 in a half an hour-seems counter-intuitive to me as I would have thought my drop would have been slower than the previous meal because of the fat in the meal. The highest my bsl went though was 10-so dual wave bolus works for fat, but with pure carb, the standard bolus seems better.  Not that I’m complaining about those numbers at all-just interesting confirmation that you can do the same things in an extremely controlled manner and diabetes still does its own thing.  It will be interesting to see how the rest of the sessions go!  At the end of the study I hope to have a personalised bolus calculation for fat.  One of the coolest things about the study is the opportunity to chat with other type 1s, it never ceases to amaze me that no matter our ages or background there’s always so much to chat about.

Where we sit in USyd’s Charles Perkins Centre.

If you live in Sydney, aged between 18-70 and have type 1 and have been on a pump for more than 6 months, I believe they are still looking for 1 or 2 more participants. Contact the lovely for more information.

3 thoughts on “One Perfect (D) Day

  1. I bet the frist you did after the session ended was to find the nearest (good) coffee shop, and caffeinate yourself.

    1. Spot on Jane. Fortunately there is a cafe about 50metres from the door of the centre. I made a beeline for it. I was pleasantly surprised that
      I didn’t have a headache after so long sans coffee but I felt like my brain was a bit foggy!

Leave a Reply