Monday, November 15, 2010

Pulsing Pancreases!

Fact: The normal pancreas makes insulin in a pulsatile rather than continuous way. Insulin production goes dramatically up and down in three to six minute intervals. Insulin infusion from a pump is more steady than from a pancreas.
I first read this fact on wikipedia but got a much more thorough explanation from this article which notes that the oscillations are in reaction to uptake of calcium (big whoop), that all of the stuff the islet cells release are released in pulsatile form, that insulin and glucagon releases happen opposite to each other, and that when humans make insulin in a more steady instead of pulsatile form, it is an early sign of type 2 diabetes.

Today was a doozy of a day. I had two scheduled activities: to help run the weaving studio in the morning, and to supervise my chess guys in the afternoon.
Well, I went hypo just before swiping in in the morning. I then had a record number of people to assist in the morning, and in between them I ate my mints and squeezed that honey bear. My blood sugar was just coming up when lunch began two hours later.
I ate a pear (I thought it was 15 carbs but on second thought I guess 25 carbs) and a corn cake (9 carbs) for lunch and did not inject at the time.
In the hour that I stayed after lunch, I was again busy busy.
I left at about 1:40 to go to chess. My blood sugar at that point was just over 200 so I changed my mind about the free lunch, and injected.

It was the last day of the Monday chess club for the fall, and we were having awards and a party. I didn't get as much done as I was hoping and I finished the class feeling drained. A review of the Dexcom showed that I had gone up to about 270 before dropping and I was hovering around 190.

I took another shot on the bus. I decided not to take the bus home and instead went to the library to work (I have been a library volunteer since 1999), which was fortuitous as somebody came in looking for a recommendation for a tutor for their child and the library staff pointed to me and I now have another small job.
My Dexcom had one flashing bar for the battery, and I started shelving. In a 60 minute period, my blood sugar went from 180 to 250 heading up, so I figured the correction was not enough, went and took another shot (I forget now how much) and decided that I was sick of looking at high numbers.
So I plugged the charger in in the backroom, connected the Dexcom, and left it there while I ran around the library, shelving, and running router (running router is my second favorite thing to do at the library, after assisting patrons- it means finding books that people have put on hold).
When I came back and retrieved the Dexcom a little over an hour later, the Dexcom showed an out of range symbol (no surprise) and when I next looked down it showed 195 heading down.
Although I sometimes think I should stay in range of the Dexcom as much as possible, it seems at other times that being able to put it away while I'm out of range especially, takes some stress off of me.


Reyna said...

The insulin releasing pulsatile fact is interesting Jonah. I had no idea.

We just had a frickin' site failure...on Joe...never even got the site callibrated. It was a "dud" from the start. So, he has beenw without Dexter for a couple of days. I kind of like the "break" too, although with all of his activities it is nice to have it in and functioning.

Have a great day. You are doing a marvelous job posting daily. Thank you.

Wendy said...

Very interesting!

Thanks for giving us a peek inside your day.

We don't have a CGM -- tried one a couple years back, but I just wasn't ready for the information overload.

We're going to trial a Dex at the end of the months....we shall see....