January of 2017 started in quite a hectic fashion for me. First my flight home from Austrialia was cancelled which led to a panic that I wouldn’t be returning to work in time (luckily I returned to the UK eight hours before work began) then began coping with major jet lag and swinging blood sugar levels while tackling a week of teaching. However this did not phase me, I knew I had my trusty freestyle libre by my side. 

Jet lag made me feel constantly hypo, stopping anti-depressants also made me feel hypo. Therefore I thought – why not do it all at once! Luckily, this plan worked out. My blood sugars however were on the higher side to what I would have preferred, but nothing a few bolus corrections couldn’t help with. It turns out that fluoxetine had a positive effect on lowering my blood sugar levels – which I did remember from when I started them – and coming off it resulted in rising blood sugar levels. Time to use the libre to identify patterns and change my basal rate. An additional four units added to my basal rate across the day. 

Then I had major abdominal surgery. All I wanted to eat post surgery was ice cream, not the best food choice for avoiding blood sugar spikes! Pre-surgery I was nil by mouth for 48 hours. This did not work out well for my blood sugars. By the time I reached hospital I was in desperate need of energy and there I was given a glucose drip. I managed the glucose drip by bolussing for the grams of glucose in the whole drip throughout the time the drip took to finish. This worked well. However in surgery my blood sugar was low, the anaesthetist happily told me that he had given me a glucose drip and given me a good amount of glucose. Firstly, I was surprised that my blood sugars were checked during surgery. I assumed this was just left to tick along. When I came round from surgery I wasn’t quite with it enough to sort out my readings and bolus for it. Thanks to the freestyle libre I checked my blood sugar many times, yet I wasn’t with it enough to do anything apart from look at the numbers! 

Once the drugs had worn off I was back in control. I could read my libre and adjust my basal and bolus as required. Thank goodness for the animas vibe temporary basal rates. Being able to use a basal of up to an extra 200% was perfect as my body tried to recover, fought off infection and I lay inactive for four days in hospital. 

As I write this, I am still at home recovering and able to do slightly more, yet my previous exercise regime is out of the window. This has resulted in a change of basal rates as I realised how insulin sensitive I am post exercise and an increase of my insulin to carbohydrate ratio in the morning. My blood sugars are staying beautifully within the zone without the stress of work, rushing between places and sudden unexpected exercise that daily life brings. Now if I could take my last two weeks data for an HbA1c then I would be truly happy! 

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