Camping Is Its Own Basal

I’m not a doctor.

During our camping adventure in Sequoia this weekend, I knew there would be an abnormally high amount of physical activity. Between walking everywhere, and walking everywhere, I knew insulin adjustments would be necessary to avoid as many lows as possible.

Precautions were certainly taken: I bought gatorade mix to stock my water bottle every morning, we bought some tasty granola bars, and picked up some trail mix to top things off. And Dayle and I ensured all of our diabetes devices were sufficiently charged before going off the grid. But even with all of that preparation, lows can still happen.

I suppose there are worse places to stop and take a snack break though. I mean… 

UntitledBut, having experienced persistent lows due to extended walking bouts and events like Scientific Sessions, I knew the first order of business was to reduce my Lantus.

I repeat, I’m not a doctor.

I stopped taking my Lantus that morning, before our walk along the Tokopah Valley Trail and didn’t take a Lantus injection for the next 36 hours. The scary (and awesome?) thing about this, was that my blood glucose levels stayed relatively normal for the first 24 hours of my basal-less excursion. But as the second day of Lantus-ness continued, I think a severely reduced Lantus dose would have been the better route to go. Instead of 15u in the morning and 10u at night, maybe just 5u in the morning and nothing at night?

The problem with situations like this is that they don’t happen regularly enough for me to know the right way to proceed. I’m not hiking every weekend, although that could be a possibility given the options where we live. And I’ve always been wary to make drastic adjustments to my diabetes management since I can only deal in whole numbers. One more thing to look forward to once I start on my pump, right?

One last time, I’m not a doctor.

I do not recommend or advocate abandoning insulin for a set period of time for any reason. I do, however, advocate being an active participant in your diabetes care and learning when change is necessary. For too long I used to wait for “permission” from my endocrinologist (who I saw for 15 minutes every 4 months) before making any adjustments. But this is my body, this is my diabetes. As long as I’m careful about it, I’m going to do what is necessary to keep me, and my diabetes happy.

One thought on “Camping Is Its Own Basal

  1. This has always happened anytime I’ve camped, especially in the High Sierras where the temperature drops down quite a bit. I too have had to stop all basal as I estimate that just sleeping in a tent in cold is the equivalent to exercise for an insulin dependent diabetic.

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