Riding highs and lows (but mostly lows)

Early this afternoon, I decided to pay my parents a visit. I needed to do some repairs and maintenance on my bike and I didn’t have the tools for the repairs, but my dad does! Before I left I checked my mailbox, and what do I find?

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The medical bracelet that I ordered arrived! As I am on my bike every time I have to go somewhere, and I can’t detect hypos well while I’m biking, this was something that I really felt I needed. To my understanding, medical personnel is trained to look for medical bracelets and jewelry in emergency situations. There are medications that insulin does not go together with (even if it’s unlikely I’ll ever need those meds,Ā you never know) and if I am passed out from low blood sugar or get into an accident, a bracelet like this would give the EMTs a heads up to give me the proper treatment. I don’t fit the usual profile of a T1D to most people, so this helps a ton.

I wore it on my bike ride to my parents’ and felt really safe. They really liked the way it looked and the quality of the bracelet too. šŸ™‚ It’s comfortable to wear, not rough, and I forgot I was wearing it half the time.

Some well deserved plugging: this bracelet and many others are sold by Cobra Band on Etsy. (I can’t leave a review until next week, so my blog post will have to do until then. šŸ˜‰ ) The bracelet is handmade from woven paracord, and the metal plate is custom stamped with whatever text you want within their set limits. The quality is very high and the bracelet feels very sturdy. It’s secured with a strap buckle on the bottom and won’t come off until you want it to. Even with sweaty skin during bike rides, the cord doesn’t irritate my skin!

They have more than an excellent customer service, as they are quick to answer any inquiries and reassured me that they add about an inch of give to make the bracelet feel comfortable even on snug measurements. I’m not disappointed! They estimated production to 1-2 weeks, and my bracelet was shipped out on the 2 week mark. It arrived within 5 business days as promised! All in all, a very transparent process with friendly communication and a high quality product.

The best part is that the price is very affordable. I think I paid ā‚¬12 or ā‚¬13 for the bracelet plus shipping to the Netherlands (from the UK). Should I ever need a replacement they will be the first shop I’ll hit up!

If you’re diabetic, allergic, have epilepsy or any other conditions where a bracelet like this will be beneficial, I highly recommend you consider this shop and their bracelets. They make ICE (in case of emergency) bracelets for young children too!

With that addressed, I am proud of myself and mildly frustrated by my body today. My parents live 9km away from where I live, and there are many hills between us. Biking is no joke. I don’t mind, except for the last part where I am basically forced up a very steep hill and then have to ride it all the way back down, THEN BACK UP AGAIN because that’s how things just are around here in the Southern parts of the Netherlands. I don’t relate to my country as ‘flat’, that’s for sure! Those fellows up North and West have it easy with their flat roads.

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This added up to about 18km to and from my parents’ (which my phone didn’t track properly, god I wish I could afford a Fitbit) and took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes total. (The purple in the circle is some walking, the red is biking outdoors.) It wasn’t too hard, the hot sun was really the one thing that made it more difficult than it had to be, but overall I was handling it well.

I did have ridiculous low glucose levels throughout the afternoon though. I left my place at about 9.0, and when I got to my parents’ I was down to 5.9. Not too bad, but my levels consistently continue to drop after that kind of exercise, so I was snacking all afternoon to maintain that level. I didn’t manage to get up past 6.0 anymore despite the whole wheat crackers and biscuits with dried fruit, which was frustrating. My mom and I went on a brief grocery shopping trip and I bought more fruit biscuits and gummy candies mix (we call them Tum Tums, but as I understand it these are antacids in other parts of the world – I’m talking about straight up candy!). I shoveled a small handful down my gullet before I left to go back home, biked my ass off and managed not to drop below 5.2 as I walked into the door.

This is a good example of my low carb and I don’t mix. My body doesn’t want to listen! I had a lot of whole foods during the day, moderately low carb (40-60 grams for breakfast, about 30 for lunch) and the results are too many almost lows that I have to hastily fix with sugar bombs and more complex carbs just so I can stay on top of it. Slow (fiber heavy) carbs are included but they don’t prevent the lows, I’ve noticed.

That said, I did end up burning 800 calories on my bike rides today AND I avoided hypos throughout it all. Can I get a HELL YEAH? I may had to pull some dirty shots with the candy to stay on top, but I did it! šŸ™‚ I’m waiting for my timer to go off to test my post meal values for my day curve, but I don’t expect anything terrible.

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4 thoughts on “Riding highs and lows (but mostly lows)

  1. I purchased a medical bracelet as soon as I was diagnosed. I have a friend who is a nurse and whilst only type 2 he said to me, no actually he told me that I had to get one, no matter what.

    So I did……if you shop around they can really be fashionable as well. I went for a slightly more expensive silver one but next time I will probably opt for one similar to yours. Looks nice.

    I’ve not been out on the bike much this week as I’ve had a week off work and have been decorating the house. Come the evenings I’m just too tired to ride but I must admit I’m missing it. I can say however that I do not like the sound of those hills on your journey to your parents. My advice is ask them to move somewhere flatter haha šŸ˜‰

    • I never even knew they existed until I stumbled on them by accident. I thought I would feel foolish and like I’d draw a lot of attention to myself, but most people so far just assume it’s a pretty paracord bracelet, not a very important medical bracelet! šŸ™‚ After asking around the community I found out that most diabetics have them, some fancy, some simple, but all useful. I would have gotten a tattoo on my wrist if I knew for sure EMTs would look for them. But as medical alert tattoos are very unregulated and therefore not looked for in general, I’ve been told a bracelet is still the safer option.

      I’m considering getting one or two more so I can switch it up and match formal attires as well.

      I was wondering where you’d been! Good to know you’re doing well. šŸ™‚ You can consider this down time ‘recovery’ for your poor sore legs and muscles. šŸ˜‰ Downtime, especially when you’re still building up, is important to help your muscles repair and strengthen. (You might notice it’s easier to ride than before!)

      Hills have been the bane of my existence all my life LOL. From 7th grade to graduating High School it was a daily battle uphill on my bike to get to school and back home. I’m used to it. šŸ™‚ There’s a lot of construction happening though, and a lot of easier routes are blocked off. I currently have to ride through a town where I used to live, and it’s a solid climb upwards from there on. The bike paths are tiled, not asphalt, and it creates more friction between the tires and the ground. AKA it’s not only a constant climb, it’s harder than a climb on asphalt would be, šŸ˜ I have more uphill on the way home but it’s easier because the road is better!

      And hey, that was still 800 calories – a whole frozen pizza! šŸ˜€ Woop woop!

      • I think medical bracelets are a must, especially as realistically they are so affordable and can’t see myself without one now.

        You wont get rid that easy, it’s just been a hectic week so I’m pretty much falling asleep come the evening so no time for the bike or even turning on the pc. It’s certainly been a holiday in that respect as I spend most of my waking hours behind one. A nice change as well may I add!

        I did manage a quick 6km last night and I did all the side roads. As you say these roads are not asphalt and it was so much nicer and smoother. I am avoiding hills but I know I need to hit them sometime soon but yes my legs are not so achy (for the moment)

        • Sounds like you’re still kicking butt! šŸ˜€

          When you climb hills and you hit a point where you can’t make it, stop for 30-60 seconds and then resume. I’ve found I can bike up a hill this way without having to walk any of it (even if I have pit stops!). For me the brief rest is just enough to give my legs renewed energy. It’s easier to start back up in the middle of a hill than to plow through it in one go, somehow. (I wish I knew the science behind that.)

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