Today is the first day of Summer, but in true Melbourne style, we’ve already had a few scorchers. Also in true Melbourne style it is pouring with rain right now and if you walk outside there is steam rising from the hot footpaths. Humid, muggy, steamy and sticky is the outlook for the day. I love this city!
The temperature yesterday was a sweltering 35 degrees Celsius. The hypo was relentless.
This is the 16th Summer I will have lived with diabetes. Actually, if you add in a couple of New York Summers as well, it will actually be the 18th.
That’s a lot of time to remember that warm and hot weather affects my BGLs. Alas, remembering is not something I am particularly good at.
Hence, the warm weather hypos.
Each year, I curse the arrival of the warm weather hypo. Each year, I spend a week or so at the beginning of the warm weather season wondering why I am chasing lows all day. Each year, I remember after said week or so that it is warm weather hypo season. Each year, I act as though it is a new phenomenon. Each year, I eventually remember what to do when this season is upon me and finally start to effectively manage the stupid lows. Each year, I also remember that I am not particularly good at diabetes.
Hot dry weather is different to hot humid weather. The humidity is worse for me because it causes me to perspire more. Getting sweaty is, amongst other things, a hypo symptom. At times. It takes a while – and a shedload of BGL strips – to work out if the sweatiness is due to the heat and humidity or low BGLs, (or other fun stuff in which case, I’ll possibly end up hypo anyway – digression…).
Overnight high temperatures result in overnight low BGLs. I am sure there is some mathematical algorithm to show this – something with lots of x=458690 jelly beans about convex segments, real valued functions or vector spaces of multiple dimensions or something – but I am not smart enough to actually understand what an algorithm is, nor really care what x equals. Also, did I just write vector spaces?
Warm weather lows are particularly sticky – they sneak up on me and then don’t leave. In fact, they can hang around for hours and hours. During one horribly nasty low, I drank two litres of pineapple juice over a three hour period and ate and ate and ate lollies. My pump was disconnected – there was absolutely no insulin on board. And still I was stumbling around 3mmol/l for most of the day. (In my stupor, I like to pretend I am cured of diabetes.)
Today – the first day of Summer – I am officially announcing it warm weather hypo season, which, of course, coincides with another season – the Christmas/holiday season. But believe me, when you think I am saying ‘season’s greetings’, I am actually saying ‘season’s eatings’ – and I am shovelling glucose down my throat and dreaming of bowls full of jelly!