Right now, it’s 36.6 degrees Celsius in Melbourne. By the weekend, we’ll have hit 40 degrees Celsius, and if it the Australian Tennis Open was on now, some tool sports reporter would be frying an egg on the playing surface to show you just how hot it gets in this part of the world.
The warm weather is not a friend of diabetes and I have been really struggling to get myself sorted while dealing with the heat. It took me a few days to work out just where my basal rates should be sitting. This was certainly not helped by the fact that I returned from very cold Canada to warmish Melbourne, which then turned ridiculously cold (we had the fire going last Friday night confusing the hell out of everyone – Xmas tree, carols and a fire is not normal in this part of the globe!) and is now insanely hot, hot, hot. And looks to be staying that way for the next couple of days at least.
But it’s not just basal rates that are affected by the heat.
It can be tough to sleep in the warm weather which wreaks havoc on all aspects of life – diabetes included. Nights were the temperature barely drops below 30 degrees Celsius do not result in restful slumber!
Perspiration means that CGM and cannula tape doesn’t have the sticking power. My most recent sensor lasted three days before the tape started to fray, and because I didn’t attend to it fast enough, it fell out completely after five days.
Loose flowing dresses with little camisoles underneath instead of bras mean that pumps get shoved in the top of undies only to fall out and dangle around my ankles. Or, strapless dresses with little boob tubes underneath give the ridiculous impression of a single square boob. (Too much information. You can thank me for sharing the glamour of diabetes with you)
Concentration flies out the window, a combination of poor sleep and general lethargy – which often means that I am thoughtless about remembering to check my BGLs or make sure my pump is full of insulin (and that I have my spares bag with me). And long periods of being low mean a fried brain that just refuses to function properly at all.
And this is JUST the start of it. We’re only half way through December – the real heat hasn’t even happened yet.
But there are ways to manage.
Lots of cool iced water – lots and lots and lots! Grapes thrown into the coolest part of the fridge or even the freezer offer a quick cool snack and also help to keep BGLs above the low range. Same goes for watermelon which I only ever eat in hot weather when trying to combat nasty lows.
Iced coffee replaces my regular lattes. I am not really a fan of ice-cream, so I just have a latte over ice. (Which would taste a hell of a lot better if we had Half and Half in this country!)
Taping down cannula sites – only ever necessary in the hot weather – becomes the norm, and CGM sites get taped down as soon as the sensor goes in, not as the tape starts to wilt.
Afternoon naps under nothing more than a sheet with a gentle fan on help with the fatigue and makes up for sleep lost overnight.
And when all else fails, it’s tools down for ten minutes – which is just enough time to eat a Frosty Fruit icy pole!