Partying with humalog

By | 10 March, 2010
Tim carefully manages his diabetes

Tim carefully manages his diabetes

Last weekend I met up with two old school friends in the party capital of Europe, uhm, Brussels. While it may have a reputation for bureaucracy and dreary boringness, Brussels does actually have a great night-life, so soon after arriving we went out to hit the pubs and bars of the capital of the EU. Woo!

After sampling some (by “some”, I mean “quite a lot of”) cherry wine in a bar that used to be brothel, we headed off to Les Halles Saint-Gery and the famous club night “Stop Suffering and Start Dancing” which was being held in large, sweaty, crowded, smoky nightclub. As always when clubbing I had the issue of what to do with my insulin while I partied like it was 1999.

As I’ve mentioned before I carry all my diabetic kit around in one of a variety of funky man-bags. But the problem is you can’t check said bag into the cloakroom as you’ll inevitably need to test your blood glucose or inject at some point between arriving at midnight and leaving at 4am. So the only obvious solution was to head onto the dance floor, bag in tow.

So if you happened to be at Les Halles Saint-Gery last Saturday night and some git in the very centre of the dance floor, who danced like some sort of escaped lunatic kept bashing you with a brown leather Visconti bag then I can only apologise profusely. I’m sorry, I really am, but I had no other choice.

While dancing like a loon I was inevitably burning off calories (and producing my own bodyweight in sweat โ€“ yum!) leading to the obvious risk and tedium of sorting out a hypo. So I duly checked my BG (the strip light on the Freestyle Lite proved very useful for testing in a club that was seemingly only lit with flashing strobes). I was pleased to see that appeared to have created a perfect equilibrium between the energy I was using up and the carbs in the beer I was glugging down all night.

Clubbing - Belgian style

Clubbing – Belgian style

Who would have thought it? A bottle of Satan beer (yes, it is called that. If you can find it, try it as it’s very nice. Though at 8% it is rather strongโ€ฆ) every hour perfectly balances an hour of dancing like a maniac.

That beer can be put to this use is, I think, a very important discovery. So I will be applying to Diabetes UK for funding to conduct a great deal of further research. Naturally we will need plentiful supplies of beer and night clubs with good music. Any diabetic volunteers want to help out?

* It’s worth noting that my friend Dave, mentioned above, is the person who came up with the name of this blog and, indeed, the very tasteful sub-title. For this he deserves credit. It’s also worth noting that my other friend Mat has contributed nothing.

19 thoughts on “Partying with humalog

  1. Charlie

    Hey Tim, I’d love to help out in your quest to get more info about alcohol and diabetes.. all in the name of research, of course! I have investigated this myself on many, many occasions. My results in the past have been well documented in hospital, and my huge stack of notes bares witness to this. Well done on carrying all your kit with you (if you can’t beat us, join us – I love bags, oooh, and shoes) I never carried mine, let alone use it in a club. I’ve done my time and yes, I’ve even had a taxi ride home in an ambulance (due to a friend’s asthma attack) after going out “shaking my thang”. Well, it’s been a while since I went clubbing (motherhood got in the way) but probably a much safer result. I carry all my kit with me now (and wet wipes too!) while out and about. My current research is based on Grouse and diet coke (in the safety of my own home) – I’ll keep you updated – I like to be helpful whenever possible!

  2. Tim

    Thanks Charlie, I’ll put your name down on the funding application form too then. Though, as a signed-up member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, I’ll remain silent on your choice of Grouse and coke! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Scott S

    I believe there is inadequate research into the issue of alcohol usage and insulin; the prevailing recommendations are to avoid alcohol (as if that’s going to happen) or to proceed at your own risk — neither of which is really useful for patients. While I’m probably too old to hit the club scene as I once did, I do think there’s not enough scientific information to make practical recommendations for patients, and doctors tend to avoid the topic like the plague, potentially putting patients at risk rather than helping them deal with one of life’s realities.

  4. Tim

    Scott S :

    I believe there is inadequate research into the issue of alcohol usage and insulin

    Hence me volunteering to do it! ๐Ÿ˜€

    In any event with booze I think you just have to work it out by trial and error. As always, your diabetes may vary and I don’t think any amount of research will result in a vast improvement in any advice that’s dolled out.

  5. Crystal

    Gosh, I need to comment more often, huh? I’ve been slacking. I read every post though.
    I am not a beer fan so no volunteering from me.
    But, if you do get the funding, keep us posted. NO drunk posting though. Just sayin’.

  6. Clarey

    Seriously Katie…. cool bags especially for pancreatically challenged people! Wicked. Can I please have one with pouches for all my kit, which holds as much as Mary Poppin’s bag (minus the lamp) but is fairly small and has a long strap to be securely attached while out?
    Can I have one in purple please?
    well excited! ha ha! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Teloz

    Hmmm… I’m not much of a drinker, but in this case, purely in the interest of serious research of course, I could be persuaded to imbibe a glass or several of cheap pink wine… ๐Ÿ˜€

    I use an M&S special manbag… ยฃ19 I think… works for me… ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Teloz

    @Katie
    Lovely bags Katie… I’ve bought cars for less! Sorry, only joking…Clary’s idea is a good one though, you could corner the market, especially if you did a manbag range as well. Personally though, I can’t see what’s wrong with a sporran… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Mike

    I will happily volunteer myself.

    Beer R & D is a speciality and think that my geographic location can only be of added value!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Don’t forget you can still look tough and carry your stuff fella’s! It might also prove useful for extra protection if you do happen to clobber someone on the dance floor!

  10. Alison

    @Scott S I’m with Scott, there is a lack of genuinely real-world-useful research out there on this. If I’m being good I drink wine as the D impact is minimal but I do really like a pint of beer, in which case it’s around 1.5 units a pint, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

  11. jon

    Tim,

    I go out every weekend to the pub, used to go clubbing in my earlier days doing injections. Found that using lantus was good as background insulin.

    Now on a pump on novorapid, can not work out the carbs in beer, funny game on the pump seem to need to give extra bolus every couple of pints. Think this might be as no background insulin, never used to get this problem whilst doing injections, however probably did not worry so much.

    I think i will give extra basal rate on pump for the time i am out, this can be set on accu check combo, temp basal rate, for 4 hours, then pump returns to normal.

    Interesting point however not much advice about this, i would say when clubbing you would need less in early hours on pump from 0300 onwards, this can be set as a profile on pump for when you go out, think it is just trial and error.

    jon

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