Wow, I can’t remember the last time I posted something this late in the day. Probably not since my first year of blogging. Sometimes, it gets a little difficult to figure out topics to write about and as my wife occasionally reminds me, I don’t HAVE to post something every day. Most bloggers don’t, in fact. But for me, it’s kind of a “me against me” kind of thing, you know? Anyway, some of my posts have been pretty self-pitying lately so I thought I’d switch gears and move on to something that’s actually productive. And since it’s cold as all fucking hell in Saskatchewan right now, I can’t think of any better subject than, well… the cold!
The cold weather of winter can have some pretty negative effects on the human body. At its least, the body will fight harder to keep your core temperature warm when exposed to cold temperatures. This will cause to body to burn through its energy reserves, leading to the body getting colder, which can lead to difficulty focusing and thinking clearly in extreme weather. Eventual issues can include the aggravation of existing pulmonary issues, such as asthma. The human body is a wonderful machine that works hard to try and keep you warm in colder weather but there’s no denying that the modern homo sapien isn’t biologically designed for extreme colds, which makes me wonder why we live in Saskatchewan. But I digress…
Despite any other health conditions or the risk of hypothermia and frostbite, dealing with Type-1 Diabetes in cold weather can be a challenge, as well. Considering extreme cold aggravates most pre-existing conditions, Diabetes is no exception. Although every person is different, being out in the cold weather usually tends to cause my blood sugars to drop. This is likely a result of my body working so hard to maintain its temperature. In fact, half an hour of being outside in the Prairie winter clearing a bit of snow from the walkway will usually cause a bigger drop in blood sugars than a full hour of weightlifting or cardio.
This is why it’s so important to keep a solid eye on one’s blood sugars when venturing out in the arctic wonderland. Being on a continuous glucose monitor helps, since it allows me to venture out and have a continuous view of how my blood sugars are reacting. It’s not so bad when I’m at home, since I have immediate access to snacks and fast-acting carbohydrates in the event I drop. Things get a bit tougher if I happen to venture out to go sledding or running. Although I have to confess that running in the snowy weather is not my cup of tea. Another important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. People forget that dehydration can happen almost as easily in the cold as it does in the heat.
Last point I’ll bring up is to be mindful when shovelling snow. I’ve attended a lot of incidents during my policing career of people who suffered cardiac arrest while shovelling. The forcing of the muscles and pressure it places on the chest, mixed with the effects of the cold can make shovelling extremely dangerous under the right circumstances. Take frequent breaks, lift with the legs not your back and if you feel faint or dizzy, be sure to stop and take breaks. The snow ain’t goin’ anywhere. Unfortunately… ☯️