My diabetes education was not the greatest. I was diagnosed with diabetes in Italy, so I didn’t have what I believe is standard training in the U.S. I didn’t learn about bread choices; I learned that I take insulin according to how much I eat and eventually I just get used the right amounts. Seriously? Have you seen your levels? That really hasn’t worked. Through reading online and a book called Diabetes for Dummies, I have learned that my rapid insulin should be about 1 unit for 15 carbohydrates. For the most part that works. Through slow adjustments, I have learned that about 20 units is what I need for my lente insulin. When I keep track, these numbers work almost all the time. Almost. There are times when those numbers don’t. I have found that some foods, just don’t seem to play by the rules. Frozen pizza, for example, usually has the number of carbohydrates listed on the side of the box. If I take the amount of insulin mathematically required before I eat, my blood sugar will drop very low very quickly. If wait until after eat and then take the amount of insulin to bring my blood sugar down to normal, I will be taken insulin all night long and my blood sugar will be stuck in the 400s. Apparently some carbohydrates change to sugar much later than others. Ice cream is another good example of this and, as I discovered yesterday, brownies are also good for this little practical joke. I’m going to start a list of foods that should come with a warning. It should read like this, “WARNING: By eating this product, you acknowledge the fact that it contains Magic Sugar and may not affect your blood sugar as expected.”
When I started seeing an endocrinologist in the U.S., he thought it would be a good idea for me to speak with a nutritionist to help get my meals on track. I saw the nutritionist one time and knew that I could not deal with that woman any more. We argued over how many carbohydrates a peanut butter sandwich had. I said, the bread was 15 a slice and the peanut butter was about 6 which gives you about 36 per sandwich. She said, I didn’t have to worry about the peanut butter because it wasn’t enough to change my sugar levels so the sandwich was only 30. I tried repeatedly to tell the woman that I never eat one peanut butter sandwich at a time. I usually eat 3 or 4. That makes the peanut butter a little more valuable, but she was intent on telling me who wrong I was and that her statements were based on “evidence based research”. Because your information was just based on eating while diabetic.
This is how things have been since day one. Lately, I have been trying to get control over my blood sugar. Things like magic sugar have been the road blocks to my success. Friday, my Ramon noodles had magic sugar. I tested my blood and the meter said 91. I took 4 units, which is what I always take for Ramon noodles. Two hours later, I tested and the meter said 120. Then, after I arrived home from work, I tested again and the meter said 400. I ate nothing between Ramon and getting home. No sugar added. Where did the extra sugar come from? Maybe the air was high in carbohydrates on Friday. Did you check the forecast? I can’t think of a responsible answer to that question. It doesn’t happen as often anymore, but it still happens. It is extremely frustrating. If I can figure out how to solve the magic sugar problem, that will be one less road block. The next problem to solve is being hungry when it is not time to eat. Impossible. You’re always hungry.