This weekend has allowed me to let my hair down, and I really feel I need more weekends like these. Diabetes is a condition that doesn’t go away, and involves almost every decision I make, every day of my life. It can be tough and there are days when I wish it would just disappear. Sadly, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen any time soon, so diabetes is something I’m just going to have to put up with.
On the most part, I am very good at accepting my diabetes. I have a well controlled diet, I exercise, and I don’t drink massive amounts of alcohol, because I don’t know how it will affect my sugar levels, entirely. On the one hand, I know I can’t simply have a ‘holiday’ from my diabetes. On the other hand, I know that is perfectly acceptable to have the occasional treat, without it killing me. Behold the slice of yummy carrot cake, that was consumed in a matter of minutes, yesterday afternoon.
Checking my blood glucose levels before deciding how much insulin I needed to inject, I was instantly disappointed. 15.7. I realised this morning, this was due to a huge miscalculation from lunchtime. The panini I had eaten, had 55g of carbohydrates, not just 30g, which is what I injected for.
A while back, newly diagnosed ‘me’ would have stopped myself from eating the carrot cake, on the basis that I didn’t want to risk being any higher, even if I did inject. However, I was in the company of three other people with diabetes, all of whom were also in the process of eating something ‘nice’. I was perhaps in the best possible hands to eat something ‘naughty’, so I did.
Comparing the nutritional information on the Carbs ‘n’ Cals app, the DAFNE app and My Fitness Pal, I estimated that the carrot cake had around 55g of carbs. I still had a couple of units of insulin on board, so I didn’t want to correct that 15.7 too much and hence make myself low. 5 and a half units would hopefully suffice, and not make me spike too high. Of course, I was dubious. Mum has always told me that a) the most healthy foods never taste nice and b) anything that tastes nice will probably be not so nutritious. I had a feeling I was going to be high later that evening.
Please put your hands together, for a welcoming surprise, 3 hours later… Checking my levels before my evening meal (that was to be yet another challenge), I was presented with a very tasty level of 7. This, in my eyes, was a perfect bolus for the carrot cake. I think that because I managed to accurately estimate the amount of carbs, and deciding against correcting the 15.7, I have shown to myself that I don’t have to miss out on everything that is ‘tasty’ and a ‘treat’.
A treat is a treat, not something to be had every day. As long as the correct amount of insulin is injected, I know I won’t be too high, I won’t end up with a hypo, and I can enjoy food as much as I did, before I was diagnosed with diabetes. Perhaps this is due to listening to and seeing other people’s experiences with diabetes. It is so so important to remember though, everyone’s experience with diabetes is totally different from one person to the next.
I do wonder how many times over the next few years, I’ll be asked “should you be eating that?”