Food is Complicated (No Duh)

January 25th, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Last week I had food poisoning.  While that itself was amazingly sucky, it was pretty cool for that first day when I couldn’t eat or drink.

You should have seen my blood glucose levels.

They were so steady!!!  I’m serious; I stayed between 85 and 105 for more than sixteen hours.


Of course, I went back to my typical swings once I started eating again and my digestive system recovered. 

Diabetes would be so much easier if I could make it through my day without eating.


See, there are so many aspects in the world fighting to complicate our lives with diabetes that removing a major one even for a few hours was pretty cool.  (And knowing how sick I really was, the fact I could be amazed as I was so sick should tell you how great it really was.)

I was continuing to read “Mindless Eating” today; Wansink discussed how our minds and stomachs don’t know how much we have eaten.  He said we look at external cues like “I cleaned the plate” rather than “that plate is twice as large as it needs to be”.  We can trick ourselves to over-consume by drinking out of a short wide glass instead of a tall skinny one.  Waiters who clear our empty bottles and dishes facilitate the same over-consumption of food.

Having diabetes and dealing with unknowingly over-consuming calories and carbohydrates is just part of our daily lives: we can’t help it even if we know all there is to know about the way food preparation and presentation can affect what we consume.  Sure, there are some tricks and tips we can all use to steer ourselves to healthier eating, but it will never be 100%; we’ll always have those times where we missed our carbohydrate counts by 20-30%.

Likewise, we’ll always have the unexpected delay in insulin absorption or medication metabolism.  I elect not to fight those unexpected highs or lows that blindside me—just like I can’t fight food poisoning all the time no matter how careful I am.  I do my best to anticipate them and I try to be as prepared as possible, but I can’t do it all 100% of the time.

Sometimes, life happens.  It’s part of the deal.  We just need to keep at it, and keep on keeping on.  Sure, some days that’s easier than others and other days we are flat on our backs knocked out by a bug.  Life is ups and downs just like our blood glucose levels.  

As great as I’m feeling this week compared to last, I know this is an upswing.  I’m riding it as long as I can and trying to enjoy every minute of it: I never know when the next wave will hit.  It’s not an anxious feeling for me—it’s acceptance.

Knowing in a new way now how much I am trying to manage when it comes to eating and how that affects my disease, I have a lot to accept. 

Good thing I get more practice with each meter reading!

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