Sunday, November 18, 2007

Party Time

Friday night was my first holiday party involving insulin. I must admit it put quite a damper on my enjoyment that evening. I kept a running tally of what I was eating, how many carbs, and other items running through the back of my mind all evening.

I decided to not shoot up until I was seated for the main meal. That meant all my appetizers were more on the protein/nut variety. I figured that would be OK. When I tested, right before I dosed, I was unbelievably at 189. I corrected and under bolused in case I was too full to eat a lot.

Most everything at the table was a carb nightmare...honey glazed sweet potatoes, home style mash potatoes, corn salad, of course my mac'n cheese and SO MUCH MORE. I thought I did very well while showing great restraint. After all, I didn't dive into the table like I really wanted to. Most of the foods served, have been TOTALLY TABOO since diagnosis. I even only ate just one cookie for dessert. Overall I was very proud...until I tested.

I was trying not to test during the party, just like how I didn't want to take more than 1 shot. I would think about it, but I always found myself in the middle of a great conversation or a funny joke. I finally tested when T. and I got in the car. I was 445. What!?! I know I didn't eat THAT much.

A few weeks ago, I was staying low a lot, and recently the numbers have been creeping upward again. But 445 is ridiculous. I corrected when I got home, but afraid I might go low later in the night, I was conservative with the insulin. When I awoke on Saturday, I was 385 with ketones. Thirsty and cotton mouthed, I drank loads of water and took my insulin. I finally came down to 178 before lunch, but was back in the 300s after. Frustrated, I stayed in the 250-300s all day.

This morning I awoke at 225 and have managed to get the number down to 150. Hopefully, it will stay that way! Needless to say, maybe next party I will learn to be less self-concious, and just keep a closer eye on things. Live & learn.


Jeff said...

Oh, NOO!! 445!?!? I feel so bad for you, Mandy. You poor girl. You must have felt AWFUL.

But such is the learning curve, and now you have a better idea of what to try next time in terms of how much insulin to take for the foods you eat. Still, "carb nightmares" like the one you described don't make things any easier.

I often have trouble accounting for proteins, and they can come back to hit me over the head with high sugars hours later. It has taken a long time for me to figure out how much Novolog to take (and over how many hours) for high protein foods without risking hypoglycemia. And I will never get it 100% right 100% of the time. None of us ever do. Maybe some of those appetizers came back to raise your sugar well after you had eaten them.

I think you can be proud of your restraint in the midst of a holiday feast. Being able to control food intake is a big challenge at any time of the year for most people. Being able to maintain such discipline during the holidays is a real accomplishment.

Getting a handle on our food intake is half the battle. The other half is figuring out how much insulin we need to take to cover the food. And to do that, we need to test often.

I always have to make a conscious effort to do a test whenever I'm among friends and family. It's hard to pull myself away from good conversations, but with today's 5-second meters, it is much easier than in the old days when glucometers were the size of a brick and required a wash bottle to rinse the blood sample at a specific time during the 60 second countdown.

So I have no reason for not testing, and every reason for doing a test. My numbers over the course of a few hours tell me whether I'm heading up or down, and I adjust my insulin accordingly.

Sorry for another long diatribe, Mandy. It's just that I remember being at a cookout 25 years ago when I first was diagnosed. I felt totally helpless looking at hamburgers, hot dogs, and other foods on the grill, and having no idea what was ok and what wasn't. I was on long acting NPH only, so I had no way to lower a high number quickly. But the most scary part of it was that I was completely alone as a diabetic, and had no one to go to for immediate help.

There are lots of good people out here in the O.C. who will share lots of great ideas with all of us. This is a wonderful resource I wish I'd had "way back when."

Thank you so much for your nice words over at GDAT.

Mandy said...

Thank you for your kind words, and I love your "long diatribes". It's nice to have someone actually understand. Even when I tell T. how I feel after a low, or when he saw my high numbers this weekend, he still doesn't really understand. It's nice that he tries, but I can see how uncomfortable it makes him (and my family for that matter). I try not to talk about things too much for that reason. Your comments are a blessing. Thank you!