Friday, November 16, 2007

Race to the Holidays

Today officially begins the race toward the holidays. Parties, food, family & friends come and go in what looks like the scenery from a subway train. These are also the days, I can feel my wallet getting lighter as I buy food and gifts for all. Days that I typically live for. I hardly ever get to cook for the masses, and I firmly believe it is WAY more fun to give than to get.

Tonight is a good old fashion Thanksgiving among friends, before we are all pulled away to our families. And while I prepare myself to look my best tonight, my preparation actually began last night at the supermarket. It was my first of many bulk shopping extravaganzas that had to be done at Costcos. Cheese and pasta for massive homemade mac'n cheese, cream cheese for the cake. All in amounts that might carry me through to next weeks parties. As I stroll through the crowd, I see all the lights, and hear the Christmas music echoing. I think to myself, I really need to finish taking down the Halloween decorations (sh!!! don't tell)! I pass the pre-made pies and I'm tempted, but I pass by as I head to the checkout ready to be on my way home.

I cooked my food, and now they are packed and ready to head to my friends. I am dressed and have everything in place ready to make a smooth exit. In fact this year, I am armed with something extra. I tiny little insulin pen that falls to the very bottom of my purse. I am also armed with a glucose meter and new strips. I feel prepared to handle my first holiday meal, with copious amounts of food. There will be grazing, sinful sides and glorious desserts. I wonder, when do I give the insulin? Before the meal at the appetizers? Maybe during the main meal. What about before the desserts which I'm sure will send me skyrocketing. I don't typically eat large meals, especially not ones that will last for hours. Do I take more than one shot, and chance stacking? Tonight will be a testing ground, and I'm so grateful to have my fiance there with me, keeping a watchful eye, in case I get overzealous with the insulin. Jokingly he reassures me that the result of such bolusing, only means more cake, and that can't be bad. I love him for that.

Here I go on the first on many holiday events, and I must admit I'm a little nervous.


Jeff said...

Hi Mandy.

This is a difficult time of year for diabetics, so you are not alone. When I'm out at a restaurant or a dinner party, I always wait until the food has arrived in front of me before bolusing. I use a pump, so it's a bit more convenient than taking an injection, and I can use it to administer the insulin over the course of several hours.

Still, in such situations, I try to get an idea of what my entire meal will be (including dessert and any "grazing") beforehand so that I can more accurately calculate (and program) a single bolus rather than several. This helps me avoid stacking, and it also forces me to discipline myself not to eat more than I have bolused for. I don't deprive myself, though. If I want to enjoy many different foods, I work them into the equation.

Keep in mind that this is what works best for me, with my pump administering insulin gradually over several hours. If you feel more comfortable using two or three smaller dose shots over the evening, then do what you think will work best for you.

It's good that your fiance will be with you. Do you carry any quick carbohydrates like glucose tablets or gels? I never go anywhere without them. Lately I've also been using Smarties candies left over from Halloween. They work just like tablets, but are much smaller and easier to carry.

Also, I'm using Novolog exclusively. If you're using more than one type of insulin, you will obviously need to factor that into your bolus calculation.

Most importantly, do at least a couple or three tests during the evening in order to get an idea of how you are trending, upward, downward, or on an even keel.

I hope you enjoy yourself despite all of the additional math that we diabetics have to do. Let us know how things go, ok?

Mandy said...

Thank you for all that great advice. I wish I had read it BEFORE my party debaucle. Things will be better next time I'm sure though.

I always carry tabs or skittles with me, but I HATE being low. I'd rather run a little high instead.