Me and My Cravings
Working toward a better understanding.
By Scott Johnson
May 2010 — I'm in Florida for the 2010 CWD Friends for Life conference. I spent most of today visiting with one of the most beautiful people I know. Her name is Lee Ann Thill, and she writes about her life with diabetes and her love for art therapy. Her blog is The Butter Compartment (I know, clever name, right?). When I say she is a beautiful person, I want you to understand that I'm not talking about her appearance (though she is beautiful in that way too). I mean that she is a beautiful person the same way that my friend George Simmons is a beautiful person. Are you with me?
We spent a lot of time talking about carbohydrates (carbs), and how I have trouble balancing my cravings with the need to have them available for low blood sugars. It's a simple concept, but a complicated problem.
People get pretty worked up about food, and I'm worried that I will stir up trouble by letting you all into my head -- but I need to just lay it all out. Please be gentle with me.
One approach to solving my problem is to treat lows with something I don't like, and keep everything else out of the house. I like the sound of this approach. It makes sense to me. If it's not there, I can't eat it. Simple! But when my cravings are for carbs, I have to say that I don't discriminate too much. I worry that I'll still dig into it even when I'm not low.
So then I should get something I can barely tolerate, right? But what if I dislike it so much that I start turning to crazy things for treating lows? Have you ever eaten jelly with a spoon to treat a low? How about drinking syrup (pancake OR chocolate)?
I have two kids. They are ten and seven. My wife and I are not ultra-disciplined about foods they eat (though I respect and admire those parents who have the stamina, energy, and money to live that lifestyle). I also recognize that my diet is all goofed up, and I can't force something on my children when I'm not setting a good example. I am working on it, but I'm just not there yet. I'm not going to deprive them of PB&J sandwiches and chocolate milk because I'm worried about the temptation of their ingredients when I'm low.
What about only treating with glucose tabs? I subscribe to that logic. I know the folks at Dex4, and I like them. From what I have seen, they are good people with good motives behind their actions and decisions. I use glucose tabs as much as I can, almost as much to help support them as to help me. I carry a tube with me, and have 50-count refill bottles stashed everywhere. I am working very hard to treat my lows with glucose tabs. They are designed to fix lows fast. I believe in them.
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Holidays are tricky, no? Between managing diabetes among massive amounts of junk food, managing stress to manage bloodsugar among (sometimes) massive amounts of family squabbling, shopping stress and the like, and trying to get enough sleep and exercise in the cold winter months - it's a lot to handle. So I've got a two tier plan to keep bloodsugars at bay this year. Tier one - diet and exercise. Typically, at this time of year I do what I call the nutrition and gym...