Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
September 2008 — Last month I told you all how I was adopting a lower carb lifestyle, in particular, following the South Beach Diet. I was toodling nicely along until it came time to go on to Phase 2. Unfortunately, the added carbohydrates wreaked havoc on my blood sugar and I was forced to put my thinking cap back on. (What is a thinking cap by the way? Has anyone ever SEEN one?)
Luckily, it wasn't rocket science and I have quickly learned that my body does best on a low-carb diet, evidenced by really stellar fasting glucose and post-meal numbers. So, I am not following any plan in particular, just low-carb in general, and my body is saying thank you and my pancreas is crying tears of joy. Ok, maybe not tears of joy, but I can imagine that it is relieved, or that it would be if it actually had emotions.
So, as my eating habits improve, I find myself testing a lot more frequently. All this testing is giving me a pretty clear snapshot of what is going on inside and what foods my body does best with. When I was being a daredevil diabetic, I got a bit lazy on my testing and just relied on my A1C test every 6 weeks, I thought if I didn't SEE the crazy high post meal numbers, then they weren't real, as long as my A1C was under 6.5, I was good.
Yea, not the best management plan, I know. It came to head in August, my A1C was 7.4 and I knew I had to do something to get things back under control and back down in the low 6 range.
And how do we do that, class??
Testing!! Lots of testing.
I am actually liking all the testing these days. I look forward to pricking my fingers after a low-carb meal, knowing I will be rewarded with a low number. I became obsessive about it, and soon, pricking myself wasn't enough. I needed others to compare myself to. In our home the pricking options are slim. There's me, the hubby, and two small Chihuahuas. Hmmm. Who's it gonna be?? So, my other half was recruited against his will into what will be referred to henceforth as the "Pricking Wars."
At first he protested. He said he didn't want to be pricked by my tiny lancet. I said I didn't blame him, that I don't want to be pricked by my tiny lancet either, but I am, about SIX TIMES A DAY!!
So, I basically shamed him into taking part in the forced nightly competitions. I found it mildly amusing to watch him extend his finger with a pained look on his face, clearly expecting the tiny hole in his finger to bleed copious amounts. He quickly learned that it wasn't a big deal, and for a few days there became mildly interested in the results.
Sadly, no matter what I eat, he ALWAYS beats me. I find it infuriating. The other night he had an entire pizza and beer and I had salmon and broccoli. I was feeling especially cocky that night knowing I had a good shot of winning this round, but NO! He beat me by 2 lousy points!!!
Oh, the injustice!
Yet despite all of this, I still am determined. I am convinced that if I continue making the best choices for my body, that my body will reward me. Surely my body KNOWS how important it is to win at least ONE of these pricking wars??
But until that glorious day comes, I will keep on doing what I am doing - eating well, having tight control, and listening to my body. I may not be winning any blood sugar competitions with non-diabetics, but this past Friday I went to my doctor and had a new A1C: 5.9.
Disclaimer dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
Last Modified Date: May 31, 2013
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One of the online diabetes groups I belong to (but don't frequently post to) is geared towards "frum" (Orthodox or "observant") Jewish people with (mostly type 1) diabetes. Most of the chat on the mailing list centers around people needing last-minute supplies before Shabbat or a holiday, where to acquire supplies and get medical help when visiting Israel, and advice on which pump is best for one's type 1 child — in other words, the usual sort of diabetes chatter, but...
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Janis Roszler MSFT, RD, CDE, LDN
Janis Roszler, MSFT, RD, CDE, LD/N is the American Association of Diabetes Educators' 2008-2009 Diabetes Educator of the Year. She is a certified diabetes educator, marriage and family therapist, and registered dietitian. Her books include Sex and Diabetes (ADA) Diabetes on your OWN Terms (Marlowe & Co) and The Secrets of Living and Loving with Diabetes (Surrey books).
Donna Rice MSW, BSN, RN, CDE
Donna Rice MBA,RN,CDE,FAADE is the 2007 Past President of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. She is a registered nurse, diabetes educator and has developed numerous educational programs on sexual health and wellness. She is the co-author of Sex and Diabetes (ADA) and Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction - A Quick ‘n' Easy Handbook For the Diabetes Educator (Bella Vita). Her newest publication is a children's book, The Magic is Me (Searchlight Press).