Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh, you can't have that . . .

We talk a lot about the need for creating awareness of diabetes and how we live with it every day. I imagine the "uninformed masses" as nameless, faceless people very far from me. I live in my little bubble of immediate family and friends, who all understand diabetes pretty well.

Last week, in Louisiana for my uncle's services, I was outside of my bubble. I only see my aunt and cousins every few years, and I forget that diabetes isn't a daily issue to them. I need to remember that they still believe what we were told 20 years ago, that sugar is taboo. I need to remember to explain that a low means I need glucose, not insulin. I need to teach them that although I try to stay below 140 after a meal, it won't always happen. When I'm stressed out and far from home, eating things I don't usually eat and trying to guess their carb content, a 214 will slide in there - and it isn't the end of the world.

After the funeral, we gathered at my cousin's house for some wonderful southern cooking sent over by members of their church. My cousin's husband reminded us to save room for all the desserts - but then said to me "Oh, but you can't have that" in the apologetic tone we all know well. It was okay though - it was a great opportunity to educate them all on carb counting and meal boluses. There was no way I was passing up home-made Louisiana pecan pie!

I selected a modest slice and guestimated the carbs as well as I could, remembering that the filling was sugar, pecans, sugar, butter, sugar and sugar. I remembered fleetingly that my physical activity over the past two days had consisted of car rides, airplane flights and sitting in the funeral home. That's okay, I'd adjusted later for any Pie-High.

Later that night, Pea and I relaxed in the hotel, glad to have made it through the stress of the wake and funeral. I felt pretty nauseated, and assumed it was due to the spicy and unusual foods I'd eaten earlier. (Mmm, the jambalaya and boudin. Later in the week we had gumbo and crawfish etoufette. Yum! ) I decided to test my blood and go to bed.

3 . . . .

2 . . . .

1 . . . .

beep . . . .

"Oh crap. Sweetpea, I'm 27." Ah, stress. I forgot to take into account that we all felt much less stressed out after making it through the funeral. Yes, I was still upset and sad - but the weight of the services has been lifted off us all. In any case, I'm less concerned by what caused the 27, and more concerned with how it snuck up on me. I wasn't shaky or sweaty or foggy. I'm grateful that I was alert and functioning, but it still bothers me that I got as low as TWENTY-SEVEN with no symptoms except for a bit of queasiness. That's scary.

I think it's time to fight for a CGMS. And yes, next time I'll have a second slice of pie!


  1. Oh my darling Karen! Those low, low sneak ups will get you every time. And they Suck, every time.
    Sorry you had to go through all of this. Glad you had Sweetpea. Glad you had the opportunity to inform the uninformed. (I don't much like Holidays anymore unless it is immediate family Only....being a kid with T1 and told not to eat this or that, I was used to it, would sneak things, my Dad helped with that too but now, I speak up and they still don't get it. So avoidance is a new skill I have obtained. ha ha).

    Glad you are home and safe. Here's to some NorthEast normalcy coming back in your life. Sorry you had to make the trip though.

    And yeah, fight for that CGMS.

  2. I hate the nauseous lows. I don't get them so often, but they have resulted in seizures. I've gotten better at remembering to check when I feel nauseous - just in case - but it happens infrequently enough that sometimes I miss it until I'm way low. I'm glad you caught that one before it dropped any lower.

    On a semi-related note, I think my BG jumped up just thinking about pecan pie. That Southern food is a killer.

  3. I am so sorry to hear about your uncle! Times like those are always so hard and emotionally conflicting. Even when it is time, it is never time for US to say good bye.

    Oh yes, that tricky Southern food found only in my neck of the woods! Maybe this is my trouble with getting back on track...all those food distractions ;)

    I am actually heading home for gumbo right now!!! Ayyeee!! ;)

  4. I would guess that you've been pretty distracted the past few days and that just about anything could sneak up on you.


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