I’m new to this whole blogging thing, so when I was cruising on Twitter thinking that I should probably take a nap since Baby Imp is sleeping and came across #dblogcheck, I thought that it sounded like a good idea and was something I should check out.
I then thought that maybe I should probably write a new post for it. Yaknow, because reading the same crap over and over again gets old.
I mentioned in my post last night that I was going to talk about my diet-killing this past weekend. Many of you know that I eat low carb, high fat. I’m quite vocal about it, as a matter of fact. Ever since going low carb, my blood sugar levels have been far more consistent, my A1c levels have dropped to the high 5-low 6 range, I’ve had more energy and I also don’t find myself eating constantly like I used to. What I’m not quite vocal about, however, is the fact that there are times when I do cheat on the diet.
This past weekend was tough, with the baby being very sick and running for a 24-hour stretch that included only an hour or so of sleep. Between all that, I was working all weekend, and worrying about the baby even though she was safely home snuggled up with her daddy.
In addition to being straight-up exhausted, after leaving the ER at just after 5 in the morning, I was starving and had exactly no energy to make myself anything. I just wanted to get home and sleep so that I could be rested up when I showed up at work at 10. So, I did what any normal person would do: I swung through a McDonald’s drive-thru and got myself an Egg McMuffin meal, complete with the hashbrown and a big ‘ol unsweetened iced tea.
In a former life, that meal would have made me incredibly happy. Egg McMuffins used to be my favourite thing to eat in the morning. The delicious saltiness of the Canadian bacon and their special English muffins that I swear must have crack in them because they’re just so damn addicting. I ate that sandwich in the car on the drive back to the house, smiling because it brought back happy memories of deliciousness and road trips.
In 10 minutes though the smile had faded as the nausea set in. In a past life, my response would have been “OMG, so much fat!” and to some extent there may be a grain in truth of that since fast food joints aren’t exactly known for using the healthy kinds of fats. But after nine months of gradually getting myself down to under 60g of carbohydrates a day using a sugar free/grain free approach, I knew that it wasn’t the corn oil that was the cause of my gastrointestinal distress – it was the carbs.
My blood sugar promptly climbed up to the upper 200s after that meal, not surprising considering my pump just isn’t calibrated to handle that kind of diet anymore. I started to feel awful, dry mouth along with the upset stomach. But my pump wasn’t giving me any more insulin since it doesn’t let me stack doses, so all I could do at that point was wait for my blood sugar to come down.
And let me tell you, it did. To the tune of upper 50s three hours later coming down.
In a past life, I would have adjusted the bolus rate to give me a little less insulin, resulting in my peaking higher but at least not having a hypoglycemic episode when all was said and done. But I am now more educated, I know how carbohydrates work and I know that not all carbs are created equal. I know that my pump is set to handle more of my low carb/high fiber/high fat lifestyle, and it works very well for that. When I’m eating normal, it’s rare that I see a blood sugar above 140 even an hour after eating, and I always come back down to my usual 90 mg/dL and stay there.
But Sunday was cheat day. So Sunday was also see-saw day.
I spent the rest of the day repeating the process – eating bad and suffering the consequences. My blood sugar got down to 47 mg/dL while I was in the ER for the second time with Baby Imp. So I was given some juice, graham crackers and peanut butter. I was so out of it, I didn’t care what I was eating, I just ate it. And got sick. Again. I also sent Lord Imp out for cheeseburgers, fries and a cherry Coke. I couldn’t finish it, not even the Coke, it just didn’t taste good even with the low blood sugar. I took insulin for it, and once again went through the huge spike and crash scenario that I went through earlier.
We got Baby Imp home around 11 that night, and I found that my mama had ordered pizza from the only place that doesn’t destroy my blood sugars provided I don’t eat the crust. It’s greasy, loaded with cheese and the crust is thin enough to remind me of the pizza I used to get when living in New Jersey as a kid. It’s good stuff.
I ate that slice without bolusing and woke up at 195 mg/dL the next morning. Which is actually surprisingly low given the grains in the crust.
I will be honest though, despite thinking that I was being bad throughout the day, I am actually quite glad for the diet-destroying experience. Blood sugar swings that I once thought were normal I now know aren’t, and seeing them after the new knowledge I acquired made me very aware that my diet is an enormous part of my control regimen. And the nausea I experienced after eating every meal on Sunday only reinforced the fact that my body just doesn’t like carbohydrates. It is much easier to eat low carb when you have something physical to remind you that your body just doesn’t like eating any other way, and for me the tummy ache is a good “this is a really bad idea” notification.
Yesterday the diet was much better. Lunch was a little carby due to a low blood sugar, and once again I felt sick after eating it. Supper I got back on track, and ate an Atkins TV dinner over a small pile of cauliflower rice (let’s face it, I was exhausted and incredibly lazy). That TV dinner, even with its additives and lord only knows what else was the most amazing and welcome meal after my 36-hour carbohydrate binge. I felt amazing after eating it, I had more energy and I continued to have a full feeling well into the night. At around midnight I had a small handful of almonds before going to bed since I was a touch on the hungry side. Woke up with a blood sugar in the 170 range that hasn’t gone down, and I’m thinking I’m having dawn phenomenon problems (AGAIN). I really wish I could get that under control, but that’s another battle for another time.
In the end, I have learned my lesson. Grains do not like me. And I’m finding that I really don’t like grains anymore. This is what makes low carb dieting so easy, after a while you just lose your taste for all that carby stuff. Sure, it’s a little more work, but the blood sugar numbers make it worth it for me. That and I love to cook, that helps as well. I think though that my experience this weekend will serve as a lesson of how important it is for me to maintain my low carb focus, not only for the sake of the diabetes, but also the sake of my poor tummy.
Now all I need to do is find a way to make a low carb strawberry Charlotte…
This is my post in the 2014 #dblogcheck event, where people read diabetes blogs and comment on every blog they read, even if it’s just to say “check!”. Read about it here.