I’ve always tried to make my diabetes fit into my life, not fit my life around my diabetes. It’s a subtle distinction, but it makes a big difference. I generally haven’t changed my diet much since being diagnosed 13 years ago. I stay away from juices and regular pop and moderate what I do eat, but I rarely say no to foods. My philosophy has always been give enough insulin and anticipate the spikes in blood sugar it may cause, but you can still eat it. I’m not saying this is the best philosophy by any means, and my blood sugars have reflected that. But it’s the philosophy that has gotten me through my teenage years and early 20’s. I’ve read blogs where people talk about skipping meals because a blood sugar was too high, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’ve never been one to do that. “If it’s high, I’ll just eat and give more insulin, it will come down eventually,” was my thought process. Maybe not always the best decision for my blood sugars, but it was the decision I would make…until yesterday.
I had just finished my workout. Typically exercise drops my blood sugar, so you can imagine my surprise when I poked my finger and saw the 350 on the screen. I wasn’t feeling that well, and I realized that the feelings I had attributed to my workout was actually being caused by the high blood sugar. It was time to change my set anyway so I put in a new site and gave a correction. Then I went downstairs for dinner. It was pizza.
Pizza is a nightmare when it comes to blood sugars, for me at least. With all the complex carbs, it tends to skyrocket my blood sugar and I even change the way that I give insulin for pizza. Pizza is risky with a normal blood sugar, but starting in the 300’s is just asking for trouble. Even though in the past I probably would have given insulin, eaten it, and hoped for the best, I knew I couldn’t do it this time. So I refused the pizza, a difficult feat because it looked and smelled so delicious. I told myself that I could have a piece when my blood sugar was under 150. So I made myself a salad instead, allowed myself a small bread stick, and waited. I waited, and waited, and waited. Pretty soon it was time for bed, my blood sugar lower, but still at 190. No pizza for me.
I know people make dietary choices like this all the time. I know there are diabetics that would never dream of eating pizza. But for me, this decision was a big one. It felt like an “adult” decision and I was proud of myself for making it. Had I eaten that pizza, I probably would have faced high blood sugars for many more hours instead of the steady decrease that occurred instead. Although I gave up something that I wanted in the present, I knew I was making the better choice for my future. I didn’t get my piece of pizza, but life went on. And before I knew it, it was breakfast time with a blood sugar of 75.