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Looking Back: Paint By Numbers.

I'm scared of sharks.I see blood sugars everywhere.  (Street signs, clocks, doctor's offices ... everywhere.)  And today I'm looking back at this post from 2007 about how diabetes sometimes feels like a "paint by numbers" exercise.  (Also, I'm not sure I have had a bagel since 2007.  Sigh ...)

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I looked into the bottom of my purse and saw the Cliff bar and a pack of gum.  "46 grams of carbohydrate."

I poured a cup of coffee this morning and added a little cream and Equal.  As I stirred the contents of the cup and chatted with co-workers, I thought "0.2u of insulin for the 2 grams of carbohydrate."  I eye-balled the bagels being offered up and watched as one morphed into a whole-wheat "8" and another into a sesame-seed covered "0."  80 grams of carbs.

The kiwi fruit, sliced and captured in a tupperware container, looked ripe and grass-green through the plastic window.  It would be a delicious morning snack.  Ten grams of carbs.

Nineteen carbs in that yogurt, five grams in a fistful of almonds, fifteen in that slice of whole-grain toast.  Convert how many units of insulin that I need to cover X amount of carbs.  Base these values on previously calculated insulin-to-carbohydrate ratios.  Make sure you take recent and future activity levels into account, in addition to factoring in some cushion time for the insulin to work.

It's a lot of math for this intrinsic English major to handle.  If I keep my brain tuned into the numbers only, I'm admittedly rattled and overwhelmed. 

Instead, I picture the culinary world as one, big paint-by-numbers picture.  Carbohydrate content calls out a value and insulin is my paint.  Some days the portraits are just breath taking, a sea of yellows and blues and a smattering of greens, blending together and keeping my blood sugar numbers from spiraling out of range. 

It's tough to keep my hand steady some days, especially now with all the holiday treats on every counter top, but I'm doing my best to stay within the lines.

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Comments

Great post! Controlling this disease is all-time consuming. I look at all food the same way. How many grams of carbs is there is a serving of fried polenta? What is a serving of fried polenta? I just didn't eat it although it looked yummy (especially smothered with butter and maple syrup). So goes my life with D.

Funnily enough I can do all sorts of drug calculations and IV drip rates all in my head yet I still have to rely upon my pump to do all the leg work for carb counting. Ah well it's a strange old world!

This was great! I never thought about it that way. I knew I couldn't be the only one that thought of food as carb counts.

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