3.18.14

The Perfect World: Counting Carbs

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Count your carbs – take your insulin. This is the mirage we chase tirelessly every day.

Here’s how the situation usually places out. Tuesday I wake up and my blood sugar is say 80. Not where I like to wake up but not a low blood sugar that slows down my mind all morning. I make a blueberry banana smoothie with a scoop of protein powder. Looking at bolusing for about 45-50 carbs by my count. I send 3 units in through the pump. Feel great all morning. Blood sugar looks good at lunch. I OWN THIS DISEASE!

Flash forward to Wednesday. I wake up. Make the exact same smoothie. Blood sugar is at 123 this time. Given the higher blood sugar, I take 3.5 units of insulin. By 9AM, in mid-lesson, I feel that wave of anxiety and insecurity move through me. Words and coherent thought escape me. You guys know how that sweat feels. Here we go – blood sugar is at 70. What just happened?

I try to objectify. Well, last night I rode my bike for an hour so the exercise is definitely still in my system. Or the extra walking I did during the first hour lesson burned off some of the glucose. Maybe I didn’t add enough protein to the morning smoothie. Should I lower my basal rates now? If I eat a banana and an orange, will that get me to a good place to teach the 10AM lesson?

Diabetes is influenced by too many factors to even try to understand. Is it important to recognize trends in our blood sugar from day to day? Absolutely. Is it necessary to have an explanation for each low or high blood sugar? If you’re looking to lose your sanity, go for it. Bottom-line, no matter what we’ve been told, the perfect world is a pipe dream.

Former co-founder of DiabetesDailyGrind, Ryan's mission is to motivate others with diabetes to live their own authentic life. Most days, when not in the hospital during his medical residency, you can find him on the bike, surfboard, or yoga mat. He believes in the power of clean eating, and loves his Dexcom.

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