Thursday, July 23, 2015

Back To Diabetes Basics

I don't remember exactly when I was diagnosed with diabetes, or how old I was.  Which is maybe a little weird.  So many people remember the exact date they were diagnosed.  But no, that's not a detail I've held onto.  It was somewhere during my early to mid-twenties.

What I've have been remembering lately, is the beginning struggle I had, counting carbohydrates so that I would know how much insulin to take.  I would look at labels, but once I started having to add all the different foods and amounts together, it got a little confusing.  I remember trying to make some pasta dish one night, and I figured out the carbs in the pasta. But then I was trying to figure out the carbs in the tomato sauce. And just how much of the tomato sauce I would actually eat.  Then I had to figure out how many carbs were in the little piece of french bread I wanted to eat with it. It was just too much. (I know, it was too much carbs as well- but I was TWENTY-SOMETHING!!!)  I had had a long day at work and was just hangry (*hangry- hungry to the point of anger).  I didn't feel like adding all those numbers together to figure out how much insulin I needed to take. The dramatic actress in me threw the package of pasta across the kitchen and rigatoni went flying everywhere.  I burst into tears, and stormed out of the kitchen. Nice work.

But eventually, after many many meals of carb counting, it became so second nature that I knew how much insulin to take just by looking at food.  In a way, I sorta stopped carb counting.  Based on what my blood sugar was upon checking it, how active I was going to be after I ate, and the general amount of carbs I was eating, I almost intrinsically knew how much insulin to take. It didn't stress me out, and it worked for me.  Until it didn't.

Lately, as I've mentioned on the blog before, my blood sugars have gotten more and more erratic and I've decided I either need to give up all carbs completely (NO!!!!) or at least, start counting them meticulously.

Back to the basics.  I'm reading food labels, and I'm using all the carb counting phone apps like crazy. I'm currently taking 1 unit of insulin for every 20 carbs I eat.  I find myself wanting to eat less carbs the more I have to count them.  Sometimes, I even want to lie to my meter and tell it I'm only eating 30 carbs when I know I'm really eating 40.  It's weird.  It's like lying to your doctor. Why? What's the point and who am I trying to impress here?

So far, counting carbs hasn't really been enlightening or surprising.  I'm taking pretty much the same amounts of insulin I would have when I was using my other method. But it does having me being very conscious about what I put into my mouth.  And that, in itself, is surely a benefit.

Like I mentioned, I've been using different phone apps for carb counting.  There are just so many, and so far, each one I've tried has been a little annoying but also helpful.  Do you use one?  Do you have a favorite one to recommend?  Please share in the comment section below if you do!


  1. Wow, I am so happy to read Type 1 posts where your blood sugars aren't perfect and you are struggling at this moment! Not happy for your struggle but happy to be inspired by your story. I have such a similar beginning and am in 40's and having some roller coaster sugars and see more similarities. I don't remember the last time I honestly did a carb count instead of an eyeball. I also see a new doctor this summer and your words are an encouragement!!

    1. Denise- Thank you so much for leaving me this message! You use the eyeball method too!!!! I wonder if you'll also find that your eyeball method is pretty accurate. Good luck with the new dr! Let me know if you get any amazing advice that helps! :)