Last night on my way home while riding on the subway, the husband texted me, “How about meeting at Giovanni for an early dinner?” Giovanni is one of our three neighborhood watering holes. “I’m not very hungry,” I replied, “but sure,” since the husband rarely makes requests, and I have given him my solemn oath that when he does I will listen. Yes, you read that right, not necessarily agree or acquiesce, but listen.
Not too hungry, I ordered pasta. I rarely eat pasta because of the carb rise but I have – and want to know if you’ve discovered the same – discovered that homemade pasta does not raise my blood sugar nearly as much as packaged.
So I ordered the restaurant’s homemade Tagliatelle alla Genovese (braised short ribs, carrots, celery, fresh herbs & white wine, finished with shaved pecorino cheese.) Low carb ingredients, not even tomato sauce to add to the rise, just pasta a smattering of meat and vegetables. Yes, it was delicious.
My blood sugar was already on the low side before eating so I devoured a piece of bread to raise it a bit. I dosed 1.5 units of Humalog in total for my meal – for the bread, a shared appetizer of grilled vegetables and two-thirds of my smallish pasta dish. By time we walked the 8 minutes home my blood sugar was in the 50s. While I obviously didn’t think 1.5 units would knock me back to 57 mg/dl, or was too much for a piece of bread and pasta, even lower carb homemade pasta, it was. (YDMV: Your diabetes may vary)
Here’s the part where the “management-rage” comes in. Earlier in the day, not that you think me anything but a low carber, which I am 95% of the time, or a dilettante, I had also eaten lunch out. I wouldn’t normally also go out for dinner, but the husband stated his preference and it’s been a while since he had).
My lunch friend coaxed me (yes, I’m giving up full responsibility) to share an order of something she’d coveted every time she’d been where we were now having lunch: lemon ricotta pancakes.
Pancakes! I never order pancakes, but heck, we were celebrating getting together on the first beautiful, sunny, warm day in a while. We ordered the pancakes to share. And of course a spinach salad to balance the scales. The pancake dish was only two pancakes, but large. I ate three quarters of my one pancake, being so unused to knowing how to dose for this particular food item.
Bam! Walking twenty blocks to the subway after lunch, my blood sugar was letting me know I had overdosed. I corrected with the glucose tabs I carry. So just hours later, my blood sugar falling, falling once again, I couldn’t bring myself to eat more glucose tabs. Management-rage took over with a vengeance. My inner monologue, “I’m so tired of this diabetes, the constant calculating, the constant tracking of bites of food, guessing, eating when I don’t want to, starting the whole mess all over again every day… waa, waa, waa…” If you’re interested, I’ve had this sucker 51 years.
I lay on the couch watching my blood sugar go from 64 to 57 mg/dl and I ate a piece of 85% chocolate and a keto coconut cookie. I KNEW it wouldn’t do much, but I simply couldn’t bring myself to eat more glucose tablets. “Fuc# it!” I also asked the husband to watch my blood sugar on his Apple Watch, as I didn’t even want to look. That lasted about 10 minutes.
A half hour goes by, my blood sugar’s just sitting at 57 mg/dl and I was getting kinda hungry so I ate a Cauliflower Slim (3 grams carb) with a little avocado. Still not willing to give in to my blood sugar or my rage. I hung out at 57 for about an hour before I ate more chocolate and another keto cookie, and slowly, slowly it started going up. Did I feel my low? Yes, and no. Yes, but not enough to make me do anything intelligent. Was I suffering from hypo-fog, absolutely not! I was experiencing management-rage: resentment about the current conditions my diabetes was causing and (safely) unwilling to do anything about it.
Before I went to bed I was a lovely 95 mg/dl, but I knew, like a thief knows not to knock over the ming vase entering the house he’s going to rob, that it wasn’t going to stay at 95. That chocolate was going to keep my blood sugar rising for hours. To check my theory I got out of bed 15 minutes later and I was 113. I took half a unit of Humalog knowing 113 wasn’t the top of my rise. Overnight I went up to 162 mg/dl. When I woke at 4:15 am (I know, tell me about it) I was 138 mg/dl and I took half a unit of Humalog. At 7 am I was 95.
My management-rage last night was real. A temporary, albeit real burnout, breakdown on a day I was just damn tired of dealing with diabetes. I’ve had them before, I’ll have them again. I’m not irresponsible and I am not advising you to be irresponsible. If I’d gone lower than 55 mg/dl, or felt I was in any danger, I would have eaten the glucose tabs. I kept eyes on my blood sugar all night.
There is no avoiding the highs and lows. We are not machines and blood sugar is unpredictable. We will forever be guessing, calculating, judging, recalculating…but it has lifted my spirits to think of last nights episode as “management-rage.” Maybe because I don’t own a car, so I get to have my own little corner of rage. Feel free to use it the next time you’re having such a day.
Note: Pictured above are my co-conspirators last night and three favorite chocolate bars. They used to all be available at Trader Joe’s, but the Montezuma no longer is, at least not at mine. I brought 12 bars home from London, where they’re manufactured, recently. You can find the Cauliflower Slims at Trader Joe’s.