Monday, June 11, 2007

The Art of Miscalculation

After driving back to the city from my parent's house on Saturday night I decided to eat 2 stuffed peppers I had gotten from Whole Foods for dinner. Unfortunately my grander plans of a night out on the town fell through - this could have been a cruel twist of fate. The closest match to my whole foods stuffed peppers was Stoufer's Frozen Stuffed Green Peppers or Stoufer's Frozen Stuffed Peppers with Beef. Calorie King states that these peppers have 21 grams of carbs per serving or 42 grams per serving respectivley (1 pepper). I decided that the whole foods peppers were probably closer to 21 grams of carbs so I gave myself 4 units of insulin to cover the 2 peppers I would be eating. About a half hour later I was trying to move my bike into a less obtrusive corner of my apartment and felt like I was back at the Kappa Sigma house doing 15 shots of Jager in a row - my low hit me like a ton of bricks! I got out my glucometer as quickly as I could and had a blood sugar of 38 - the scariest feeling I have ever had. I quickly chugged about 15 oz of orange juice and had 3 glucose tabs; then called my girlfriend and told her to call me in 15 minutes, if I didn't pick up I told her to call 911. Thankfully in 12 minutes my blood sugar was back to 125 and I eventually needed a unit of insulin to bring my blood sugar down a bit (high of 210). This brings up an interesting problem though - if I'm estimating carbs based on Calorie King software which seems to do a better job of calculating fast food than home cooked meals how can I bolus with confidence? It's clear that the Stoufer's meals have alot more carbs than the whole foods peppers did, in the future I'll know this but how can I avoid this error with other foods in the future? At least my Saturday night provided alot more excitement than the Soprano's finale.


14 comments:

Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wingman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said...

It's going to be a live and learn thing.

Sometimes you can dose the correct amount according to carb count, but all other things come into play like fat content of food (it delays the body's absorption of carbs, so the insulin is actually working to clear up less glucose in the blood stream than was meant to be at that time....and then later when the carbs hit your bloodstream as glucose, the insulin is gone or nearly gone and your blood sugar shoots up) stress, exercise, the planets in exact alignment.

For instance Diet Coke doesn't have carbs, but it affects some diabetic's blood sugars nonetheless.

You'll begin to learn and make note of how your blood sugars react to certain foods.

I like the "safety net" you provided yourself by calling your girlfriend and telling her what's happening and to check in with a call.

Mark said...

Why did you delete my comment, couldn't take the heat?????!~!~!~!

Mark said...

CENSORSHIP SUXXORS!!! BOO CENSORSHIP!!

Mark said...

this comment will be removed by blog administrator because he is a FACIST!!!

Mark said...

censor this!

Mark said...

big brother

Mark said...

remove this comment

Mark said...

heres another to delete, quick SENSOR THIS FASIOCTS!

Mark said...

hey "ed" if that really is your name, or did you scensor that too? nice blaagh

Wingman said...

Mark,

Actuallly I removed the portion of the post about the Sopranos and any comments about the Sopranos - this blog is about my struggle with diabetes and not about my ideas or thoughts on a television show.

Ed

Scott said...

One thing you should quickly discover with type 1 diabetes is that it is, in principle, impossible to know for certain how much insulin (and which type) is needed to 'cover' a particular meal to achieve a reasonable blood glucose level within 1-2 hours after eating. Non-diabetics' beta cells routinely and automatically manage this by continual glucose level monitoring and insulin release, yet all such decisions by a diabetic must be based on experience and training and based on the individual experience of the patient. Although pattern recognition helps make informed dosages possible, anyone who claims its 100% scientific is not being truthful (this condition is terrible for type A personalities).

In the words of Deb Butterfield, author of "Showdown with Diabetes":

"Knowing what dose of insulin to take was not then, and is not now, a precise science. It is not a simple analog of food, exercise, and insulin; rather it is a complex and seemingly random theory of chaos with a few discernible known variables."

It IS manageable, but anyone who goes in with the expectation of perfection in control can look forward to a lifetime of frustration.