Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Operator Error

I’ve been keeping a log of what I eat, how much insulin I’m giving myself, what my numbers are and when, in preparation for my endo appointment next week.

And because I’m that kind of person, I’ve color-coded the numbers that are too low and the ones that are, for me, too high, so they jump out immediately at me.

And you know what I’ve noticed? Yes, there are a couple of wacky instances where the numbers did what they wanted despite my best efforts, but more often than not, I’m the one who caused the numbers, especially the high ones.

I can see the trends, and I go high when two things happen:
1. I underestimate the carb count of something.
2. I don’t give myself any insulin for what I’ve eaten.

Let’s review.

1. I underestimate the carb count of something. I know how to read a label. I have a scale. Sometimes, though, if I’m tired and I just want to sit in my chair with a bag of bbq potato chips and watch television, I don’t weigh. I guess I’ll eat about 2 carb units worth, shoot up, then just shovel the chips in until I’m bbq’d out. Did I eat 2 carb units? Did I eat 3 carb units? Did I eat 1? Who knows. What I really need to do is just take a bowl from the cabinet, put it on the scale directly below said cabinet and weigh. Seriously. Not that hard.

Next big thing: I like to bake. While I try to stick with recipes that list some sort of carb count, I don’t always. So I wind up guessing. And it usually takes me until the last brownie to find the right carb count. You’d think I’d write this down, to remember for next time, but I don’t. And you’d think I’d realize that if a container of harmless yogurt has 1 carb unit, the brownie most certainly has more than two, or three.

2. I don’t give myself any insulin for what I’ve eaten. If I’m really low, I’ll drink a juice or eat an applesauce, about 1 carb unit, and not shoot for it. This is fine. It brings my number up to a yes-I-think-I-can-think-now number, without pushing it too far over the limit.

But when my numbers are not low, when they are normal and I want to eat, I must shoot. This is 101, right? But it’s so easy just to grab that handful of Tootsie Rolls, or eat a tapioca pudding cup without even thinking. I don’t know why or how my mind/body justifies this, but it does. And I consciously do not shoot. And when I’m done eating, I think somehow, magically, the carbs won’t count. And then I test, and I’m high, and I know if I had simply done the shooting to cover the food, I would have been normal.

I’m not beating myself up, but I am giving myself a slap on the wrist or a flick on the side of the head. I’m responsible. It’s my body, they’re my numbers and it’s just a little stupid of me, I think, to be this slack with something that only takes an extra minute or two to control. Seeing those numbers on the page makes me realize how much I really am being lax, and I’m going to make a conscious effort to do better; I know I won’t always, but I think I should at least try.

As always, more to come…

*P.S. Never write a blog when you’re zoned out from sinuses, or sinus meds or slightly low blood sugar—or especially all three. I had to look up how to spell “conscious” three times, even though I’ve known how to spell it since the third grade, possibly the second… Cheese and crackers, one carb unit, one unit of insulin…


phonelady said...

wow you are so right . I love it someone posted what I was just thinking . God bless Lora . take care my dear and dont beat yourself up too bad over this .

CALpumper aka Crystal said...

It happens. I do it too.
We are only human. It's good to learn from ourselves but annoying.

Contemporary Troubadour said...

Yep, there are days when I definitely make the conscious decision to eat more than a carb unit in one sitting and to hell with the consequences. Meh. We're hard-wired to like the foods we do.

Jonah said...

Do you make yourself test before the handful of tootsie rolls? I think the testing before just gets me to the place where injecting is a "duh" thing to do.
I have forgotten insulin for something I ate exactly twice in the past year.
One mistake I made a few times in my first year on Novolog with the pen was putting in a new cartridge and not priming, and "injecting" without any insulin going into me, because the plunger hadn't reached the bottom of the cartridge. OOPS!

Colleen said...

I have just begun to get better at adding insulin for snacks. It's a pain, it's another shot. I don't usually test first as it's normally dessert awhile after dinner and so - a test would merely show me as way up there. So I shoot for the snack and go from there.
I do use very small bowls for my snacks. I think it makes me think I'm getting more...
Even worse, I still forget to shoot at a meal. Not too often, but I've done it.