highs and lows

We had pasta carbonara for dinner last night. I chose the recipe and 1st son did the cooking. My gluten-free pasta was cooked almost to perfection (a difficult thing to achieve) and the sauce was rich and creamy. Whilst watching television with both sons and husband a couple of hours later, I could feel my blood glucose levels dropping so I ate a small Snickers type bar and some time after that, asked if we had any coke (the drinkable variety). My family is terrific in situations like this. At the mere mention of the word ‘coke’, the first question they ask is “Are you in need?” and if I confirm with a “yes” or just nod my head, they’re immediately at action stations and last night was no exception.

I was vaguely aware of at least two of them rushing to the kitchen cupboard to find my supply of flat coke (easier to glug, no resultant belching and because it’s flat, no-one else will drink it) and they said later that I was wide-eyed and fairly vacant looking when the bottle was handed to me. There was only a scant mouthful or two left so 2nd son offered to go out and buy some but JP found a bottle of Sprite. 1st son pointed out that it was the low cal low sugar variety so he stirred a tablespoon or two of sugar into it before handing it to me and after asking what it was, I then said indignantly, “You can’t give me all this sugar – I’m a diabetic!” At that point my husband knew my glucose was already on the rise. When I began to mop the sweat now dripping down the sides of my face and the back of my head, he knew it for sure as this, for me at any rate, is a classic sign that I’m recovering. Within an hour, my glucose level was back to normal but I knew it would continue to rise for a few more hours and indeed, this morning a glucose test revealed a level which would make a diabetic nurse faint.

2nd son pointed out that my previous two hypos had also occurred after eating pasta. The carbohydrate content difference between gluten-free and durum wheat varieties is minimal but I’m not a huge pasta fan so I probably don’t always eat a sufficient amount to get the carbs I need. The solution might be to have a pudding of some kind whenever I eat pasta or do a blood test and calculate insulin v food quantities beforehand. I prefer the pudding option.

Hypos are scary things for the sufferer and those on the sidelines. In the midst of last night’s little turn, there was something else at the back of my mind that I just couldn’t grasp but at the time it seemed really important to remember and whatever it was, was so important that I had to remember it even though I believed that the knowledge would kill us all – immediately, as in vapourise us or similar. I didn’t want us to die but I couldn’t stop myself trying to remember what it was. The feeling was so real it brought on a feeling of such terror. This morning I still have absolutely no idea what it was that I was trying to remember. Probably just as well.

Diabetes is always about checks and balances. Sometimes I get them right and sometimes I get them wrong. I’ve had type 1 for more than half my life now and I’ve never let it stop me doing anything I wanted to do but it’s always there, like a spectre in the background, tapping on my shoulder with a bony finger and whispering in my ear, “Should you really be eating that?”

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