As always, I am late. I’ve been told (on NUMEROUS occasions) that I will be late to my own funeral! However, this time there are no annoyed people waiting for the star of the show to arrive! 😉 Just kidding. *Enter every single one of my friends and family members slapping me upside the head and rolling their eyes*
I am one day late to celebrate National Diabetes Awareness Month (November). I didn’t want it to go by without some sort of mention, so to give everyone a glimpse into life with Type 1 Diabetes, I thought I’d share something we experience many times a day – our roller coaster.
The other day, I was making some brownies for a work event, and as I was mixing the chocolate mix in the bowl, the aroma took over. My stomach started grumbling. (I hadn’t eaten yet…big mistake!) Then my mouth started watering. So, by the time I finally poured the last amount of mix into the pan, I went to TOWN on that bowl, licking it spotless and eating every tiny spec of brownie mix left on the mixer blades! Followed by a nice ice-cold glass of milk, of course. Culinary nirvana in my mouth!
Mmmmmmm… but then I’m instantly slapped back to reality as I remembered, oh crap, I didn’t measure how much I ate! How much sugar was in that amount? How much insulin should I take to cover that? I should’ve taken my shot BEFORE pigging out on the scraps! Now my sugars are going to fly through the roof and damage my precious Kirby (and all my other organs I shamefully haven’t named)!
Yeah, the satisfactory “moment” was very short-lived, and ironically, this type of guilt and fear is very common for anyone who has diabetes when indulging in even the smallest amount of food we “shouldn’t have”.
I’m not perfect. No one is. We all partake in those small (or sometimes big) “treats” to ourselves… our fave pizza, an extra beer… because it TASTES SO GOOD! Who could blame us? I mean, this is what living is about, right??? Don’t you hate it, then, when that little angel wearing the doctors’ wings on your shoulder starts shaking his head in disappointment? I hate that angel. Such a killjoy (does anyone ever say that word anymore, or is that a total 50’s thing? LOL!). I have to give it to him, though, he sets me straight. I know it’s a treat I can’t eat too often because, while those treats could have the same effect on everyone regarding the extra poundage we might gain, the sugar has the added effect of tearing up my organs to pieces… in a very slow and drawn out process that only us lucky diabetics get to enjoy. Weeeeee!
As I grudgingly pulled out my glucose monitor to check my sugars and see what kind of damage was done by my brownie mix tear-down, I got angry. First at myself for being stupid enough to go hog-wild on something that I knew could be bad for me. Then I start to get angry because I SHOULDN’T be getting angry at myself. I’m human! We only live once and I don’t want to live with regrets! It’s just a freakin’ brownie for Pete’s sake!
Then I start getting cocky… why am I so worried? It’s not going to cause any immediate damage to me NOW. It’ll take YEARS and bathtubs full of brownie mix before I ever start seeing any kind of damage! Right? Then I get a bit scared… wait… Um, hello?! I’ve ALREADY been seeing those damages. What the hell brought me to my current situation in the first place!?! Will I lose my kidney again? What if I go blind overnight? I’ve heard that happens! Why did I eat that brownie mix!?! And why did I follow it up with a stupid glass of milk (added carbs)!?! I’m going to lose my foot now!!!
Then the guilt sets in. I can’t believe I allowed myself to place myself in such danger… I don’t want to be an amputee! I don’t want to go blind! I don’t want to damage and possibly lose Kirby (whom I’ve fought SO HARD for)! I’m never going to eat another brownie again! NEVER!
All over a few stupid fingerfuls of brownie mix.
Ok, so seriously, I don’t bust into an all-out panic attack with every bite I take, but there is always a quick 5-minute wave of the entire process above that shoves it’s way through my mind when I veer from my usual, approved meal plan. Most of that, I know is due to the years of fear tactics my doctors have shoved down my throat. (They have to. We wouldn’t take them seriously if they didn’t, especially when we never see immediate damages!)
I’ve been lucky enough to manage these feelings of guilt and fear by educating myself with the facts. I’ve been taught how to correct these sugar overloads, which aren’t “mistakes”, they’re “human”. I’ve learned to discipline myself and not go overboard with any of the foods that can badly affect me. I’ve learned it’s OK to have the occasional “treat” if I cover it with enough insulin (note – “occasional” is key word here).
So the next time you grab a donut (or two…or three) at the office this Friday, or stop at an ice cream shop just because you have the craving for a double-dip vanilla cone, stop and observe what your thoughts are when you eat it. I’m not asking you to feel guilty because you can more easily eat these items, I’m simply asking that you understand the difference of what the thought process is behind your treat and ours. And please don’t ever guilt us into something by saying “oh, a bite or two won’t kill you” because, again, you’re setting off that entire emotional process above that shouldn’t have to go with enjoying a bite or two…
Things I’m thankful for today:
1. If you’ve gotten to this point of today’s post, I’m thankful you actually took the time to stick around and read this whole thing! Whew…
2. Sooooo thankful that my first Thanksgiving turkey dinner went off without a hitch! Everything turned out so yummy and I had a blast cooking it all! (I should also be thankful that my family actually liked it all! hee… )
3. Manini’s GF All Purpose Flour – the Cadillac of GF flours! This flour allowed me to make the best, fluffiest, softest dinner rolls I’ve had since being diagnosed with Celiac! SOOOO good! No brick breads for me!
4. That I was able to spend fun quality time with my closest friends and family during the holidays! (Shout out: Steve, Nick, Elissa, Kim, Matt, Mom, Dad, Barbara, Ladonna, A.Kathy) 😀
5. I’m thankful that my Aussie kidney friend, Maria, has a chance to share her experience via a possible book deal! Check out her website here! Good luck Maria – we’re rooting for you!