LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Friday, December 01, 2006

That loud thump was me falling off of the control wagon

It started with an espresso brownie from Starbucks. I spend waaaaaaaaay to much time in my car shuttling around the northern part of my state. I’ve given up smoking, wild women, and song. My last vice that I can’t afford is my love affair with Starbucks coffee. I have a little stainless brewer at home, and I buy ground Starbucks beans from my favorite location in Santa Fe….but it never comes out quite the same. I’ve endlessly tinkered with water and coffee ratios. I make a pretty good cup of coffee, but they make a MEAN cup of coffee. And I can’t quite master it.

But I digress.

So whenever I drop in for my Starbucks fix (or later in the day a Venti Iced Latte) I am forced to walk past the glass case that holds an awe-inspiring assortment of pastries. And mocking me every week for months was the espresso brownie. Now I have a well-documented weakness for brownies. Especially if they are smothered in vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce. But that’s a story for another day.

I resisted for months. But one evening I was down in Albuquerque. I go down twice per month to spend the day with a hospital endo group. It’s three-hundred miles on the road and a full day of mind-expanding experiences. Wipes me out in a joyful kind of way. I was getting a Latte to keep me awake to make it home alive and the devil on my shoulder suggested: “you know, Wil, that espresso brownie’s sugar would only mess up your BG a little bit and give you lots of energy to keep you awake to get home to your family.”

OK. Let me state for the record that they are every bit as good as they look. Better in fact. I’ve never believed that nonsense that if a kid takes one toke on a joint it will lead straight to heroin and crack within two months. Now I need to reevaluate that…..

The brownie lead to the orange-cranberry scone which lead to the chocolate mint cake which lead to the apple fritter which lead to the triple chocolate bunt cakes at Trader Joe’s which lead to the….well you get the idea. I’ve become a desert junkie. I’ve lost all control.

Now, my system doesn’t take well to sweets. No way to match the insulin curve. Even with the Girl to watch over me, (for those of you new to the blog, that’s my nickname for my CGM unit) things went to hell in a hand-basket.

My latest A1C: 7.2

Much to my professional and personal shame my ICD9 code was changed. I’ve been branded for the entire medical world to see as an UNCONTROLLED TYPE 1. Well, crap. I guess I am out-of-control. You’d think that I, of all people, would know better. My patient base are one big train wreck. Not really their faults, actually. There has been no quality diabetes education in this part of the state before I got here. Ever.

Serious complications are common place. Diabetes is a leading cause of death here. I see horrible stuff every day. Maybe that has put me into some sort of diss-associative state? Am I clinically depressed? Aren’t we all? Our councilor once told me to be sure to refer any “depressed diabetics” to her. I laughed in her face and told her to clear off her schedule. “We’re all depressed.”

I use to eat a modest breakfast. I drank a low-carb diet shake for lunch; or two during a crazy day. And a nice chef’s salad with cottage cheese and grilled chicken for dinner. A couple of sugar-free chocolate almonds and I was good to go. My sugar’s were “flat line.”

I gotta get back to that. My new Doc gave me a stern gaze over the top of her glasses and told me: “you can’t take care of your patients if you don’t take care of yourself.”

So I’m going cold turkey. No more sweets. Until Christmas. Right after I finish that last triple chocolate bunt cake…..


Blogger George said...

I feel your pain Wil. I have been on a eating fest for a while now.

It is so hard to pass up yummyness like brownies! Aww man, now I want one.

I am sure you will get back on track soon! Keep at it!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Hmmm, I can relate to this as well...

I'm not sure exactly why, but I can be doing ok for a while, when for one reason or another, I'll break down and buy something not particularly healthy or good for me.

I think the same thoughts go through my head... that whatever it is isn't going to mess things up that much. Or I think why shouldn't I be able to eat this? But, usually, I am wrong... it takes a toll on my blood sugar more than I would have ever expected.

Part of me wonders if it is me trying to fool myself into believing that I don't have any health issues... that I have a normal, working pancreas. It sounds silly, but I think it's me still trying to live in denial about my disease.

I'm not saying that that's your case, but I think it's somewhat common to want to make believe at times.

It's going to sound like I'm contradicting myself, but, at the same time, I think it's ok and ,probably, more realistic to realize that we are all going to slip up from time to time. We're all human...

Plus, there's no reason why we can't have something we enjoy to eat too once in a while too :) I don't think that's something outrageous.

Enjoy your goodies, but also know when to stop and get back on track. It's something I need to learn too.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Man - tough line from your doc! I bet that really made you think for a while after the appointment.

It's really curious to me how all of that kind of stuff can snowball out of control in (what feels like) a heartbeat.

I've found for me, if I can stay off the junk food period, I won't want any for the rest of the day.

It's going to be a hell of a day when I'm raiding my neighbors M&M jar before 10 AM...

12:26 AM  
Blogger Chrissie in Belgium said...

Yup it always snowballs. Once you get on the right track it will be easier. Look no one can suceed all the time. HONESTLY, what diabetic has not gone on eating binges?!!

1:16 PM  
Blogger Bernard said...

I sympathize, especially about the uncontrolled comment from your Doc.

For many years my chart has been marked as 'diabetes out of control' or some such thing. Recently I read it yet again in a note that my end sent to my primary care doctor and it really made me see red.

So I'm bottling up that anger until my next endo visit. It should be nice and ready to express itself by my visit early next year.

I mean what exactly does 'out of control' mean? I've got diabetes and I go on rampages? Or I can't keep my BGs between 100 and 110? Or something else. It's not that helpful as an evaluation.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Diabetes Supply said...

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5:20 AM  

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