Friday 24 June 2011

Snort, drink and smoke your way to an early grave.

I always said that I would write this blog honestly and openly and would never just write according to which posts were most popular to keep the clicks coming in. Nothing frustrates me more than reading blogs where all people talk about is the wonderful DOC (Diabetic Online Community) and how diabetes has made them grow as a person (I don't feel diabetes has made me grow as a person. I MADE ME GROW. Oh and biology had a little to do with it also). Anyway, I always said that I would write about both the good times and the bad, even if the bad is embarrassing (went out for the day without filling up my reservoir a few weeks ago - marvellous fun that one),or funny (thought I'd gone blind during a hypo) or sad (because sometimes, it is just bloody hard).

Well, I have decided to admit a deep, dark, sordid secret about a huge risk I take with my health. I do so because this habit of mine is well and truly ingrained in my behaviour and no matter how hard I try or how many times I read about people getting off it, I simply can't seem to shake it. And as a person who writes a blog and who you may well be listening to when I tell you my story, you need to have all the facts. I hope you can understand.

So, back to my admission. Any guesses?





Thankfully, my sordid secret relates none of the above. But it does relate to something which causes my sugars to soare each and every time I do it. I have a track record clearer than the shadows on the video of the moon landing. Clearer than the lack of WMDs in Iraq. And clearer than the paper mache on the Roswell 'alien'. Yet I still choose to engage in this activity in a self-destructive way which makes a mockery of the hard work my mother went through to bring my perfect little self into the world.

What is it?

Well, if I told you you should stay away from anything which is packed with anti-oxidants, what would you say? If I told you anything with natural fruit sugar and natural sources of fibre was off-limits, what would you do? If I told you this came from the earth and many countries base their primary economic income on it, what would you think?

Yep, you guess it. Fruit.

I love nothing more than to sink into a giant pot of fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, watermelon, honeydew, gala. I could sink my teeth into a blood orange until the cows come home and enjoy every second unflinchingly.

The thing is, if I wasn't afflicted with a defective pancreas and blood sugars who love a good roller coaster style curve I would probably be considered very healthy. I have never in my adult life struggled to get my 5 a day because I love fruit and veg. But the impact of my reckless lifestyle is that my blood sugars - usually relatively stable - go completely haywire.

Every. Time.

My biggest diabetic frustration (other than the fact it picked me in the first place) is that when I eat any kind of fruit I jump from 7.5 - 13mmol (as I have done today). I could take my pancreas, rip it out and go all Tarantino on its ass. Trying to explain to non-D's that fruit is more damaging to a diabetic than a tub of lard is like telling Victoria Beckham that a sandwich never killed anyone and sometimes even accepting it myself is pretty tough. If I didn't need it, my testing kit could easily have been launched from my 4th floor office window today.

Today when I woke up at 6.30am, I was 7.4mmol (133 mg/dl).

At 7.30 before I ate my omellete. I was 7.8mmol (140 mg/dl)

At 9.45, after my omellete and just before I ate (and bolused for) my bowl of fruit , I was 7.0mmol (126 mg/dl).

Then, at 11.15am and after having thoroughly enjoyed my fruit, I was 13mmol (234 mg/dl).

I have read so many accounts of people who pride themselves on having fantastic sugars and swearing by a low carb diet lacking in any fruit, who claim to be healthier than all those who around them. I am sure that I could have kept up that 7.5 trend until dinner tonight had I not wanted that fruit so badly. But that's just it. I want to eat fruit. If we were talking straight up liquorice, sweets, cane sugar and milkshakes I could understand it.

But it's fruit!

I don't know what the answer to this one is and after 24 years, I doubt I ever will. But being honest about the fact that this diabetic issue both infuriates and baffles me, makes it a whole lot easier to manage.

Anna - off to eat a giant piece of melon and screw you Mr D!


  1. I do appreciate the honesty! Fruit makes me jump too, so I do try not to eat it too often. Enjoy it and don't feel guilty because really there are worst things you could do!

  2. Hi Anna, I fount it interesting that your BG levels skyrocket to over 200mg/dL. I was wondering about the amount you eat. Is it a large amount? Right after I was diagnosed with T1D (12 years ago), I was told to eat fruit instead of carbs. So I did. The problem was that I would eat 5 apples as snack (hey!, at least they're healthier than Pringles) or a huge melon. You get the idea. As a result, my levels did not improve at all and I was put into insulin therapy. So I guess the amount also matters. When you eat fruit, is it usually a large portion? (which is a relative question, since what is considered large for some can be also considered small for food-lovers)

  3. Hey, I managed to miss your comment The DL! Thanks, my friend. AP

    Hey 'anonymous'. I generally only have a small potion, say, a slice of melon or an apple and orange. But I have found that by sticking with berries (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries) and only having what fits in the palm of my hand (apparently that is a 'portion'. That explains where my love handles came from!) then I can reduce the spike. I do still spike, but not as much.

    I have pretty much reverted to a low-carb way of life now, with only minimal fruit and the odd sweet potato.

    What kinds of fruits to you go for?


    1. Hi Anna,

      Thank you for your prompt reply.
      We all (T1D) know how important portions are. I never had much problem with fruit (or maybe I never paid much attention to it?) to the point of having mild hypoglycemia after eating fruit, so I would even reduce the dose I would typically use a little bit compared to carbs.

      I usually eat bananas and citrus fruit (my favorites). So I guess my mild-hypoglycemic episodes are due to the type of fruits I eat. Maybe you were also told that we should avoid grapes and dried fruit because they are very high in fructose. I have also heard that melon is quite high as well (I apologize for the bad news).

    2. Hi again,

      I actually keep grapes as hypo treatment now as they are so effective. A small handful of grapes brings me back up in no time. I tend to find bananas make me jump up too, but if I eat them with a meal the effect is less, so I sometimes have them as 'desert'.

      I only knew about the melon through my own experiments. Honeydew and Gala really don't like me.

      Thanks for the tips, I will have a go at some Citrus fruits and see how I go.