Saturday, September 23, 2006

Besides knowing that diabetics shouldn't eat sugar (ahem), and that they test their blood sugars and take lots of shots (eeeewwww), non-diabetics associate diabetics with something else: orange juice. As in, low blood sugar = orange juice. For diabetics, a low blood sugar might also = glucose tabs. Now, in both regards I am not (or, was not) a "normal" diabetic.

I grew up with an utter loathing of orange juice. Utter. It is only now, in my 28th year, that I have begun to use it to treat lows. I thank the nice family I tutored for for getting me acclimated to this drink. Each Tuesday and Thursday, the mother would serve the two kids and I a tray of healthy snacks and glasses of orange juice. I would force myself to chug it down and gradually, over the course of 16 weeks, I learned to tolerate it. I am thankful, becuase I can no longer tolerate apple juice, my juice of choice. 17 years of treating lows with apple juice has resulted in a gag reflex. Even brand-name apple juice, like Juicy-Juice, doesn't do it. And the Walmart brand, a dollar cheaper but alas, more like urine than juice, certainly doesn't do it. And so for the first time in my life I am buying Minute Maid and making difficult choices, like "Low Pulp" or "No Pulp." Can I force myself to handle "High Pulp" for its Calcium Enriched goodness? (Answer, "NO". Low Pulp is pulpy enough.)

And then there are those glucose tabs. When I was diagnosed they came -- as far as I know -- in one flavor. You've got it: orange. And I don't do orange (even now -- OJ, okay, orange anything-else no way). But because of the I-can't-stand-apple-juice turn-of-events, I have lately found myself in the glucose tab aisle. There's watermelon and grape and English toffee and tropical fruit. But I still find that being the glucose tab kind of diabetic is a struggle, because I am not a fan of chalk. And although the English toffee tabs do taste like English toffee, it's a sweet explosion that makes my teeth hurt and that makes me grimace as I swallow the disentegrating tongue-coating stuff. OJ it is.

It's a good thing I'm finding Apple Juice alternatives, because I've been low A LOT these last few days. I didn't break 100 until 5 pm on Thursday (where I finally rebounded to a lovely 303. Ahem.) I had three juices in the course of 4 hours. Yesterday I was 47. And I haven't been above 100 today. All because I've altered my morning basals to try and stave off the peak-to-nader pattern that plagued me all summer and continues to plague me now.

This is a problem, because my low symptoms are mimicking the anxiety I have had all week: wake up with racing heart and near tears. The shakes. Definite stomach issues. A persistent headache, mornign till night? Is it just anxiety? The fact that I haven't been on my thyroid or depression meds for a good months (waiting for the doctor's appt Friday for new scripts)? A combo? And what's with the lows? Anyone's guess at this point. I'm actually looking forward to the endo appointment to find out.


Sarah said...

I'm right there with you on the OJ and the glucose tabs, although the tabs instinctively tigger the gag reflux in me...yuck!!

I've never liked them. not since day 1. My endo laughs at me as I tell her I think I'd rather eat an actual piece of chalk then a glucose tab.

Chrissie in Belgium said...

Totally agree with you and Sarah about the chalk tasting glucose tabs. YUCK YUCK YUCK! But do you know that normal coke has a MUCH faster GI index than orange juice or apple juice, ie it works much faster than fuit juices. The faster you feel better, the less is the chance you over eat or drink too much. One dl, about 1/2 cup, of coke has 11 carbohydrates. Here in Europe doctors recommend coke rather than juice for treating hypos. I grew us with "juice" when I lived in the States, but now coke is and will remain my choice for treating hypos! I suggest you test yourself to see how much you need to drink - compare the blood glucose value at the hypo and then 15 minutes later. This you will help you decide how much to drink. I carry the coke in a babby bottle which has ml markings on the side. This means it is really easy to measure. My tip from Belgium! :)

Anonymous said...

I hate OJ, it makes me sick. It's the acid. I can't drink juices at all. And ewww, gluco tabs are the worst. I don't mind the lucazade ones thought. The others, it's that chalky feeling.

I'm a powerade girl myself. The blue or green flavour, they're great for curing my lows. Do you have powerade in America?

Vic x

Anonymous said...

i like orange glucose tabs, but I have never used them for lows. I always just inhaled whatever food I can find. Now im doing glucose tabs and sometimes when I am having a carb craving I fight off having a glucose tab.....true story....honest