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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's All in the Numbers

This past weekend, we hosted my parents for the long holiday weekend.  Having my parents here was such a joy and we had a blast.  We went out to eat 3 times during the weekend, which is 3 times more than we usually eat out during the week.  I certainly don't mind eating out, especially when it involves family as company, but eating out is like walking on a landmine with diabetes. 

If we know where we're going to eat beforehand, I like to look to see if the restaurant has a nutritional guide online so I can chart my course.  I did this with our anniversary dinner where we went out to a wonderful Italian restaurant.  My blood sugars participated OK, not great but not bad either.  It's hard to know just how much of the appetizer bread I have in one sitting.  But if I stick to what I researched online before walking into the restaurant, I'm as good as golden. 

This was confirmed this weekend when we went to one restaurant where I didn't research what I was going to eat, because we did a lot of running around that day and I didn't even see a computer until after dinner.  Appetizer and drinks, salads and entrees, I bolused my standard SWAG bolus of 7.0 units for the "ehh, this might work" mentality and ate my dinner.  My 2-hour post-prandial BG was hovering around 250 mg/dL.   A few corrections later I was OK, but I hate that I expect this to happen. 

The next day we went to another restaurant where they had a nutritional guide printed out on their wall.  Awesome.  I picked my meal and bolused according to the guide on the wall.  Probably the same amount of carbs (or more so) than the previous meal eating out, but I hovered between 80-100 mg/dL for 4 hours after this meal.  It was like Diabetes Nirvana. 

So what exactly is going on here?  Is simply knowing the exact amount of carbs I'm about to eat really affect my BGs afterwards?  Is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle at work here somehow?  Assume that I bolus the same amount for the same amount of carbs but one time is a lucky SWAG bolus and the other is calculated, would the result be the same? 

On one hand, I feel confident that I truly can eat anything I want as long as I know the exact amount of carbs I'm about to consume.  On the other hand, I feel defeated because if I don't know the exact amount and resort to SWAG bolusing then I'm likely to end up correcting later on.  And on the other hand, I feel that if I were a good diabetic I would stick to a no-carb diet in order to avoid this internal dialogue. 

Does anyone else know where I'm coming from?  And does anyone else know why my internal dialogue self has so many hands? 

P.S.  I realize using the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as an analogy has unintentionally led some to an impromptu lesson in quantum mechanics.  I apologize, I try to leave my physics, nerdy self at home, but sometimes it sneaks out on its own.  Stupid Nerd Monster! 


  1. All I could think when I read the words "Heisenber Uncertainty Principle" was, "Wow. She's such a scientist." :P

  2. I know exactly what you're talking about. Sometimes it can even be the same meal from one day to the next, and I get a completely different end result. I cannot express how much that makes me want to rage. Sometimes it seems like the more you want to help yourself, the more likely something wonky is going to happen. Yay diabetes.


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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.