Pizza, etc.

Today, I’m writing about pizza. Weird one, I know, but then again I’m also sitting at work by myself waiting for my Coca-Cola to kick in and stop me shaking so that I can physically/legally drive home – because of pizza. Also weird. And now I come to think of it, probably not worth it. I feel like ass, have ruined my blood sugars for a good 6 hours, and have eaten a LOT of calories (considering it’s only Monday) – talk about starting the week as you wish to go on…

I’ve had 2 pizzas in the last 3 days. I KNOW. I’m sorry. I mean how else am I supposed to prepare for our trip around Italy next month?!… Anyway. I imagine most people would think that having pizza for lunch would (a) not be a big a deal – just carb count, inject a good 20 minutes before, and enjoy that crispy crust and garlic dip; and (b) be fairly similar blood-sugar wise on each occasion. And this is exactly what I tried to kid myself – but the overindulgent couple of days has, once again, reminded just how much my diabetes and my body do not follow ‘the rules’.

Saturday’s Pizza

If, like us, you find yourself walking around London and stumble past a Pizza Union sign that advertises 12” pizzas for £5.50 – yes, you did read it correctly, and yes you definitely should go in because these things are delicious. My blood sugar was 7.9 mmol/l as I sat down to eat the thinnest, crispiest loveliest Hawaiian pizza I can recall in a long time, and knowing I’d be spending the afternoon walking around on a hot day, I guessed that 8 units of insulin would be about right. To be honest, I was pretty sure my sugars would go high afterwards, but was hoping the walk/sun would help.

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so happy

Monday’s Pizza

I knew when I ignored my alarm I’d set early this morning to make a salad for lunch that I’d regret it, and 12 hours later I can confirm that I do. However, it’s not often that I work close to a Dominoes, and when a personal size pizza is on offer for £1, and your friends all want one too, I struggle to convince myself that ‘no, a plain salad with a boiled egg will be really great, why don’t you spend half an hour making that’. So, I panned the salad and caved for yet another pizza (my bad). With my blood sugar a bit lower beforehand this time at 3.5 mmol/l, I went for just 6 units of insulin.

Saturday’s hypo

One thing that I’d forgotten to take into consideration here was that I’d had a teeeeennny weeeeny little cocktail the night before. Cocktails. I think there may have been wine at dinner too. I’m not clear on the specifics, but what I do know is that drinks on a Friday = hypos on a Saturday. 2 to be exact – each within 1 and a half hours. So that high blood sugar I predicted never happened – it never got anywhere near to being above 7.9 mmol/l. But those low shakes and sweats on a hot day in a busy city were really fab for shopping with – cheers Vinho Verde and pizza, I owe ya one.

Monday’s not so hypo – but then really hypo

After needing 6 energy tablets, a can of coke and a very patient boyfriend on Saturday, I figured that this next carb over-load could be trouble. But, trying to second-guess my diabetes as usual, I figured that my blood being low beforehand would help curb any steep rise from the pizza, and I’d be able to dodge the hypos. Things started off well, with my sugars raising to 11.8 mmol/l an hour after eating – a bit high for my liking, so I took another 2 units and got on with my work. Two hours later I’m sitting at 14.9 mmol/l, and this is not ok. A bit peeved, I topped up with another 6 units and waited for the insulin to finally do something useful. Another 1.5 hours later and we’re at 6.8 mmol/l – great! If we could just hold it right there – OK now we’re at 3.3.  OH right 2.6. Let me just neck a cola so I can drive home – oh FANTASTIC we’re back at 2.8 mmol/l the minute I walk through the front door. This is great – reaaaaalllly not tedious at all. Nope. OK I’m exhausted.

feeling fresh!

I always find scenarios like this tricky. Although I’ve focused on a generally lower-carb diet recently, I’m a firm advocate for T1’s being able to eat whatever we want – and when I do fancy a pizza for lunch or a Mojito on a Friday or a Kinder Bueno sometimes/always, I have one. Unfortunately my sweet tooth didn’t go anywhere when I was diagnosed, and in my opinion, life’s too short to not treat yourself once in a while. But the more attention I pay towards my diabetes these days, the more I realise just how much of an effect high carb food has on my body – and how unpredictably my blood sugars can react to it.  After a solid 12 years of practise, even if I follow allllll the rules and carb count properly, inject early, check my bloods 2 hours after eating, and correct for any highs and lows (the list is exhausting) – at the end of the day, my body does not deal well with carbs – and the more I eat, the more it seems to play up. So as delicious as my pizza-party couple of days have been – I’m all hypoed out – fully KO’ed. Time to cut back on the carb-face and yo-yo bloods and get back to classic (and definitely not boring at all 😐 ) straight-bloods salad. Dream.

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me preppin’ salad
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6 thoughts on “Pizza, etc.

  1. What an excellent review! My son has been type 1 for 10 years. Pizza aaahhhrrrr what a pain and I have a boy whose thing is pizza! We have discovered a way through. We do the usual carb count, half the amount of insulin, i.e. the other day it told us to inject 14 units so we injected 7 units in total. However, the best way we have discovered is half before and half afterwards. Bingo half the amount of insulin and split before and after seems to be the solution and it’s worked the last four times! Worth a try for all those diabetic pizza lovers.

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    1. That’s such a good idea – I’ve never though about that but I think the high fat content in things like pizza can affect insulin requirements – so spreading out your dose sounds like it could ‘cover’ your requirements over a longer time – thanks for the tip, I’m going to give this a go next time! 😀

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  2. A great blog. Nice to know how somebody else is getting on, especially as you seem to have a similar, fairly laid-back attitude to your condition as I do. (alcohol- pizza- carbs !) but at the same time serious (checking, adjusting and generally trying) I look forward more blogs. 😝

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  3. Thank you, that’s so kind! 🙂 yeh – I’m a lot more conscious of it all these days then I used to be, but I’m not going to let it stop me doing anything (like drinking or eating too much every now and then!). Glad to hear you feel the same way with your T1 🙂

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  4. Great article! I love info about betics counting carbs and checking n stuff.

    Pizza is a tough think to crack, it’s true. I echo what Wendy said – the other night I had a bunch of naan (even worse than pizza in my experience) plus 2-3 beers. I took 14 units before, then having eaten more than I expected, 4 more units an hour or so later. No high BGs, that night or the next day. Wasn’t I shocked.

    I agree that betics should eat whatever they want, and also that insulin can do anything if you take the right amount at the right times. Unfortunately sleep, stress, alcohol, etc can conspire to make calculation nearly impossible, practically speaking, but the fight is the point, not the result.

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    1. Nice one for avoiding the spikes, sounds like you nailed it! Yep you’re so right – we’re unlikely to get it right every time, but doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try! I’ve got too much of a sweet tooth to completely cut out the nice things anyways!

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