Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I'll swap my £10 for an Easter Egg

Happy Pancakey Shrove Tuesday guys!

I'm sure there are plenty of diabetics out there who actually dread pancake day.  These are probably the same people who approach other occasions like Christmas and Easter with the same amount of trepidation.  Many people with diabetes, especially those who have had it for a long time, tend to get into particular eating habits because they know it will help them maintain a balanced blood sugar.  Situations that mean breaking this routine can, in some cases, cause blood pressure to rise far higher than my blood sugars would if I were to drink a litre bottle of Lucozade.

As a child I loved Easter.  Back then I was on the menacing Mixtard 30 insulin, which never worked for me.  Being on Mixtard 30 meant several things for me, as I remember: high morning blood sugars, unpredictable lows and definitely no chocolate unless it was to treat the hypo's.  As you can imagine for a child this is never much fun, especially at school break times when your friends have got a tube of Smarties as a snack and instead you've got a couple of rich tea biscuits (not even ginger nuts!)

However at Easter, on the one day anyone would think it would bother me most, it really didn't.  Instead of chocolate eggs, family members would give me presents or money.  Not having a sweet tooth anyway, these were substituted very happily.  Now, if that isn't a perk of having diabetes then I don't know what is!

I like the NovoRapid and Lantus insulins that I am now on.  Taking them means that my lifestyle can be much more flexible with regards to what I eat and when I eat, just as most other background and fast-acting insulin combinations allow for.  Yes, N+L have many perks, except one.  No money at Easter.

Still I know that I'd much rather have the freedom to know that, if I can count the carbs in it and give the right amount of NovoRapid, I can have a dessert if I want to.  I can go and buy an Easter egg and eat it right now and it as long as I check the nutrition guide!  Alright, so there's my entire calorie intake for the day and I'll probably feel sick and I couldn't expect to devour that much glucose without a peak in blood sugars, but that isn't my point.

What I'm trying to say is that I'd swap my £10 for a chocolate egg if it means that I don't have to be consumed by a strict food regime every day of the year.  Having diabetes sucks, but I think it's important not to let it control you.

If you're wondering about whether or not to allow yourself a pancake today because you're worried about what it'll do to your blood sugars, I salute you.  It's good that you're thinking about it.  However...have one, or even two!  You may have diabetes, but you're human too.  Perhaps even sprinkle some sugar on them (go crazy...but carb count and bolus!)  Unless you don't like pancakes or easter eggs of course, in which case you've got 2 choices...ask your family to give you money instead, or have some rich tea biscuits.