What I Do When I Want A Diabetes Break

 

All of us diabetics need a break, sometimes.  Some of us break a piece off a Kit Kat bar (I’m unable to stop after many pieces), some skip insulin (very dangerous and not recommended) and others try to escape by taking afternoon naps (I am not an efficient napper).  I’ve crashed and burned doing all of the above and found a more reliable way (for me) to at least semi-relax from the everlasting marathon that is managing diabetes.

It sounds miserable, but every now and then when I need a diabetes break, I just don’t eat.  This break often coincides with the PMS season of the month.

This is really not as barbaric as it seems.  There are times, the way I take a day off is to eat what I want with little regard to my health.  It’s usually done in binging fashion.  Because I’m an all or nothing person the problem is I overdo it and the next day I’ve got ketones, I’ve had a bad night’s sleep, and I’m unable to be happy or well amongst my family and if you have any idea what taking care of two toddlers of the same age is like while having high blood sugars, then you’ll know how troublesome that truly is.  And how in the end, how not worthwhile it is. 

So, what I do when I want to relax a little is just skip a few meals.  “But, isn’t that unhealthy?”  It’s no more unhealthy than letting blood sugars out of range.  I’m not going to starve.  I’ve got a few extra pounds to ensure that.  I try to start the day off with some protein and fat (examples are almonds, chicken, egg) and some vegetable juice (read: no tomato) consisting of vegetables and herbs such as celery, fennel, spinach, lettuce, collard greens, parsley so I don’t go without some nutrition.  But, later in the day, I’ll just have coffee and water.  My Lantus is set at the right dose for me where If I don’t eat, my blood sugars will stay pretty stable all day.  My stomach being so empty throughout the day will let my blood sugars drop ever so slightly-just enough to allow me some to snack on cheese, or have fresh squeezed lemon or orange in my water, or cream in my coffee.  If I get low, I have some juice.

I only skip one or two meals at a time.  I don’t go 24 hours without food.  I’m not suggesting this to you, either.  Some people feel hunger every two hours.  Some people rebound after skipping a meal and eat a meal that is the equivalent of two.  But I feel hunger every six hours.  So it works for me for that reason but also because I don’t feel inclined to do it too often.  Doing it too often would be a problem.

On these breaks I see almost perfect blood sugars (which do me wonders, psychologically) and I love that I don’t have to mess around with giving insulin (unless needed, of course) or counting carbs or planning meals or dealing with post meal blood sugars.  At the end of the day, I feel like I got a much needed break.  And when I think I’m hardcore for skipping a meal or two, I wake up by remembering much of the world’s people eat one or two meals a day, max.  Like, every day of every year. So when I do go back to my three meal a day plus snacks routine, I think about how good I’ve got it, despite having to inject life-saving insulin. 

Basically a “break” is what works to give you some kind of benefit, be it mental or physical and doesn’t risk your health.  Any other “break” ideas?

4 Comments

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This is pretty fantastic. I do this and I didn’t even THINk about how it’s a break but it IS! Not eating means not messing with food ergo not messing with insulin ups and downs and paying attention. I love FORGETTING about it for a day and that’s exactly what I do. I know if I don’t eat there won’t be any worry. That’s what our basal insulins are supposed to do for us afterall.

This has been a good diabetes break reminder and next time I do that (which is WAY too often actually) I’m going to look at it as a ‘break’.

Scully! I can’t tell you how happy I am that I’m not the only one who does this!

First things first…. Thank you for your recent comment. Your encouragement came at a very good time.

As for your post day — we’ve never suggested Lia try it, but both Franca and I believe fasting has a place in our “eating” habits every now and then and hope as she gets older Lia will will believe that too. Whether a PWD or not, the body responds in fantastic ways to needing a little less insulin; and even if it didn’t, going hungry for a day or even just few hours is an excellent reminder of those in the world less fortunate. Great suggestion!

Thanks so much for your comment, Steve! I am going to look into the benefits of fasting, what you say gets my interest!

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