Tag Archives: drinking and diabetes

My Top 5 Diabetes Blunders

 

Because I’m human, have something so ongoing as diabetes to take care of, and well, because I’m ME, naturally there will be plenty of mistakes.  The key is to learn from them.

Here are my Top 5 Diabetes Blunders-so far!  (In no particular order)

5.  You may have already read this story.  You can read it here.  I once gave 20 units of Humalog in place of Lantus.  I had been up very late the night before and was sleepy the next morning when I gave the injection.  I realized I used the wrong bottle of insulin just after injecting all of the insulin in.  I took matters into my own hands and had my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, rush me to the ER where I proceeded to inform them I’d need intravenous glucose immediately.  They thought I was suicidal, I thought they were kinda ignorant.  Fun times.

4.  When I was 13 I rebelled against all things diabetes.  I tried to manage my sugars about half of the time while the other half was spent pushing the boundaries.  Somehow I managed to survive a year with an A1c of 11.6.  I spent Christmas that year especially miserable because I had a gum grafting surgery in my mouth which was to stop my sliding gums from sliding all the way off of my teeth.  My blood sugars have never been so high since feeling the fear of losing my teeth.

3.  Not managing my blood sugars well during my wedding.  Honestly, it was a huge disappointment for me to dance my first dance with my husband and focus on foot pain because my blood sugar was really high and I was in uncomfortable and sky high heels.  My honeymoon was spent in pain as a result-not cool.  If one could only go back :(  Check out this guest post I did for LemonadeLife.com about Diabetes Wedding Day tips.

2.  One of the best nights I ever had with my husband was when we were dating.  We were at a party, had tequila, and danced the night away.  You know that saying, “One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor!”?  Part of what makes the story so memorable is the way I hit the floor a few times while dancing and how nice Alex was about it.  For this diabetic, being drunk (something I have done a few times in my life) was a way to escape diabetes-if not for a moment.  Truth is, it does not work.  After being super happy that night I finally tested my sugar and found I was over 400.  I vowed to never let it happen again.  Alex vowed to never drink again because he was so upset at how high my blood sugar was.

1.  I drank too much again despite that previous vow.  This time, I didn’t feel my low until I went to test and came up 30 on the meter.  I panicked as stupid drunk people can do when a grim reality sets in.  I don’t remember much except scaring Alex to death, throwing up in the parking lot of a gas station, and screaming about my blood sugar.  I try to promote and advocate for fabulous diabetic women taking care of themselves.  This sort of story is one I remember from time to time and feel ashamed of.  Sure it can be sort of funny, but, what if the worst had happened?  How fabulous would I be then eh?  I shudder to think.  I have now gone years without this sort of thing happening again and intend on keeping the vow this time for good.

Believe it or not, the most alarming thing is I have hundreds of stories similar to the ones above…I just can’t think of them right now.

So If any of this relates to you-know you’re not alone.  Also, know that sometimes you’ll be lucky and other times you may not be.  If you are a diabetic, you can live a pretty “normal” life.  But, managing blood sugars should be the top goal-and not taking wicked chances.

 So, what are your diabetes blunders?

Wine and diabetes, is there low carb wine?

Indeed, there is.  I haven’t tasted any personally but, so far there are two popular low carb wines.  They are called One.6 Chardonnay and One.9 Merlot.  How many carbs are in these wines?

The number is impressive, in fact, surprising.  The Chardonnay has 1.6 grams of carbohydrates per 5 oz glass and the Merlot has—you guessed it, 1.9 grams of carbs per 5 oz serving.

From what I read…they taste pretty good. 

Important note:

Do remember that although alcohol in wine is NOT a carbohydrate, our bodies seem to metabolize it much like it does a carbohydrate.  For some, this means you may need to plan for this by giving a little more insulin to cover the wine.

Anyway, if you are interested in knowing, these two wines are produced by Brown-Forman Wines, can be found in stores all over the US, and cost only about $10-$13 a 750ml bottle.

If you’ve tried this, fill us in to the taste!  In any case I’ll look for it during this week’s trip to the store.  I may have to go to a wine shop, I think.  I’m so curious it just may be worthwhile.

Wine and diabetes

 

Wine is becoming increasingly popular in many places. Many are even learning to like wine in place of beer. This can be a good thing for wine loving diabetics, if we can exercise the discipline to stop after several ounces.

Most people who drink beer do not stop at one or two where as most people who drink wine do. (According to certain stats, anyway) Since beer has more carbohydrates than your average red or dry white wine, the wine lover is going to have less of an impact on their blood sugar.

What if you don’t like wine? Be glad! Because diabetics really don’t need it. To those who don’t have perfect health, alcohol is just a system aggravator, throwing off the balance even more. But, that lady down the street with diabetes drinks wine all the time you say? Well, chances are, her health could improve big time. Don’t be fooled. A lot of diabetics don’t take care of themselves the way they should.

For those of you who have pretty good diabetes control and health and cannot stay away from beloved wine, well, a dry wine is probably your best bet-and certainly just one glass at a time.

We hear a lot about resveratrol, the anti-aging chemical found in red wine. Problem is, you could get a lot more resveratrol from a pill than a glass of wine. And that glass of wine gives you alcohol.

Another thing to point out is if you are the type that can stop drinking when you want, you have a big advantage towards those who cannot. If you cannot, you really shouldn’t be drinking. I tend to do most things in extremes so I am not big on drinking. If I don’t have a drink I’m fine. If I have one I want another. So, I just don’t start. How about you? Which category do you fall in? And if you drink wine, what type works best for you? Do you just have one glass?

For guidance and info on drinking alcohol, read: Diabetes and alcohol; how much can I drink?

Diabetes and alcohol; how much can I drink?

painting:  Ana Morales

painting: Ana Morales

Many diabetics ask this question.  Instead of not drinking at all we want to know just how much we can get away with.  The easiest answer to this question would be “none” so here I provide a more thorough, forgiving answer: 

Well, it depends.  I’d say it all has to do with circumstances:

Where are you drinking? 

At home?  At a bar?  At a party?  Drinking at home is your safer bet considering you are probably less distracted and more likely to closely monitor your blood sugar there.  A party or bar might be a risky environment for you. 

Why are you drinking? 

 

Are you simply enjoying a drink or are you looking to feel the effects of alcohol?  If your answer is the latter I’d recommend you NOT drinking.  Your motives might lead you to drink too much, which could prove fatal.

Who are you? 

Ask yourself the following:  Do you have self control?  Do you give insulin?  Are you taking care of anyone?  Are you able to check your glucose anywhere, anytime?  Be honest in order to really determine if you could safely manage a drink or two.

How much are you drinking? 

Would you be enjoying one or two drinks or more than that?  More than two drinks means you are beginning to consume enough alcohol to seriously begin impairing judgment.  This can be dangerous for any diabetic. 

And finally, what are you drinking?

I don’t recommend a mixed drink-you know anything with more than one ingredient and so sweet you have no idea how much insulin to give in the first place.  One beer or a glass of dry wine or even a shot of hard liquor are easier to manage.

And you may be thinking, “what does she know?”  Well, sadly, experience has taught me a lot and I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve seen my glucose up in the 400 range and down as low as 35 just because I didn’t know what I was doing with alcohol.

Now I would only enjoy one shot of hard liquor at home, which I know for me takes about a unit of insulin to cover.  I would check my glucose before and shortly after and not go to bed for at least a few hours.  I would also drink that shot very slowly and focus on savoring the taste.

I haven’t drank in about a year due to pregnancy and breastfeeding.  I don’t miss it at this point.  I’d also never drink while taking care of children so I’m thinking I may never drink again. 

That should make things easy.

Remember, you are far cooler/prettier/smarter while taking care of yourself than while being rolled into the ER for drinking as a diabetic.

You know yourself better than I do so whatever your decision be regarding drinking and diabetes…make sure it is in favor of your health.  You owe it to yourself.

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