Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Diabetes Savant

idiot sa·vant

Pronunciation: \ˈē-ˌdyō-sä-ˈväⁿ, or same as idiot and savant for respective sing and plural forms\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, literally, learned idiot

1 : a person affected with a mental disability who exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field (as mathematics or music) —called also savant
2 : a person who is highly knowledgeable about one subject but knows little about anything else


diabetes sa-vant

See above

I had dinner with a friend last night & we chatted about all sorts of interesting things. Work, music, our families, and as always, life with diabetes. I told my friend that a life lived with diabetes is a dizzying array of numbers at every twist and turn, it really is.

As every person with diabetes knows, we are continually bombarded with numbers. Blood sugar numbers, insulin units, carb grams, fiber grams, and fat grams. Blood pressure numbers, creatine & clearance numbers, and cholesterol numbers, pump model numbers. You name it; we have a number for it.

Then I told my friend that I feel like Rain Man when it came to carb counting, a Diabetes Savant of sorts. No matter what the food, I must find or remember the carb for it in order to achieve the holy grail of “Blood Sugar Nirvana. It’s like my life is a carb counting game show of sorts, and the stakes are higher when I’m at a restaurant.

Guestimating the carb count comes into play more and I hope with all my heart that I get it right, so I can claim the parting gift of a “good numbers’ a few hours later.

Right before we sat down for dinner, I’d tested, and my blood sugar was 130 - I was happy with that.

As we read the menu, a basket of whole grain and French bread was brought to the table, with real butter. Now I don’t buy butter at home, but when I’m out to dinner and butter presents itself, I apply liberally.

I gnawed at the bread (it was so good) and bloused a unit. For some reason I was craving steak (normally I don't eat red meat, so when I do crave it, I get it) and ordered “STEAK FRITES.” Translation: a seared hanger steak sautéed in butter w/thin fries and greens.

As we waited for our meal, I did some diabetes multitasking, while paying attention to what my friend was saying and having a conversation about Brett Michaels and Celebrity Apprentice, and silently calculating the “diabetes Math in my head. O grams of carbs for the steak, 30 grams for the fries, 0 grams of carbs for the greens, and 5 grams of carbs because I really wanted another slice of bread. I programmed my blood sugar of 130, 35 grams of carbs on the sly, and my old minimed 512 computed the facts and told me I’d need exactly 3.3 units of insulin to cover the meal. Done and done.

Much like the company, dinner was outstanding.

Then it was time for dessert and the Crème Brulee tempted us both with its creamy delicious song. Previous experience with the power of Crème Brulee has taught me that 2.5 units usually does the trick, if all the diabetes stars are aliened just so.

I bloused again and hoped for the best.

We continued to talking, and finally said our goodbyes.

As I drove home, two major thoughts entered my mind.

  1. I'd had a great night out
  2. I couldn’t wait to get home and see how close I’d actually come to attaining Blood Sugar Nirvana.

I walked in the door, tossed my keys on the table, grabbed my glucometer out of my bag, took a deep breathe and tested. I was 122.

Blood Sugar Nirvana had been achieved - this time, and all was right with my world~

9 comments:

Cara said...

I love Blood Sugar Nirvana. :)

Penny said...

You ROCK Kelly!!!

The Coopers said...

Fantastic.. I bow to your mental math skills.. well done girl!

Zita said...

So glad you're a diabetes "savant" and not a diabetes "servent" which is what I thought I saw when I first skimmed tweets. I knew that couldn't be true...you are the master of this crazy disease, not the opposite:)Good guestimation skills!

my sweet girl said...

I wish I was that good! Congrats.

Marc said...

That's awesome! I love it when the D deal-a-meal in my head comes through for me, and Jonathan.

George said...

You are teh D-Rockstar! AWESOME!

Kelly said...

Fabu. As always! :D

Scott K. Johnson said...

I think it is amazing how we can multitask like that!