Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weapon of Choice Day 2 of Diabetes Blog Week

Day 2 – Making the low go. Tell us about your favorite way to treat a low. Juice? Glucose tabs? Secret candy stash? What’s your favorite thing to indulge in when you are low? What do you find brings your blood sugar up fast without spiking it too high?

I am the model diabetic.  On the rare occasion that my blood sugar drops low I eat exactly 15 grams of carbs and retest exactly 15 minutes later, retreating with another 15 grams as necessary. 

I almost never have to retreat a low because, as the model diabetic, I treat lows with glucose tabs.  Sour apple are my favorite.  Or I will use the drink that comes with the two glucose tab bottles from Costco.  Sometimes I splurge and buy the tube of frosting that looks like Halloween makeup and tastes like feet. 

Ok, I can’t keep this charade up much longer!  I am anything but the model diabetic.  I do have glucose tabs by the side of my bed but I rarely eat them.  I usually use them when I’m on vacation or at church.  I have a small tube in my scripture bag.  Sour apple really is my favorite.  My husband says glucose tabs look like big Smarties.  He finally tried one a few weeks ago, just to see.  He said it tasted like a big Smartie too.  And the diabetic frosting . . . have you ever had the unfortunate need to eat one of those?  I did at the hospital, visiting my baby in the NICU.  I nearly puked it was so nasty!  The nurses were very sympathetic. 

No, my weapon of choice is fruit snacks.  I have been eating fruit snacks with virtually every low for the last nine plus years.  I honestly don’t remember what I ate before I met my husband.  I think I just binged on whatever I could find in the house.  Tortillas were my favorite. 

My husband bought me a Costco pack of fruit snacks either when we were engaged or soon after we got married.  It had three different varieties in the pack.  Cherry, Strawberry, or Mixed Berry.  They are absolutely nasty.  They taste like toxic silly putty.  But when you’re low you don’t taste much.  At least I don’t.  I have eaten dinner so fast I was disappointed I didn’t savor it.  But I was low! 

The nice thing about the fruit snacks were the fact that there were 2.5 servings in each bag.  So I was eating about 40 grams of carbs.  Too much I know, but since they were made from fruit juice the extra carbs helped sustain my blood sugar over time. 

Costco stopped selling the yucky fruit snacks so I got hooked on Welch’s.  Those are really good.  Made with 100% real fruit juice.  Mmm . . . tasty.  The packages were small so I usually ate two.  Now Costco doesn’t have the Welch’s fruit snacks anymore so I eat my kids’ Jelly Belly fruit snacks.  We used to buy two different boxes of fruit snacks.  One for me and one for the kids.  My kids would say their blood sugar was low hoping I would let them eat mine!  Now we all eat from the same box.  Is that weird?

The Jelly Belly fruit snacks are delicious too, they just stick to my teeth.  Hard to shove the whole package in my mouth in public and have a normal conversation with anyone later.  Actually, if I ate them one at a time they would still stick to my teeth. 

Yes, I’m a pig.  I eat the whole thing at once because I’m low and in a hurry.  I also do it because the flavor is more intense that way.  I eat Skittles the same way.  It just tastes better.  My four year old is always saying, “Watch this Mom.  I eat them like you!”  I have lectured him many times against this because it’s bad manners. 

My kids know where I stash all the fruit snacks.  They know I have tons in my purse.  For me and for them.  My purse is a bag of tricks that keeps my kids happy in public when needed.  They have seen my stash by the side of the bed, they know I have at least one package in my scripture bag, and I used to keep them in the car.  But I haven’t for a few years.  Fruit snacks are actually quite gross and they taste even worse when they’ve been heated up in a hot car and cooled down at night several times.  The good news is they contain 100% of the recommended intake of Vitamin C for the day.  My fluffy tummy is actually full of extra Vitamin C.  I’m sure of it.

Just in case you were wondering, if I eat fruit snacks at night, I eat one package and have a glass of milk.  The protein helps it sustain my blood sugar.  Most of the time anyway.  If I’m super low in the middle of the night I eat cereal. 

I do eat other things when I’m low depending on my mood.  Let’s face it, as diabetics, that shaky feeling means freedom to eat whatever.  Sometimes I do.  There have been many times when I have eaten until I feel better then paid for it later.    The joys of diabetes!


  1. I am the same. I fee like eating whatever and most often I do. And I also bolus after eating for a low (if I over did it). Even though my pump says, DO NOT BOLUS UNTIL BG IS NORMAL I ignore it and grab another spoonful of Nutella and bolus away. Took care of my low and the nasty high that is coming - averted.

    But it is funny. I am so much more awake when I have a low in the middle of the night - not that I know what I'm doing but at least I'm alert. Then as soon as my sugar gets back to normal I get all sleepy again and I know it's time for bed.

    Your blog is really funny sometimes. I really enjoy it. Your preschooler saying he's having a low made me laugh right out loud! What a character.

  2. Rebeca, I'm jealous. You get sleepy after you eat at night! I am wide awake for at least one to three more hours. I ignore my pump's suggestions a lot too.

    My kids are funny especially my preschooler. He's a crack up. I don't think kindergarten is ready for him!

  3. So glad to hear you aren't really a "model diabetic". In fact, I kind of think that's a myth - like unicorns and the Loche Ness Monster. :) I just bought Fruit Snacks last night after reading the suggestion on a bunch of blogs. I opted for the Finding Nemo ones - which are cute but taste gross, as I find out two isles later when my blood sugar hit 57. (Shopping makes me low every time.) I'm totally going for the Welch's ones next time!!

  4. Karen, your comment made me laugh out loud! Since I am a bit of a fruit snack conniseur, I advise you to stay away from anything cute. Those fruit snacks tend to be the grossest. The reason why I like Welch's is because they aren't too gummy or too soft and the flavor really is good.

  5. You splurge by eating something that tastes like feet? LOL, you're too funny Tristan.

    Are there any foods -- even yucky tasting ones -- that have a sustained effect at leveling you blood sugar? Most of the things that you mentioned seem to be intended to give you a quick boost. Is this the nature of the disease: perpetual highs and/or lows? Ray


Now that I've shared my thoughts, what are your thoughts?