Posts filed under ‘counting carboyhdrates’

Lab Rat XS

Nothing much to report on the insulin front. Some days I feel like a lab rat with all these charts, graphs and needles, but I do like labs and some rats are pretty cute, so that’s OK.

The first few days of high blood sugar readings were tiring, both physically and mentally, but I think I’m starting to get a better feel for dosages and timing. It’s tempting to draw conclusions about carb intake right now based on the fact that the only good numbers I’ve seen this week have been after lower-carb meals, but I will hold my tongue and give it some time.

For my diet and blood sugar tracking, I’ve gone low-tech and started using some photocopied worksheets that the dietitian gave me. The upper third of the page is an area to plot my BG on,the middle third is a chart with a column for each hour of the day and rows for blood glucose, carbohydrates, exercise, insulin doses, stress, ketones, etc. The bottom third is for food and other notes. This format will be the easiest to fax back to my PA at the end of each week, plus I really enjoy connecting the dots on the glucose plot at the end of the day. I’m thinking of enlisting my husband to makes some improvements, notably a place to record where I injected. Right now I just randomly pick an injection site and hope I don’t hit the same place twice.

I’ve returned to FitDay for my diet tracking. Combined with the occasional quick lookup on and the handy recipe analyzer on, I have a decent system for carb counting and making sure I’m getting enough calories each day. I would still like to get some sort of pocket-sized nutrition handbook to carry with me and to keep in the kitchen so I don’t need a computer when I’m planning meals and doses – any recommendations?

These How-To articles on have been quite helpful in helping me understand that only time, patience and diligent testing and documentation will lead the way to normal blood sugars with insulin. Even though I have a newfound appreciation for the ease, simplicity and efficiency of Starlix, I haven’t resorted back to it – I’m just too determined to get the insulin to work.

April 12, 2007 at 3:57 pm 1 comment

My First Insulin Injection™

Friday night I injected my very first dose of insulin. Before dinner I decided to check the Lilly and Humalog sites one last time for some updated Luxura information and found a video tutorial on how to use the Luxura. Fabulous – the video was excellent – clear, easy to follow, and almost as good as having someone in the house showing me what to do.

After carefully (or so I thought) calculating the carbs in the meal, I rewound the tutorial, had my husband put the pizza in the oven, then went for it.

Humapen Luxura dose dial
Closeup of the dose dial
Humapen Luxura instruction video
My instructor for the evening
equipment spread
Spread of equipment
Priming the pen
Priming the pen
Injecting and counting to five
Injecting and counting to five
Success (and a little red dot)!

Since I knew my food was cooking and the clock was ticking, I had no problems pushing the needle in. Once it was over I did have that kind of post-adrenalin rush shakey/cold-sweat feeling, but otherwise was A-OK. Simple as pie and didn’t hurt one bit.

I only wish that calculating the dose was as easy as administering it. After five pre-meal injections, I have still not been able to replicate the excellent one-hour post-prandial BGs that Starlix gave me. I just have to be patient and remind myself that it takes time to figure out insulin/carb ratios. I don’t like spending the day with post-meals in the 150s-200s and resting BGs in the 110-120s instead of my usual constant 80s and 90s though – it makes me anxious and physically tired. One thing I’m noticing is that whatever my BG is at the 1 hour mark, it will be at the 2 hour mark, which is discouraging – is the Humalog even doing anything? Edit: I’m also seeing my BG hit a good target at one hour, then rise up to 130-150 at the two-hour mark. 😦

I’m not sure if the error is in my a) timing b) carbohydrate counting or c) insulin to carb ratio. Right now I’m using 1 unit per 20 carbohydrates, which so far doesn’t seem to be enough. I’m also unclear on whether I’m supposed to cover proteins – my PA didn’t mention it, but Dr. Bernstein does.

I had one low on Saturday one hour after dinner (65), which I treated with three dex-4 glucose tablets per the dietician’s “rule of 15” instructions. I waited 15 minutes and tested again to find it had doubled my BG – yikes! Next time I try ONE tablet and wait 15 minutes.

So far I really like the pen. It has a nice weight and feels like it is built to last. The only thing I dislike about it for now is having to waste two units of insulin to prime the pen before every dose. Squirting 2 units into the air is also a bit messy – what happens if insulin gets on your furniture? Clothes? Floors?

Wish me luck (and patience) getting this whole dosing thing down straight.

April 8, 2007 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

Sink or swim

Back from a morning spent at the hospital visiting the dietician and my PA. I’m having a hard time capturing my current state of annoyance, confusion and disappointment into words, but I will try.

My one-on-one carbohydrate counting and meal planning session with the dietician was quite helpful. I don’t think meeting the amount of carbs that she wants me to eat at each meal is going to be as hard as I anticipated, and I’m certainly looking forward to being able to eat things like fruit again on a regular basis. I now have an idea of how many calories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats I should be aiming for every day, and I’ll see her again in a month for a follow-up and to see how the meal plan works with my insulin. I’d say it was a productive visit, and I wish I could say the same about the visit to my endocrinologist’s office that followed.


April 5, 2007 at 6:06 pm 2 comments

Countown to I-Day

Just got off the phone with my doctor’s office: one week and 4 days until my diabetes resource center visit and introduction to insulin! Still approaching the “big I” with enthusiasm and not fear, although an unsuccessful attempt to eat right while dining out for lunch yesterday did leave me a little nervous about the task of precisely calculating doses for meals consisting of food I don’t control. But hey, people do it all the time, right? This week I will try not to drive my insulin-dependent co-worker crazy with questions and will aim keep my mind occupied with non-diabetes-related things. I bet I don’t sleep a wink the night before!

P.S.: I removed my last post complaining about health insurance not covering all of my testing strips because I realized how whiny and ungrateful it must sound to those who are not lucky enough to have help paying for their supplies. I still don’t have strips and I feel “blind” not knowing what my sugars look like, even though I’m eating the same things I always eat! Will be going to pick some up at full price later today.

March 26, 2007 at 6:45 pm 2 comments

My First Diabetes Book

I am embarrased to admit that, in my 10 years as a diabetic, I have never read a book about diabetes. I’ve read many a phamplet and website, but there is nary a book about diabetes in our vast home library. Soon this will change because this morning I placed my order for the just-released, revised edition of Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars. I also threw in his Low-Carbohydrate Solution book for good measure. Dr. Bernstein is himself a diabetic and a long-time advocate of extremely tight control, and the book came highly recommended by Jenny, author of the What They Don’t Tell You About Diabetes site, so I can’t wait to dig in.

March 3, 2007 at 5:01 pm 2 comments

Serving Size misunderstandishment

How would you interpret the following nutrition information at the bottom of a recipe?

PER 1 1/2-CUP SERVING: Cal 320; Fat 4.5 g; Sat fat .5 g; Chol 80 mg; Carb 28g; Protein 39 g; Fiber 9 g; Sodium 1240 mg

At first I thought it meant that the serving size is 1.5 cups and resolved to only eat one cup of the delicious White Chicken Chili I cooked last night for lunch today since an extremely (2-3 cups maybe?) large and unmeasured serving of it had my BG still a bit high at 141 an hour after dinner last night. But now, 30 minutes after lunch, I’m feeling quite sluggish and am wondering if the nutrition information should read “per single .5 cup serving”! I’ll ask my meter in 10 minutes and see what he has to say.

Update: and the meter says… 114! Down two points from 116 before the meal and 114 mid-morning. So either my meter is stuck in the 110s, the serving size is in fact 1.5 cups, or my Starlix is actually doing its job. 🙂

February 26, 2007 at 5:21 pm Leave a comment

Good tortilla, bad tortilla

This weekend Mr. Lancetqueen and I took a lovely trip to Brooklyn to visit our friends and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and babies. After over a week of checking my blood sugar five to six times a day, my fingers needed a break! I didn’t intend to take a complete break from checking, but I have to admit that although I ate quite well, I can’t really be sure because I didn’t check a single time the entire trip. I now regret squandering the opportunity to see what affect the pedestrian New York lifestyle has on my blood sugars – we walked so much my legs are still sore.

My first post-vacation check was yesterday after the Mr. and I’s weekly lunch at Taqueria Del Sol. My willpower was weak and I couldn’t resist the tortilla chips, so despite my otherwise healthy selections (one Laredo taco and turnip greens) my BG was a whopping 149 an hour after lunch. I wish there was some way to “get away” with my one real weekly food splurge, but my little experiment of taking the Starlix 5 minutes before I ate didn’t work. Maybe I could try 15 or 20? Who am I kidding, I should just not eat the chips. 🙂 I’m sure the white tortilla isn’t helping either.

Dinner last night was a success with BG in the 80s an hour after, but lunch today must have gone too far into low-carb zone because an hour after eating a La Tortilla Factory whole wheat tortilla with turkey, cucumber, spinach and tomato, my BG was 66, confirmed with a follow up of 67! Eek. Next time I’ll either turn it into two wraps with two tortillas or try it without the Starlix (the latter probably a risky idea). The La Tortilla Factory whole wheat low-carb tortillas are so tasty and such a godsend after thinking I was banished from fajitas forever. I can eat at least two without my blood sugar going over 130.

Tonight I hope to begin my endeavor to inject a little high-intensity cardio and muscle into my life, but more on that later.

February 14, 2007 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

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