Rambling About Diet (and Diet Coke)

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Regarding the diabetes, the past week’s been pretty uneventful. Which I like. The only minor glitch in self-management happened yesterday at lunch. A pretty drastic blood glucose spike after lunch, actually, that gave me pause.

First, though, let me provide some backstory, although it’s probably not really essential.

See, neither my wife nor I much care for grocery shopping. We get into routines where we’re pretty good about going together to the store once weekly, and we’ll carry that on for several months. Then life gets busy, and we fall into the habit of putting off getting groceries…until tomorrow, until the next day, until the weekend.

Which leads to what? Well, yep, all of a sudden we’re picking something up for dinner; we have nothing to bring to work for lunch, so we run out and grab something (we both work within walking distance of dozens of restaurants).

I know that this is not good practice for anyone, especially someone like me, who has Type 1 diabetes. When frequenting restaurants becomes a burden rather than a treat, something’s upside down. And all because we sometimes can’t bring ourselves to go to the grocery store.

We have looked into some alternatives. One local grocery store lets you shop online, and for a $6 fee, they’ll bag everything up for you and you just go in, pick it up, pay, and get on your merry way.

Really, though, we ought to just suck it up and go to the store. Yet I’m sure you can understand how something so seemingly simple and relatively mundane can loom, especially when days are long and you don’t wish your free time burdened by that trip to the store.

We are somewhat careful about what we order, however, when out to eat. The expense is another thing, and we’re pretty good at chastising ourselves when we spend the money on one meal in a restaurant that could have gone for at least three meals at home.

Which brings me back around to yesterday’s blood glucose spike…

I have three or four regular places that I go to for lunch, when I go by myself. I get the same meal, in part because I’m not a gourmet, and food, for the most part, is food; but also because the meals I get are often the healthier ones on the menu, and also—more importantly—because I know what the carbohydrate counts are for those meals, and I can bolus accordingly.

So when I checked my blood glucose yesterday a few hours after eating a grilled chicken burrito that I’ve had dozens of times, I was perplexed when the reading spiked near 300 mg/dl.

What caused it? My guess, my detective deduction, is purely speculative, but I think it’s also pretty plausible. With the improved taste of diet sodas these past few years, and with Coke Zero pretty much tasting (to me, at least) just like regular Coke, how would I know if during my lunch I had the wrong beverage in my glass?

I started lunch with a Diet Coke, but when I was almost empty, I went back for a fountain refill of Coke Zero. This was the help-yourself soda fountain, and I filled up under the correct dispenser. But here’s the deal: Have you seen the soda syrup boxes those lines from the fountain connect to? I know of them because I worked food service in college. They all look pretty much the same, with only a small rectangular sticker differentiating their contents.

So my hypothesis is that an employee, in haste (not intentionally), connected the Coke Zero line to a box of regular Coke syrup. Because 20 ounces of regular coke would certainly explain my blood glucose reading. Right?

Ahh, the mysteries of the blood glucose!

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