Tag Archives: diabetes

It’s March

My birthday is in March, and the NHS gets me the same thing every year – a set of annual diabetic check-ups.  I get some retinopathy checks (they dilate your pupils and then photograph the back of your eyes).  I can’t see very well for a while after that because everything is too bright.  I get a visit to the nurse who checks my feet to make sure I can still feel them and that I didn’t cut a toe off without noticing, she tends to also nag me about not losing weight, having high blood pressure, and then asks me if I’m depressed.  Before all that I also have to have a blood test and provide a urine sample, did those today.  Bled pretty easily, was awkward last time but the nurse suggested it was because I hadn’t had a good breakfast.  This time I made sure I ate early and I sprayed the inside of the two tubes quite happily when she stuck the needle in.

Then I get to wait and see how my average blood sugar was over the last three months.  I’m not expecting a good result this time – I’ve had bouts of being ill on and off which messes with my control and emotionally I’ve not been strong enough to exert enough control either, so I suspect I’ll be having a talk with the doctor.  I’ll resist attempts to change my meds – I can control my sugar when I’m strong and I just need another kick up the arse.  I guess his concern will be that after too many kicks I’ll be blind and missing a foot.

Peppered Steak

Meat and two veg (one of which is McCain Microwave Chips) is pretty good for my diabetes (not for my heart, take it up with my GP).  To complete the lazy-ass setup I get the tesco microwave veg, it’s ok (it’s steamed).  My blood sugar is usually around 5 or 6 two hours after any combo of meat, veg and those chips.  However, it gets boring quick.  I quite like roast chicken, and steak and pork and all the other kinds of meat, but it still gets boring.

I can usually tolerate it for a couple of weeks before getting sick and wanting pizza and other high carb stuff.

Which means I understand why mustard and pepper are so important (and clearly, all the other spices).

Yesterday I had pork smothered in mustard before I cooked it, and today steak with crushed black pepper corns (fresh).  Nice change.

Eating without thinking

It amazes me what you can convince yourself is ‘nice’ in terms of food and drink.  I like beer (english bitter or stout).  But honestly, it actually tastes like bitter dish water until you ‘acquire the taste’, which essentially translates to, ‘until you convince yourself that you enjoy it and appreciate the differences in taste’.

I think a lot of food tastes are the same, the question is not ‘do you enjoy this’ it is ‘are you prepared to invest in the effort to learn to enjoy this’.  Like blue cheese.  The younger you are when you start learning to appreciate these tastes, the more natural they seem.

So, anyway this post is nothing to do with blue cheese or beer.  It’s about bread (yes, you guessed it).  I like hot buttered toast, sometimes I like a sandwich, I enjoy bacon cobs, I enjoy French bread.  But I’m diabetic which means I have to be careful with bread.  Eventually I found some tesco’s fresh baked bread (Finest Rustic Multigrain) which I actually liked (didn’t have to acquire a taste for it).  It’s nice when it’s fresh and it’s nice when it’s toasted.  I still wouldn’t do bacon sandwiches with it (white bread!) but I could picture myself eating ham and peas pudding sandwiches with it.  I ate it for a while, I’ve no idea what the GI is, but while eating it my blood checks were fine and my average (Hb1Ac) was excellent, so it was ok.

And then our local tesco changed the recipe, or something and it started tasting like cardboard.  Really, it was dry, fine grain inside (instead of fluffy) and just like ash when toasted.  I was gutted, so I stopped eating it.  I searched for something else which wasn’t bad for my blood sugar and found a couple of seeded loafs from various companies which were ok, I could tolerate them but my sugar wasn’t as good.  They were also stocked in pretty low numbers so I was never sure if they’d have any in.  Then I found the Bergen stuff (I’ve blogged about it a little bit, search for Bergen or Linseed).  It’s low GI, linseed and soya bread.

I ate it.  I tried it with sandwiches and I had it toasted.  I managed to acquire the taste so that it was ok toasted (if I let it cool).  Anything else and it was a bit nauseating to be fair, but I got used to it.  Was great for my blood sugar.   I liked it even maybe.

Well no I didn’t.  Because tesco have switched their Finest Rustic Multigrain back to the old recipe, or the old baker is back, or they changed supplier, or whatever and I got some the other day because I was feeling a bit tired of the Bergen.  And it’s delicious.  Nice, enjoyable.  And I realised I don’t like the Bergen, I was just prepared to tolerate it and had convinced myself the taste was ok.

It’s not really ok.  It’s really off-putting.

So I’m happy, the tesco bread is back, they usually have plenty in and as long as this recipe stays consistent I can enjoy fresh bread again.

of protein and fat and blood sugar

Approaching two hours after finishing my breakfast, and my blood sugar is 6 mmol/L.  I had 3 hash browns and 4 slices of white bread (although they were half-loaf sized) and a lot of beans.  But I also had sausage, bacon and fried eggs, a solid mix of protein and fat.  That protein and fat ensures my body metabolises the carbohydrates more slowly.  If I’d had four slices a toast only with low fat spread, the ‘healthier’ option, or even some regular cereal, my blood sugar would be up in the high 8’s or 9’s at this point.

The irony doesn’t escape me.

Still, here’s to blood sugar levels of 6 mmol/L and a Merry Christmas ahead.


Ah Christmas week, a week of relaxing and eating breakfasts you’re not allowed to eat during the rest of the year (well, it’s my tradition and I’m sticking to it!)

This morning Grete had Belgian Waffles with Canadian Maple Syrup (pure) and I’m having (too many) crumpets with butter.  Grete has more waffles in the cupboard and some croissants for some point later in the week.  I normally cook a fried breakfast on Christmas day but in the last few years we’ve run into scheduling issues.  We don’t really get the breakfast done cooked until 11 o’clock or sometimes later, and that pushes our roast dinner back until the early evening.  Neither of those things is good for my diabetes really (by the time breakfast is done I’m usually desperate to eat), so this year we’re doing fried breakfast on Christmas Eve and something smaller on Christmas Day, so we can eat the dinner at more like 2 or 3 o’clock.

Ah, crumpets, sweet crumpets already I feel your white flour sugary badness flowing into my blood and making me a little giddy.  Soon you’ll lift me high and then dump me suddenly, alone, cold and shaking in the wilderness of high GI food and yet I shall love thee no less and in two days we shall dance this dance again.

Blood sugar FAIL

Well, not quite EPIC FAIL but certainly not good.  I am on the wagon but I can’t find the path.  Bought some healthy pitta bread things yesterday, seeds, bits, wholemeal and had them for breakfast and over three hours later by blood sugar is still well over what it should be.  Either it was too high when I got up (and it was under 5 when I went to bed so it shouldn’t have been) or the pitta had more refined flour in them than I thought.

Or maybe I’m still ill and fighting off a cold which can mess with your sugar levels a little.  Sounds like an excuse though.

So now I’m sucking down some proven officially low GI bread for lunch, even though it hurts to eat due to the bits getting stuck in the wound left by my tooth extraction, which is why I’ve not really been eating it much since I had the tooth out.  Hopefully a few more days of wagon driving will see me back on the path and headed the right way.

Bad Blood Sugar Days

It’s okay to treat yourself every now and then, even if you’re type 2 diabetic.  It’s ok if you’re feeling unwell or tired or just want to celebrate to eat a little too much or something with more refined sugar than you should, as long as you maintain control and that you stick to what you know works.

It’s not ok, to treat yourself every day because treating yourself every now and then is ok.  It’s not ok to pretend you’re not diabetic because you’ve got a stinking cold that means you can barely walk but you have to work anyway because there are issues and no one else is in.  It’s not ok to get out of the habbits that you know work and that you know have controlled your sugar in the past just because you’re complacent and think you can get away with it.

Today, I’m am back on the wagon.  It’s a pretty shoddy wagon, to be fair, full of bacon cobs, but it’s a wagon none-the-less and I’ll stay in it, dammit, until my next HbA1c test, and then the one after, and the one after that, and the one when I’m 130 years old.  I know what works, I can tolerate eating what works, and I know I can survive on the odd treat every now and then.

But not four weeks of abuse.  Not four weeks of treating each day in isolation and just treating myself because I’m not feeling well.

I felt shit last night, shit in a way I’ve not felt for a very long time and I don’t like it.

Pain Killers & Blood Sugar

I usually take pain killers for a particular kind of nasty headache I get.  The pain killers take the edge off it, but don’t really get rid of the pain fully.  Since I don’t really suffer from any other pains (other than the thumb pain I had a while back) I don’t take a lot of pain killers.

However, the recent dentist work has left my jaw tired and achy from being stretched, my gum sore due to the tooth removal and the molar next to the new hole is sore from being wiggled during the tooth extraction.  I woke up this morning at 4:15am and the pain was pretty bad, so I got up and had some pain killers (second lot, I had some before I went to bed as well).

At work today I had some more, and then later on took some different pain killers (nurofen instead of the generic co-codamol I had earlier).

The weird thing, for me, is that since the pain is so acute, I can actually feel the pain killers working, because it dulls and then goes away entirely for a while and then comes back rather quickly.  Observing this in some ways helps take my mind off the actual pain because I feel more distanced from it.  I find it amazing that there’s a chemical I can imbibe which basically causes my brain to ignore the signals the little broken nerves in my mouth are sending it, and that they work so quickly.  I know I shouldn’t be amazed by this but I am none the less.

Blood sugar has been up the spout the last few days.  The lingering cold has a minor effect on my control, but stress also affects it badly.  On top of that, all I ate yesterday was soup and I felt pretty low when I got up this morning, then I had some white bread (yeh, I know), and soup for lunch and around 4:00pm my sugar felt like it plumeted (no testing kit at work), so obviously I countered and over compensated so now it’s a bit high again.  Being ill really screws with the control.

6:03pm edit : back to 5.6 mmol/l now, which is good.

Guests are here

Guests are here.  Made roast chicken (rosemary sprigs) on a bed of roast vegetables (courgette, aubergine, sweet potato, onion and red peppers) with some boiled new potatoes for tea.  The non-diabetic amongst us then had low-fat high-sugar ice cream, while those of us with diabetes had cheese and crackers (nice and smelly brie).  The roast chicken was nice I have to admit, and it’s the first time I’ve tried to cook aubergine so I was pleased it turned out at least edible.

I don’t care if they enjoyed it, I’m just pleased we didn’t get takeaway.

Tomorrow (when there’s 6 of us) it’s moussaka, and they better eat it because the recipe serves 8.