My Thanksgiving Blood Sugar Battle

I’m not American. Nor do I live there. But, I am surrounded by them; married to one and both of my children are US citizens. And so Thanksgiving features strongly in our household. This year, we had an Expat Thanksgiving and celebrated it on the Sunday after the actual day so that none of us were working. It was lovely and it was lovely to be with our american friends living in Ireland.

However, as a person with type 1 diabetes, dealing with celebration feasts are a huge challenge. This one turned into a 24 hour challenge in that the high blood glucose levels wiped me out the next day. Maybe, this is why the Americans make thanksgiving a four-day weekend?

My approach to big meals, like this one, are to have a little of what I love, a very small amount of what I don’t consider worth the insulin, just to be polite, and maybe even skip the potato, because, well, I’m Irish and we had them Every, Single, Day growing up.

ExPat Thanksgiving 2016

My blood sugars did reasonably well, considering. But this year, about four hours after pie, when I thought I was a little in the clear, they started to climb and climb and then hover. It was 2am when my CGM alarmed for the last time and I could get to sleep. I woke the next morning as if I had been out all night.

Monday morning, I had planned to treat myself to a morning of retail therapy in the city and to finish off the last of my christmas shopping. I thought about not going because I was too tired. Then, made myself go because it would do me good and maybe I’d feel better for it.

It did not work! I persevered because I had driven all the way there but when the toy shop told me, after waiting in line for about 8 minutes, that their computers were down and could not issue a gift card, I decided that I had made a serious effort. It was time to go home.

Had this been any other day. Had I not been battling blood glucose numbers the night before, I would have been productive on a superhuman level. My daughter finished early from school and so I only had one school pick up in the afternoon. I thought to myself “Great! I’ll have at least an hour or more to do some writing this afternoon”. That didn’t work either. I could even concentrate on scrolling through my facebook feed. And that doesn’t require any concentration but I still couldn’t do it.

I gave up! I put the iPad down, the phone down and put my head down on the couch with lots of blankets and took a nap! And actually, in between the “Mom, where is the….” and the “Mom, can I….” I did actually nap.

Sometimes, you have to give diabetes a win so that you can prepare yourself to fight the battle again another day.