By Vicki Gibbs
Christmas is my favourite time of year! But as much as I love it, ‘tis the season where food options tend to be high-carb, high-sugar, and all-you-can-eat buffet form. This makes carb counting incredibly hard going. For me, anyway. As someone who tries to eat low-carb, the carb-heavy options that are associated with Christmas are often all too havoc-wrecking on my blood sugars, but all too tempting nonetheless.
Since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I’ve approached Christmas differently each year. In the beginning I wouldn’t eat anything that was considered ‘bad’. I actually now hate the term ‘bad food’, but hey, that’s what I thought at the time. Then there was the alcohol fuelled Christmas at university – another factor to throw into the diabetes equation:
High-carb food causing blood sugar spikes + alcohol which is known for causing hypoglycaemia + working out insulin doses = a very distracted me!
Can’t I just have fun with my friends!? Luckily, they were always more than clued up when it came to my condition. They often gave me, person with diabetes, a run for my money.
2014 saw me enter the world of employment which now means dealing with diabetes at office Christmas parties. And so last Thursday I went to my first. I was excited because I get on well with the people I work with, and this was the first chance I had to hang out with them outside of the working day. But I was a little anxious about it because I’ve not been in my job for long, and full diabetes disclosure hasn’t really happened yet….it’s on my list of things to do!
Yes, they know that I have type 1 diabetes and that I wear an insulin pump, but that’s about it. It takes so much time to understand the condition – I’m still learning myself. So the lack of full knowledgeable support meant I was careful – but it’s better to be safe than sorry. With my pump stashed in my bra and my meter and glucose tablets never too far away, I readied myself for a night with work friends!
I had no need for the glucose tablets as I spent most of the night high (blood sugar high, I mean!) This frustrated me no end, and caused me to bolus definitely more than I should have to bring my levels back down. The night ended up finishing off with a hypo at 4am. But that didn’t hinder how much fun I had, or wipe the big smile off my face. And that, to me, is what counts.
The saying is ‘Merry Christmas’, not ‘Merry type 1 diabetes Christmas’, after all.