We’ve been traveling for almost a week now, and so far, so good on the diabetes front. I’m realizing it’s not so much the fact that everything has carbs here-I can dose for rice and noodles with some level of accuracy. The tough part is the fact that our schedule is so varied and unpredictable.
For example, we wolfed down a heavy noodle dish in the Chinatown section of Bangkok. It was a delicious pho-like soup with big chunks of roasted duck and pork. I dosed four units for it, thinking the noodles would send me straight through the roof. But then we left and had to book it back to the metro so we could grab our bags from the hotel and take the metro again to catch a train. Walking briskly and pulling my luggage along proved to be enough exercise that my insulin started working harder, and by the time we boarded the metro, my BG was crashing. Not wanting to burn through all my GU packs too quickly, I bought a Fanta soda and began chugging it.
After a few gulps of the bizarre strawberry flavored pop I realized I wasn’t sure I’d bought a regular soda containing sugar. What if I’d bought a diet soda without realizing it and I was drinking Splenda or Equal, which would be of no help to my low? I scanned the back of the bottle for anything recognizable. Nothing. The Thai printing revealed nothing to me. I asked Jacob for a second opinion.
He tasted the drink and was also confused. The profoundly artificial flavor made it hard to discern if the sweetener was real sugar or not. He flipped the bottle over in his hand and on the front found printing that boasted “120″ something. We decided that meant “120 calories,” which for a drink of that size meant there had to be a fair amount of carbs in it. Mystery solved, and the low started to retreat a few minutes later.
I’m realizing it really pays here to think ahead for a few more seconds when I bolus. Back at home, in the routine of things, it was easier to predict when I was working out, what and when I was eating and everything else. Here, I need to remind myself that I have to take it one step further than carb counting. I need to bolus with the next few hours in mind, and just taking a few more seconds at each meal will save me from dealing with a high or low shortly after.
And really, it would be worth it just so I don’t have to drink that weird Fanta again….