Have I Introduced You?

To my new best friend?

The power of food in regards to diabetes management is astounding sometimes. As I am learning more about it, and coming to terms with things I have not wanted to admit, I am just in awe over the impacts of what we eat.

Eating is a sensitive area for me. I have weird eating habits and a lot of deep seeded mental issues around when and what I want to eat.

On the weird eating habits. A couple of things. We’ve already talked a little bit about how I enjoy a good cheese & mayo (or Miracle Whip) sandwich. Have you ever done any of these?

  • Had (and enjoyed)a ketchup & mustard sandwich, dipped in even more ketchup?
  • Had fries AND hashbrowns in the same meal (with ketchup of course)?
  • Consumed more than 200 grams of carbs in a single meal?
  • Had a Miracle Whip sandwich (that’s right, nothing else)?
  • Had a potato chip sandwich, dipped in (you guessed it) ketchup?
  • Made a burrito with nothing but sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese?
  • Wanted to eat something just because you arrived? At work, at home? For no other reason than just getting there.
  • Oooh – potato chips dipped in ketchup (are you noticing a pattern here?)

The list could go on and on…

Enter the dietitian.

I had my first appointment with her a Long Time Ago. April of 2006, and it was GREAT!

So what happened? Well, I just kind of let it all go. Sure, I learned a lot, and applied a little. If I’m not mistaken, it was the very next day that I tried hummus and have been enjoying it ever since.

But I let it all slide. I didn’t apply much of what I learned and didn’t go back to her.

Warp to March of 2007. I’m back in her office and ready to make another run at it.

This time I bring with me a stack of at least a month worth of logs (thanks to Kevin!). In these logs I have fairly detailed notes of what I’m eating and when, as well as all of my insulin and blood sugar events.

Who would have ever thought bringing BG logs to your dietitian would be helpful? We sat down and she dug into my logs like an archaeologist on a dig! I guess to her they were glorified food records? Complete with insulin and blood sugar details.

We talked about my basal rate adjustments for basketball, how I feel when I’m playing, how I’m feeling afterwards, my after work environment, the family eating situation, so on and so on.

We made some slight adjustments to my basal rates for basketball. It’s now a pretty complex pattern. Let’s take a quick peek.

Here’s what I do on a non-basketball day:
00:00 1.00
03:00 1.50
11:00 1.00

Here’s what it looks like on a basketball day:
00:00 1.00
03:00 1.50
10:00 0.45
12:00 0.80
13:30 1.80
15:00 1.50
18:00 1.00

Yikes! There is a lot going on there! I was impressed with her knowledge and ability to work with basal rates. She’s a dietitian, not a CDE or Endocrinologist!!

She suggested that I eat breakfast earlier, giving my breakfast insulin a little more time to work its way out of my system. Even a half hour can make a difference she said! She also suggested that rather than about 30 grams of carbs before basketball that I bring that down to somewhere around 15 grams or so. I dutifully followed her instructions.

Can I show you a picture of one basketball day in particular? After a day like this I was willing to do almost anything she said. The proof is in the pudding. Again, Kevin’s marvelous logbook:


The whole day was incredible, but do you see that area I circled? Yes, the FLAT LINE?! May I remind you that I was PLAYING FULL COURT BASKETBALL during that time? Amazing…

A day like this, with full court basketball in the mix, is enough proof for me that she is pretty damn good. I’ll do whatever she tells me to do.

She’s my new best friend.

My next appointment with her is on 3/23. I can’t wait!

If you don’t have a dietitian in your care team, I highly recommend trying to find one. Specifically one that knows diabetes. If you can hook up with one you like they can prove to be an extremely valuable tool.

Mine is worth her weight in carbohydrates and ketchup if you ask me…

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, and advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer.

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…