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Fairly Nuts.

As opposed to unfairly nuts. I was just born that way, didn’t get a choice in the matter. Pretty unfair if you ask me.

So, after I revealing the pitfalls that may result as a consequence of having a hypo while stranded on a hard shoulder in rush hour in a tailback with no food and a car that’s about to explode (yes, really), hypo summoned me to its office for a quiet word. All that hypo-bashing and not a word on its alter-ego. So in the interests of not taking sides, today kids, we’re all going to learn about hypers. Chorus as you sit cross-legged on the floor following registration: “Yeees, Misssss-Grieevvveeess…”

Hypers are evil. Evil evil evil, I hate them and all that they are, and yet it’s always me that inflicts them upon myself (not intentionally, I just have a rather worrying addiction to Ben and Jerry’s). The word hyper may bring connotations of a five-year-old at Disneyland eating excessive quantities of e-numbers, but the reality is a very disgusting, depressing and unpleasant experience.

I mentioned that before I was diagnosed I felt like I was fading away. I was quite literally losing a lot of weight, but it was the high blood sugars that completely took the wind out of my sails.

Non-diabetics will never experience a hyper because no matter how much sugar you eat, your body will always produce exactly the right amount of insulin to handle it. I have to put that insulin in my body myself, and the more you need, the less well it works (hence me attempting to low carb in order to keep my sugars low and thus need less insulin. Ahhh, it all makes sense now).

There’s something very hangover-esque about hypers. You feel sickly, lethargic, not-arsed, distinctly un-spritely. Not that this has ever happened to me (watch this space), but I imagine the feeling of a hyper resembling the feeling of being run over by a bus. Not just any bus, a Pimp My Ride kinda bus; the biggest bus in the station that rules all the other buses and tells them who they’re allowed to be friends with. The Bastard Bus.

In fact I have pulled out the hyper card and missed a lecture (in the bad old uni days) when I was more accurately hung the hell over from the night before (hey, I got landed with this crappy condition; you gotta take what you can!) The thing with alcohol, as I have already rambled on about, is that drinking and being hyper go hand in hand if you’re not careful.

So, the answer’s surely simple? Stay away from the sugar and you won’t be hyper right? Well, right, but it’s not that simple (it never bloody well is, is it?) The carb-insulin balancing act is so so tricky to get right. Hence the need for me to interrupt your day and tell you about it here. You can count carbs and inject accordingly, but diabetes sadly isn’t a simple case of maths (it can get close, if you’re a diabetes superhero). Even when you think you’ve got the formula juuuust right, that bitch goldilocks will come right along and change her mind again. Stress can make you hyper too, just to add to the party. And of course, it just so happens that all the foods that make you hyper are just so damn goooooood. There’s the aforementioned relationship with my favourite (and only) boys – Monsieurs Ben and Jerry. Take one girlfriend, get a pizza, eat some ice cream, watch a DVD. Quite a standard girlie night in no? Take the same girlfriend and offer her a night in with Brad Pitt, an omelette and some brazil nuts. Doesn’t have quite the same appeal…

My favourite fellas, and their superior nuts...

And so you go to bed with a high blood sugar; you don’t sleep. You toss, turn, wake up thirsty and desperate for the loo. You wake up with a hyper; you don’t want to get up. You’re groggy, your eyes aren’t sharp, you’re still thirsty and you feel sick. What a great way to start your day. A barrel of laughs, this is. You feel fucking vile, to put it bluntly. How do you explain to your boss that you can’t go into work because you ate too much pizza?! You can’t; compassionate leave doesn’t stretch to the loss of a working pancreas.

Consistently high blood sugars mean complications that I’ve mentioned a hellamany times before, and they’re the reason I’m writing this blog. I won’t go into them coz this already the most serious post I’ve written so far and I’m not sure how I’m handling it. I don’t really do serious, folks.

What’s surprised me since I’ve started writing and uttering the words “low carb” is how many people don’t realise that sugar and carbohydrates are, when it comes down to molecules, exactly the same thing. An advert came on the other day for… you guessed it… Ben and Jerry’s (Are you sensing a theme here?). I honestly nearly put my face in the TV. In my defence I’d just watched all three of my housemates quaff a standard Sunday McDonalds. I had to sit on my hands to stop me grabbing one of the Big Macs and running off into the sunset. I don’t even really like Big Macs. It’s the want-what-you-can’t-have syndrome. So, having nearly electrocuted myself a la Marv of Home Alone fame by licking the television, my housemate said: “Surely ice cream’s got no carbs in it?” My immediately reaction was that I was jealous that she’d never had to learn otherwise. Similarly, and on the flipside, Miss R at work (she featured in hypogate) didn’t understand why I wouldn’t eat pasta and potatoes if I was trying to bring my blood sugars down. See, it’s an education this…

If you’ve never had to worry about nutrition then there’s no reason to know all this stuff. But it strikes me that we’re very misguided as a nation as to what’s healthy and what’s not. I’ve eaten so much fat since adopting a low carb lifestyle. Natural fat mind, not the processed, heart-attack-on-a-plate kind. Cheese, avocado, nuts, in abundance no less. Shock, horror. No-one seems to know that the carbs (aka sugar) are what slows us all down. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone (is it a hormone? I might have just made that up), and thus we’re fat because we keep eating carbs which need lots of insulin to sort them out in the body, whether your pancreas does the job or you have to inject it yourself. And before you ask, no my professional name is NOT Dr Atkins. There’s many, many things wrong with that diet.

That’s a lot of hyper-bashing. Not bashing of the excitable kind, but slating of general hyperglycaemicness. Hypo’s now sat all smug in the corner. But they’re really both as bad as each other. And I’m far from finished with them yet. They’ve caused me all sorts of bother; public humiliation via blogging is the new answer. Like the new black.

To say that I’m never going to eat Ben and Jerry’s ever again is utterly ridiculous. Life’s too short, and more to the point, you can’t fight true love! But eating it a lot less in exchange for not feeling like I’ve been beaten up by the Bastard Bus is something I can handle. And FYI, Ben and Jerry’s isn’t the reason for bad diabetes control. Many, many, many foods make you hyper; all of them contain carbohydrate (and I won’t have nobody talking shit about my boyfriend). And so it’s time for a rather emotional farewell. Phish Food, Half Baked, Fairly Nuts, it’s been fun. But I’ve got my life to save.

Nothing like an over-dramatic profound statement to end a blog post on, eh?

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3 comments on “Fairly Nuts.

  1. Don’t forget choc brownie, which I delved into last night. Oh, and the one with nougat bits, oh man so good. I did eat it after 2 hours of intensely knackering badminton and my levels were Barry White low so that’s ok. I tell myself.

    Yeah i’m not all that well versed with hypers, being a relatively diabetic newbie, or nutrition in general…but I think i’m getting the hang of eating better (bags of golden delicious apples are currently £1 in Morrisons and they’re brilliantly cruuuuunchy). Lean meats, diet soft drinks, high GI foods etc. It’s a lot less emotionally devastating than 10 years ago when the message (as I understand it) was “No sugar. None. Zip. Nadda”.

    I’m getting used to eating nuts again, macademias are great but expensive (the honey glazed ones are brilliant – but kinda defeats the point, eh?), almonds I can handle and occassionally brazil though the choc coated ones are 10 times better (obviously! Though again with “defeats the point”).

    …..and the award for best movie scream ever goes to Marv, in Home Alone. Gets me everytime.

  2. […] So, we’re all aware that standard procedure under these circumstances is to have the extra insulin dose and go on our merry way. Which I did, and didn’t even eat breakfast, but my sugar was EXACTLY  the same five hours later, at lunchtime. My body was not my friend that day. As good as the food was, it really wasn’t worth feeling that shit on Friday. All the old favourites returned; I was sluggish, sickly and very untypically down. You’d never think a few chips could do that to you. But the insulin hangover, combined with the alcohol hangover has absolutely completely put me back on the Path to Righteousness. For the time being, at least. It pains me to say it but I’m not even sure my favourite Ben and Jerry’s […]

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