Last week, I forget which day, I woke up to a little problem. I’d wet the bed. The volume of liquid wasn’t huge, but that hadn’t happened since I was a kid. Our 9 year old son currently struggles with this problem, but he’s got a VERY good reason. He was diagnosed as a type I diabetic when he was not quite 13 months old. It’s only when his blood sugar gets out of control that the problem surfaces.
The body treats high blood glucose like many other toxins, by trying to cleanse the blood with the kidneys. This creates large quantities of urine, and your bladder may fill up before your brain can reach consciousness and get you out of bed to deal with it.
On that morning, I used the handy tools available in the house and immediately checked my blood glucose. The meter read 130. Just to be sure, I washed my hands thoroughly and did it again, in case the high reading was due to contaminants on the finger that I poked. This time it came up at 121. Taking the meter’s margin for error into account, it meant that the first number was not anomalous.
The night before the literal wake-up call, we’d ordered pizza at midnight and stayed up late watching TV. A couple of days later, when I had gotten to bed at a more reasonable time but had a fairly carb-loaded dinner, the number on the meter in the morning was 105.
Due to the large amount of fat and protein it contains, pizza is a food with an unpredictable glycemic index. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly the carbohydrates are released into the body as glucose. We can never seem to time our son’s insulin right when he eats pizza, so he either ends up with a glucose level that’s too high or too low. The other evil food with a similar problem is macaroni and cheese.
In a normal person, a fasting glucose is between 80 and 100, with 90 being pretty much perfect. For my son, who is completely dependent on external insulin, we shoot for a value between 100 and 120, with anything under 140 being acceptable. If we tried to keep him at 90, he’d consistently drop below that, which is far more dangerous than being a little bit too high.
I have a doctor appointment this afternoon to confirm what I already know – I am a type II diabetic. I’m not terribly surprised that this has happened. I eat too much and I get pretty much zero exercise. I don’t know whether the doctor will actually write me a prescription for Metformin on the spot. He probably won’t, waiting until a bunch of labs are done. Doctors do not like patients to self-diagnose. It seems to offend their egos.