Going out for dinner--what's the point?

My long-time companion wants to take me out for dinner tonight to one of my favourite restaurants. We haven't had an evening like that together in quite awhile. In fact, we've hardly seen each other for the last few weeks.

I've accepted the invitation, but I have no idea what to do about dinner. Many times in the last couple of weeks, I've made a meal and then decided that I couldn't eat it because my BG was too high. My BG elevates after I eat and frequently stays there for hours. Exercise makes it worse. It's very frustrating and demoralizing, too, especially if I was feeling hungry and actually interested in eating the meal I'd prepared.

This morning, when I got up, my BG was 5.9 mmol/L. I ate an ounce of cheese, which is my way of trying to stave off the Dawn Phenomenon. An hour and a bit later, my BG before breakfast was 6.1 mmol/L. I ate two ounces of sliced roast beef and half a cup of green beans; total carbs: about 3g. Two hours later, my BG was 8.2 mmol/L.

I'm starting to think that I shouldn't eat at all if my BG is 6.1 or higher because it will inevitably be about 8.0 two hours later. The problem is that my BG is rarely less than 6.0 for very long. But when it is, and I eat, it doesn't rise as much. For example, on Wednesday, I had two boiled eggs and a tablespoon of SF peanut butter for breakfast when my BG had been 5.1. Two hours later, it was at 6.6. That's still a big rise, but not dangerously high.

If I have a drink before dinner--a martini, or a glass of scotch--that may make a difference, but it's hard to know how much. I notice that if I have 2 ounces of scotch before going to sleep, it helps lower my BG. Last night, I had a meeting and so ended up having dinner quite late. At 9:30 p.m., my BG was 6.2. I ate an omlette with sauteed peppers and cheddar cheese. At 11:30, my BG was 8.1. At 12:30, an hour before I was going to sleep, My BG was 8.3 I drank 2 ounces of scotch. At 1:30 a.m, my BG was 7.3. Not fabulous, but better. I didn't wake up during the night, so I don't know if it went up or down before I woke up this morning. I suspect it just slowly declined.

If I take my BG before dinner tonight, there's a strong possibility that I'll find I shouldn't eat anything. We're going to a Greek restaurant. I can eat roast lamb. I'll ask for a lettuce salad (Im allertic to uncooked peppers and tomatoes, so no Greek salad for me) with an oil and vinegar dressing, if they have it. But there's no guarantee that eating so few carbs will make a positive difference to my BG.

Sorry to sound like I'm over-processing everything! My partner is a bit impatient with all of this and takes the view that I should just do what I can and not worry about the outcome too much. Have dessert a couple of times a week, eat a sandwich now and then. I don't think that's right for me, though. So I'm looking for ways to make decisions smoothly and hope that will help.

Any suggestions?

Well I would be proud of those figures. My doctor, himself a diabetic but not a great expert, told me to aim for less than 7 fasting and less than 11 after breakfast. You can’t keep it totally stable all of the time. What levels have you been told to aim for?
I was reading that more recently doctors are deciding there are different levels for different patients. Some people do ok and feel better with slightly higher BS.
You sound very stressed - that’s not going to help.
I am finding that coconut oil helps. Drink / eat a spoonful (depending on the climate it will be solid or liquid). It is satisfying, and I am finding it actually seems to be giving me lower BS readings. You might want to research it a little. Like everything, it doesn’t work the same for everyone.
Smile a lot, I’m sure that will lower your BS a little too.

But please, don’t ever say ‘what’s the point?’ there’s always a point, you just have to find it. You’ll never know if you never go.


I think you are being a little too hard on yourself. Those aren't alarmingly high readings and you're also testing often so you're on top of trends. Having said that though, it does sound to me that your diabetes is probably more complicated than it was first thought. I see from your previous posts that you'll be getting further tests and hopefully that will help clarify the situation and help you get the therapy that's right for you.

Thank you for the responses, friends.

The numbers I am for are Fasting < 4.6 mmol/L 1 hr PP = <7.8 mmol/L and 2 hrs PP = <6.6 mmol/L. I've understood that those are the most optimal numbers and that a higher fasting BG indicates a greater incidence of heart disease (I've only had that 4.6 fasting reading a couple of times, ever). Complications of all kinds increase significantly at 7.8 mmol/L. I know that some doctors aim for much higher numbers, but I think that's often because they believe that their patients can't realistically achieve "normal" levels. Nonetheless, I'm only 53 and am really hoping to have normal levels and a normal lifespan, if possible.

But yeah, it's stressful for me. I have the impression that most folks are kind of stressed-out about their diabetes.

I think I may be a LADA, needing insulin. I need to have blood tests to confirm that. Unfortunately, although my endocrinologist said that he'd gotten approval for the tests via the provincial health plan online, the lab says that's not true. I need to pay for the blood work. It's an expense I can't manage at the moment, though I'm trying hard to find the money for it!

In the meantime, it seems even more important to keep my BG under as much control as possible. But eating almost anything makes it rise a lot. I'm eating less than 20 g of carbohydrate a day. Eating less doesn't seem to make a difference, though.

We often measure ourselves by arbitrary goals. Some blood sugar target. Some A1c. We don't recognize the effort and focus we make in achieving our goals. Never forget. When you make a heroic effort to reach your goal, you are still a hero, even if you fell slightly short of your goal. For years, I tried everything to normalize my blood sugar. Very strict diets, exercise, medications in triplicate. I never reached my goals. But I could not blame myself. I blame my diabetes. Give yourself personal credit for what you have achieved. Sometimes it just helps to look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself of what you have actually done. In the end, I had to come to terms. I might never stop the progression of my diabetes, but in the end when I looked back on my life, I could feel satisfied that I did all that I could do to live a happy, healthy life. What more could you ask?

These stories really bother me! It seems ridiculous that the doctor basically forces you to "torture" yourself. I know many people enjoy low carb diets and I like to eat that way myself quite regularly. I think that occasional carbs, or at least enjoying something on a menu or that has noodles in it should be "covered" for people with any sort of diabetes, along with insulin if you want it and are able to figure out how it works. To enjoy natural, human celebration should be medically supported.

BSC, I'm going to print out what you've said and post it on the wall near my monitor. Thank you.

acidrock, my doctor hasn't forced me to do anything, so far. He's approved of what I'm doing, which is a huge relief to me in a lot of ways. I want normal blood sugar levels. I think I can achieve them. For sure, it's way too early for me to believe anything else! I recognize that many people, like bsc, have done their utmost to achieve this goal and weren't able to do it: their diabetes wouldn't submit, no matter what. But I'm not quite two months into this roller coaster ride. I'm pretty stubborn and very determined. There are many things in my life that I couldn't control in any way, that wouldn't change no matter what I did. But I'm hoping that I can have a major impact on how much diabetes affects my health. I am not so tied to any particular kind of food or way of eating for that to be impossible, as far as I know. It may be that, like bsc, my body will only respond so much. It's too early to tell, yet. Right now, I'm glad that my endocrinologist is happy with me and pleased with what I am trying to achieve.

Beyond all this, I can see that diabetes poses a major spiritual dilemma for me. I've integrated MS into my life pretty well, overall, and come to see it as a twisted kind of blessing in its way. That took me a couple of years. I hope that working through that process may go a bit more smoothly this time around! In the meantime, though, I struggle with being afraid of food, being afraid to eat, feeling judged by my meter and having too many dark thoughts about what I do or do not "deserve." I know that these are my demons and I will probably battle them for awhile, but I'm not someone who gives up very easily!

Well, he's approving what you are doing, but 20G of carbs isn't what you want to have on your date this evening? I think that it's great that you're hitting the levels you are hitting but it seems like your BG are really responsive to inputs? If 3G of carbs and maybe another 10G of protein x 53%= maybe 5-6 more G of carbs for breakfast jacked you up to 147, that's sort of pushing the envelope between control and non-control? You have your suspicions that you have detected the onset of LADA and, based mostly on having read BSCs thread about deciding to take matter into his own hand and take insulin or LilMama's thread about exercising for 1/2 hour after every meal while watching her BG. I think exercise is great and I like that you are moderating your carbs *but* it seems to me like you are presenting enough data to go ahead and pull the trigger and that if the doctor was more in line with my way of seeing it, maybe you'd have "room" to work some potatoes, rice, couscous or cake into your evening tonight and then control your fun level instead of your BG by going dancing afterwards? I don't think you are off in your suspicions of LADA but I think that it's very strange your doc is just sitting tight? I think the provincial authority limiting access to the testing you mention should suck it up and put their money on the line and reimburse you if you flunk. Or is that pass? It's sort of hard to say...

Have things gone that backward in our province , AnnBernrose ; I don't think so ? I was diagnosed in Jan 1983 ( age 42 plus ) ...received meds , did not work ..in March 1983 , after I asked the Doc to put me on insulin , I was hospitalized ( 5 days ) to learn how to manage the insulin shots etc. Fast forward to 2000 ( age 60 ) prior to pumping ...I had a C-peptide test done , orderd by my Specialist at local lab here in my sleepy town ...there was No cost, No questions asked to make certain about pumping and how it would affect my basal rates etc. Same plan you are on as we are both in BC , Canada !! As you can see almost 30 years for me with diabetes and no complications I I do have other challenges as well ) ; here to ask you ...to relax , please !!

PS are you loosing weight with the meal plan you are on ; is that OK with you ?? Not certain of your weight .. can one choose Caesar Salad at your Greek Restaurant ?? ...another thing , when not on a pump , but meds ( you are on meds ???) ..I think one has to be consistent with timing of meals related to meds one takes ?

My date got cancelled, which at least meant that I didn't have to deal with BG issues around dinner.

Nel, the province is refusing to pay for the insulin antibodies testing. They will pay for the c-peptide test, which I'm going to have tomorrow, along with a fasting blood glucose and a transglutaminase antibody test--a test for celiac. The lab told me that I should have the c-peptide test and the GAD antibodies tests done at the same time, but I can't afford the GAD test. I've decided to have the c-peptide test and, if it's low, try to find a way to pay for the GAD. If the c-peptide is in the normal range, I may not need to do the GAD.

Eating very few carbs does mean I've lost weight, yes. But that seems to have stalled for the last couple of weeks. I think my body is doing its best not to lose weight at the moment. It does a great job of dumping glucose pretty frequently, so it may be that it thinks I'm starving. I'm not. I'm not clinically obese. I should lose about 25 pounds. That's not my biggest concern at the moment, though. I hope that, once we get my BG figured out, I'll be able to exercise properly without spiking my BG and then the LC diet will be more effective.

acidrock, The doctor didn't tell me to limit my carbohydrate intake. I'd been doing that for almost two months by the time I met him. I'd gone on Atkins about two weeks before I was diagnosed, and just kept on with that afterward when I read Dr. Bernstein's book. He shows that a LC diet was likely to be the best way to bring my BG down safely and quickly. I've had success with it, to be sure. What's not so great is that my BG spikes and doesn't come back down for a long time.

As for medication, I've been taking the time-released form of Metformin for a week now, 1000mg in the morning with breakfast. I'm not sure that it makes a difference. The regular Metformin played havoc with my digestion. I stopped taking it for a few days, twice, and didn't notice any change in my BG levels. The time-released version is not causing me gastric distress, at least!

I apologize for sounding stressed-out, folks. I'm the only one who has anything to do with what I eat, or when I eat it. I get some pressure to eat things that aren't good for me, which does cause tension, but I do the cooking, so it's manageable. I'm trying to understand how my BG works, what influences it and how to keep it within consistent levels. Because it's unpredictable, I can't estimate whether it will be high or low before a meal. That's okay when I'm at home and can usually just wait and eat later on, when it comes back down, if I need to. But if going out, it's a drag to have to say, when it's time to order dinner, that I can't eat for awhile, yet. We don't go out very often, so it's not an ongoing problem.

Too bad din -din got cancelled :( ...loads of great Greek restaurants in Vancouver ..I miss them .
This is where my confusion comes to play ...really wonder , if you indeed will require the GAD tests ( s ) to prove which treatment will work best for you ...the C-peptide result will tell a lot . It may mean basal insulin and Metformin OR other treatments which may have to be tried out .... ?? Did Doc prescribe enough strips for testing ???
Hang in and soon you will be back at exercising !
PS ...It's as hard for our partners too , having to deal with d. , ask my hubby !

AnnBemrose, I too was diagnosed about 2 months ago and immediately went low carb (slightly more than Berstein suggests at 40-50 gms/day). Previously I had been on the Primal Diet and so found the transition fairly easy. At the same time I started basal insulin before waiting for any tests to come back. They all subsequently did confirm LADA which was not surprising consider my fasting BG and A1C levels. Now two months later, I am very well controlled requiring only an occasional bolus dose besides my AM basal insulin. I bet you will see a much better quality of life in the near future when your tests come back and you start basal insulin.
P.S. Metformin will not work if there is no (or very little) insulin on board which seems to be the case with yourself.