Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cereal: The Devil's Food

“Hi. My name is Cara and I’m a cereal addict.”

I feel like I should be in some sort of a recovery program. Ever since I started monitoring my blood sugar super closely and got on an insulin pump, it became apparent that cereal was a TERRIBLE thing for me. Non-sugar cereals make my blood sugar crazy. The less sugar and more whole grains, the less crazy. But still crazy.

Sugar cereals make me so crazy that it’s scary. My blood sugars will rise quickly, sometimes as much at 150 points in half an hour, and stay up for HOURS, no matter how much insulin I take.

Because of the major issues I have with controlling my blood sugars when I eat cereal, I tend to stay away from it. I will indulge occasionally, but I just don’t do it because of all the horribleness that comes along with it. It’s just not worth it. Most of the time.

Sometimes I’ll get a box of rice crispies or cheerios and eat them. I LOVE them. I have to limit myself, but I do it. Recently I bought a box of rice crispies. When they were gone, I bought another box. When those were gone, I bought some corn flakes. (Are you seeing a pattern here yet?)

And then, on Friday, it happened: I found the small boxes ($1) of Cap N’ Crunch cereal on sale at the store. I refuse to buy a big box, but a small box… okay. I bought five boxes.

Saturday morning I had a bowl (translate: two large bowls) and bloused (I did a S.W.A.G. bolus; don’t know what that is? Click here where you can download a PDF of awesome d terms.), and went about my day. I knew I was going to spike. But I had plans to clean my house and figured it would help. But within a couple of hours I felt like crap. My CGMS said I was above 400 (it doesn’t give specific readings above 400, just an “above 400”). I checked and got this:

After having a mini-melt down, and suddenly understanding why I felt like throwing up (naseuea comes with high blood sugars sometimes), I gave an injection correction (I feel like that sounds lie something from School House Rocks!) and waited. Over the day I waited and bloused and waited and bloused. And tested and tested and tested. At one point I was somewhere between small and moderate ketones, but it didn’t last long (thankfully).

And it was nearly 12 hours later before I came down. And crashed at somewhere around 50. The blood sugar roller coaster is no fun, but in my earlier mentioned melt-down, I also did this:

Yes, you see that right. That’s a garbage bag. With every box of cereal in my house in it. In full disclosure, I still have the bag, but only cause I’ve not been to take off my trash yet. Oh, and pay no attention to my bare feet in the picture. :)

Honestly, I have a feeling I went from being sort of on the “no cereal” bandwagon, to falling off completely. And in order to get back on, I’m giving up cereal, cold-turkey. My problem is that I LOVE cereal. I can’t stop with one bowl. And I want to eat it ALL the time.

So much like a person addicted, I’m quitting. Cold-turkey. I won’t lie, I kind of want to go get that cereal bag. But I’m not going to do it. Until I can break myself of this horrible cereal eating habit, and learn to eat small amounts only occasionally, I’m done with the evil thing.

I think that a lot of times, we people with diabetes like to indulge. And it’s OKAY. It’s not that I can’t have cereal. It’s that I don’t particularly want to deal with the fall-out that comes with it. And I understand that I don’t have enough self-control to make myself stop with one SMALL bowl of cereal. But sometimes, even though we know better, we do it anyway. Perhaps it’s diabetes burn-out, in a way. Perhaps it’s just a “normalcy” thing that we want. I don’t know.

But for now, I’m on the “no cereal” band wagon again. My name is Cara and I’m a cereal addict. It’s been four days since my last bowl.

*I did NOT write this to make light of those suffering from actual addiction issues. As a person who knows and loves several different people who are recovering (or still) addicts, I encourage anyone dealing with these issues to seek help.*


Ilana Lucas said...

I find cereal tends to screw up most of my day if I eat it for breakfast, so I almost never do anymore. Breakfast (when I eat it) is one of the only meals that I feel a desperate need for protein at all the time. Also, it's not fair that something most people consider "part of a balanced breakfast" turns into what we have to perceive as a horrible vice.

jcsamom said...

Cereal is evil. My son has the opposite problem. It makes no sense, but if he eats cereal for breakfast he battles lows most of the day. Crazy, right? Doesn't matter what he does, weigh, measure, eyeball, reduce insulin drastically. Low before lunch, even with a mid-morning snack. Even if he adds protein. He has given up on cereal, too. For now.

StephenS said...

Cara, I totally get it. I'm the same way about ice cream (Java Chip-- 70! grams of carbs in one scoop). Fortunately, I don't have a lot of space in my freezer.

On another note, I'm now looking for a word to rhyme with Injection Correction.

k2 said...

Cereal is a bitch!
I'm so sorry it treated you poorly!
But damn if I don't miss it! I have found the Kashi's Cinnamon heart to heart cereal to be semi OK when it comes to blood sugars - kashi-heart-to-heart-warm-cinnamon-oat-cereal
Same can be said for kind healthy grains: http://www.kindsnacks.com/store#Grains
But both involve lots of diabetes math - which sort o takes all the fun out of a bowl of cereal.

Anonymous said...

I've just read Think Like A Pancreas by Gary Scheiner! Read it, its brilliant. I'm on a pump so feel like I have more control than what I did have on multiple daily injections, but this book give you so many tips and tons of advice for all therapies! One major thing I learned was about glycemic index. Cereal have high GI, which means it pushes your blood glucose high quickly, so try taking your insulin 20-30mins before eating it, and take your blood readings into account as well. Read the book, its completely changed my thinking, and I've been diabetic for 12 years.

Nici said...

I have the same love-hate relationship with cereal. For the past several years I have been replacing the cow's milk in my cereal with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. It makes a big difference.

I posted about it some time ago: http://typeoneandttc.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/let-them-eat-cereal/

Jillian said...

I love the title of your post. Because it is SO true. Cereal is the devil, yet I love it so much. :(