Confessions of a Thanksgiving Weekend Survivor

Text Size:

For the last few days, I’ve been wanting to write some kind of diabetes confessional. The problem is, I’ve been uncertain about how to create the context in which to write it. Thanksgiving and its four-day weekend of food sloth has provided me the occasion, but the presentation gives me pause.

If I just flat out come out and say beforehand, “Forgive me readers for I have strayed from the path of self-management righteousness,” maybe I won’t be judged too harshly. I know I’m not alone in experiencing moments, be they hours or days, when I fall from diabetes grace. However, I also know all too well that there are others who can’t wait to cast aspersions in the form of blog comments, those who exercised restraint, those who probably deviated not one bit from their normal routines.

So, as I write what would have been last Thursday’s (Thanksgiving’s) blog entry, I say unto those who judge, “Please examine your own diabetic soul before looking self-righteously upon mine.”

Thursday began with a breakfast sandwich (turkey bacon and egg) and coffee at Starbucks. My wife and I took the dog to the dog park, so we went through the drive-through on the way. The sandwich: pretty good. The danger to my diabetic karma: pretty slim.

From there, though, it went slightly downhill.

We drove to my wife’s parents’, where I promptly fell into the butcher block buffet of tortilla chips and Fritos and crackers and cheese, all with a vast array of dips (chili dip, cheese dip, hot queso) and spreads (spinach and artichoke, as well as a crab dip that is impossible to turn down). I dialed in a bolus for 60 grams of carbohydrate on my insulin pump to cover what I’d snack on over the next hour or so.

Thanksgiving Dinner consisted of turkey, decadent mashed potatoes (within which was butter, sour cream, and cream cheese), some smoked duck and pheasant (which came from the family compound), stuffing, gravy, pistachio bread, and several other sides that, after four days have passed, I can no longer remember.

I’d bolused for 40 grams of carb about 20 minutes before eating dinner, and then when we sat down to eat I bolused for another 100 grams.

Dessert? Back in college I had a literature professor who always told us, on the last day of class before Thanksgiving, “You must always have two kinds of pie.” This year was no exception to his counsel. I had pumpkin. I had pecan. I also had some kind of apple cobbler thing.

The carb estimate for a dessert such as this: 90 grams (these weren’t huge slices, and the apple-cobbler portion was really only a few tablespoons).

It was all so good, so tasty. So good. So good and tasty.

Later that night, back at home, I had the obligatory cold turkey sandwich. And before I went to bed, I looked on my insulin pump at the carb count for the day: 435.

That’s a record. That surpasses a few weddings I’ve attended, and it certainly surpasses 2007’s holiday feasts.

The food sloth continued through the weekend, with food choices that were pretty decadent (we still had another holiday party to attend on Saturday, and I had to sample sweets and each delicious course). There were hour-long dog walks and some snow shoveling, but also lots of football-watching and movie-watching. However, aside from an insulin delivery incident on Saturday night that sent my blood glucose into the 200s following another holiday party — and I’ll spare you the details of that incident; the woes of insulin delivery via pump seem too much in my blog postings of late — throughout the four-day weekend I kept my blood glucose in the 100s. In fact, two hours following Thursday’s main debauchery, I was at 131 mg/dl. Not bad.

The calorie count of the meals, and all of that other stuff…I’m just not going to think about it. I came upon Thanksgiving, I experienced everything everyone else experienced, and I enjoyed it, and without too much detriment to myself as Type 1. In fact, as I look at what I’ve just written, it isn’t nearly as bad as I’d made it out to be when I thought about it yesterday. I wasn’t overly moderate, but neither was I overindulgent to the point of danger.

Maybe I didn’t even need to write this.

Get Diabetes-Friendly Recipes In Your Inbox

Sign up for Free

Stay Up To Date On News & Advice For Diabetes

Sign up for Free

Get On Track With Daily Lifestyle Tips

Sign up for Free

Save Your Favorites

Save This Article