Carb counting is a big deal

In essence, carb counting can make or break a diabetic’s level of control.  And in all honesty, it is not something I have always done as well as I should be doing.  I am the epitome of a SWAG’er.  (I’ll let you fill in the blank, but it’s basically a Scientific Wild *** Guess.) 😉  Sometimes that method works, but most of the time, it doesn’t.

Problem is – I have to enter the carbs I’m consuming into my pump.  So then my pump knows exactly how much insulin to give me, based on previously entered formulas/ratios.  So if I’m not entering the correct # of carbs, it’s not giving me the correct units of insulin to cover said carbs.

For example…   for some reason unbeknownst to me, I have for the longest time, just “said” to myself that any fast food place that I pick up a burger and fries- will be 75 g.  Any other PWD out there knows how far off that is. And I honestly have no idea why I dubbed that the “magic” number.   I’m guessing it’s because for longer than I can remember, I have been wrapped up in the viscious cycle of not paying enough attention to how certain foods affect me, so therefore it was nothing for me to see a high a few hours after eating fast food.  (Duh!)

Same goes with mexican food – I have always used my magic go to number of 75g for my typical dish there, too. Again, dumb.

When I think of how many high’s I could have likely prevented, had I just entered the right number of carbs ….

And I caught myself recently doing something I hadn’t even realized I had been doing. When I actually looked up the carbs for the particular burger/fries I was eating (113, btw which is a lot different than 75) I was tempted to lie to my pump.  What is up with that??  It’s as if I was having a conversation in my own head saying “Oh come on it’s not really that high . . just put in 75 so it doesn’t look so bad that you’re eating 113 g.”  It’s not like doing that will change the fact that I’m still going to eat the food (which in and of itself is more likely the real issue, but I digress) … so why would I feel the need to put in false numbers to essentially cover for myself?

Like I’ve said many times before … I’m still a work in progress.


About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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6 Responses to Carb counting is a big deal

  1. aMom2E says:

    Just wanted to ask if you have tried the Go Meals App (I have an iPhone, I don’t know if it is on other phones)? This has helped alleviate some of my SWAGging. I can totally relate to everything you said because until recently I didn’t even use my bolus wizard and just took between 10-15 u for each meal give or take… I know, SO BAD… But you are SO not alone… I still don’t always use the app, but when I do, it does help (almost to my chagrin bc then I realize all the times I am screwing up by not using it)… Any effort is better than none, right!?? I think we all SWAG more than we should, but hey, we get by! Keep up all your good work!! Thank you for sharing!

    • Shannon says:

      Thank you for the kind words!! (And the encouragement) I do have that app on my phone. My friend, who has a CWD, recommended it to me. I use it occasionally (but not often enough) Sometimes I get frustrated when I can’t find something – and there seems to be times when there is a lot of variance. But I do use it sometimes.

  2. Johanna B says:

    My magic mantra is “progress not perfection”. Becoming aware that there is a problem is part of the solution so you’re on your way.

  3. Scott E says:

    My “default” for fast food is 65 carbs…even worse! But soon after I started pumping I went to Burger King and input the carbs according to their little pamphlet. The pump yelled back saying it was above the maximum I set during pump training, so I went with 65. Somehow I stuck with it, and now I try to make the food I consume equal 65 carbs rather than figure out the real (too scary) value of the whole meal. Usually, I fail miserably when I do that.

  4. Sara says:

    Been there, done that. Although, the old 6 piece chicken tenders and fries from Burger King IS 66 carbs. Not exactly true for the other places I get it (but it should be!)

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