I voluntarily attended a diabetes type 1 half day course on "Carbohydrate Counting and Insulin Adjustment", a kind of mini "DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating) at my local hospital. It was as if, in between the plastic fruit and veg and the toe-curling insights into the hopelessness of diabetic "control" for the last 25 years, someone had finally handed me the keys to the kingdom.
I came home and never looked back. No more hurried falsifying of my glucose test results before attending diabetic clinic. No more mad swings up and down between giggling hypo and treacle swimming hyperglycaemia. No more looking in the mirror and seeing this michelin tyre imprisoned woman I no longer recognised as me.
My long acting basal insulin, that I previously thought as useless as injecting water, was reduced from 60+ units each day to only 18, split morning and evening. My bolus dose before meals that had been an erratic 24-12-18 is now, according to my personal insulin-to-carb-ratio (ICR), just 2 units per 10g carbs consumed. Instead of constantly battling to eat enough carbs and sugar to prevent myself falling into hypoglycaemia, I now eat much less carb without actually "low-carbing". That means between 2-5 units at breakfast, depending on whether I've eaten fruit or a serving of muesli. My new high-tech kitchen scales are a positive joy to help me work out instantly what I'll need to inject. Lunch, if I'm having a vegetable stir fry with some protein like my favourite oily fish, seafood or soya, can mean no insulin at all, as the tyrant carbohydrate doesn' demand it! I never feel hungry between meals, so I'm blessed by not craving snacks, so evening meal, of fruit, crackers, hummous, soup or whatever, only needs up to 8 units max, or, for a treat, unbattered cod with 125g chips on a Friday from our unbelievably excellent local chippie! Then that's 10 units (2 units for each of the 5 carb portions in those chips).
A former chocoholic, I can still completely acknowledge and understand the cravings and binges that haunted me since childhood. But now I can have one square of my favourite choc when my sugar dips into hypo (I rarely get hypo symptoms till I'm dithering about at 1.7!) instead of caving in to the compulsion to finish the lot. My glucose levels and insulin levels are now generally in the range a non-diabetic would enjoy, apart from the usual "unexplained" monthly hormonal dips when my woman's bod throws a wobbly. Same time as those carb cravings and sugar fantasies kick in worst, no coincidence! But with less insulin and less sugary "compensation", the peaks and troughs are much better ironed out now.
So now it's charity shop crawls to buy some smaller sized clothing (luckily I still have some smaller sizes from before I put on the weight through illness.) I tracked my weight loss smugly on one of those online "tickers" you can link to your homepage, and labelled mine "Getting me back from M.E".
So that's the diabetes "Big D" caged and warmly patted on the head for me, after a quarter of a century. Just the ME to put back in the box now, and believe me, I've got it in my curvilicious sights!