What sort diabetic guest are you? (Part 1) – by Helen May


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As I prepare myself, for a friend’s wedding, I started to think about how such an event affects us our diabetes control. OK, so it’s only one day but we still experience our ups and downs.

As I went through previous wedding experiences in my mind, I found myself putting together one of those teenage magazine quizzes in my mind. You know the ones: what sort of girlfriend will you be?

Here goes, get your pen and paper ready to mark down your scores:

A. You wake up on a Saturday morning after a typical working week and take a BG reading.

Make a note of blood glucose reading A.

B. You realise you are running late. You quickly get dressed in your best clothes, grab a cereal bar for breakfast and jump into the car. When you arrive at your destination, two hours later, you take another BG reading.

Make a note of blood glucose reading B.

C. You quickly check yourself in the mirror, make sure your tie is straight/make up is not smeared and head into the church and find a seat just before the bride appears looking radiant. The service is a little longer than you hoped, you realise you don’t know the words to any of the hymns and you are getting a little tetchy on the hard pews. Eventually the services finishes and you can get some fresh air. Thankfully it is sunny so you don’t mind catching up with friends, jumping into the “friends’ photo”, trying to hold your smile for how long?

Next to the reception where you are greeted by some bubbles, and wait in line to greet the new couple, chatting to friends you have not seen for ages and catching up with their last 10 years (the queue is long enough for more catching up).

A bit more circulating and then the gong goes off – BOING. Finally you can sit down for the wedding dinner. But before you start eating, you need to take a BG reading.

Make a note of blood glucose reading C.

D. The happy couple love their food and it shows with their menu. It is all beautifully presented but do you really know how many carbs to count for puff pastry goat’s cheese tart with sundried tomatoes and caramelised onions followed by oriental tuna with noodles and seasonal vegetables (the sauce tastes sweet but you can’t be sure what’s in it). Then of course, there’s the beautiful tuille basket with fresh fruit, crème anglais and another interesting sauce.

The dinner is one of those long drawn-out affairs with copious glasses of wine, more catching up with the friends on your table (and introducing yourself to those you don’t know on your table). This is followed by the speeches with some more bubbles to toast the bride, bridesmaids and … is there anyone else? When you think you cannot eat or drink anything more, the cake is cut. That’s the rich fruit cake with marzipan and thick royal icing which is hard to resist.

And relax…

But not for too long because the DJ is setting up and you have some nieces, nephews, young children to entertain and do the closest you can to dance with a 3-year-old. Then more dancing (you dance with one child and they all want a bit of the action). You can stand back for a minute or two to allow the first dance… but then you have to join in.

After a fair amount of bopping you realise there’s a buffet. A few hours ago you thought you could not eat anything ever again. But after all that dancing, you find you’re famished again. But first… time to take another reading.

Make a note of blood glucose reading D.

E. After the buffet, the free bar gets going and the dancing gets more frenetic. The night goes on. The DJ keeps spinning the disks (or the equivalent MP3 terminology) and then suddenly, the lights are turned up, the DJ plays New York, New York or whatever is their signature last song of the night. You never realised it was so late – you’ve been having so much fun … and what sort of wedding party does not play Dancing Queen?

You resist the temptation to have a nightcap and head to bed… but take a reading before.

Make a note of blood glucose reading E.

F. It’s nearly over, but not quite. The effects of the night before can often be felt the next morning. So when you get up, take your last reading.

Make a note of blood glucose reading F.

Now you should have six readings on your piece of paper. Keep them safe – you’ll need them for my next post which will appear on this site on Tuesday 13th September.

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