Type 1 life adventures
I was too scared to imbibe for the first six months after my T1 diagnosis. All that reading about how bad hypos mimic drunkenness had me a little uptight.
In the midst of devouring a yummy dinner my friend Katica twisted my arm to have a glass or two. Said she’d look out for me. She doesn’t remember, but for me it was a turning point. Not because I wanted to get smashed. But being able to have a civilised wine at dinner was one of those things I thought Type 1 would deny me. But as that wine passed my lips I started to relax. I was doing something that had been so normal. And I was Ok.
I don’t drink often. Health overrides my interest in it. But I ain’t no teetotaller.
And so began the trial and error observation. I made a very overt rule that I don’t drink unless there is food involved.
What I discovered is that if I have one glass of wine my sugar will be a little high. But it will stabilise soon enough. If I have two or more glasses, you can guarantee that my blood sugar will drop and I’m going to need to add dessert to the menu. I don’t fully understand the mechanism of what happens once the alcohol hits my system but it is tried and true for me over the past couple of years.
If I was to have a dessert without the alcohol, I’d struggle with my levels because I’d end up spiked hours after the bolus hit, even if I’d managed the post-prandial part ok for a couple of hours. I don’t really have refined sugar in my day-to-day diet so when it hits my system, it’s really difficult to level out. I could manage that by going for a strenuous walk.
But my preferred strategy is to save the sweets for drinking occasions. When I told him about this idiosyncrasy, my endo asked me if I’d ever looked at the dessert menu to ascertain whether I was going to have to drink. “Abso-bloody-lutely!” I exclaimed. The Bar Lourinha crema gets me every time. My tastebuds don’t enjoy anything too sweet. But with this one Katica and I practically fight to lick the bowl.