Date Night: Diabetes and Drinking …Oh My!

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Sounds disastrous, doesn’t it? Diabetes is tough to manage. Throw in factors like drinking alcohol and spending a night out with your partner and you could have a bit of a meltdown in the process of maintaining a good blood sugar.

When my boyfriend said he was coming to visit me this past Sunday, I was pretty excited. He doesn’t live too far away from my school, but the distance is just enough to be annoying. We visit each other when we can, but we both have busy schedules between school, work, and other miscellaneous obligations. So I was happy to spend a day with him and planned for us to do a few fun things.

I've got my game face on - Donky Kong„JPGWe spent the afternoon eating lunch at the dining hall, strolling around campus, and relaxing with a couple of books and some music. Later in the evening, we decided to go to a sports bar and indulge in some beer and wings. Oh, and a platter of onion rings. Honestly, who can say no to a delicious Southern Tier Pumking with a cinnamon sugar rim? And I mean, it totally makes sense to get a greasy glut of appetizers to accompany it…

However, I started to panic a bit when our food arrived and I saw just how enormous those onion rings were and the thick layer of honey barbeque sauce covering those wings. How on earth would I know how much insulin to take to cover the meal? Just as I was about to freak, I realized I had to take a chill pill. I knew it wouldn’t be worth it to agonize over the carb count while my boyfriend dug into the meal because I knew it would just make me anxious for the rest of the night. So I did my best to add everything up, took my shot, and enjoyed the moment.

It was the best thing I could have done. An hour later, we were at another bar, this one catering to lovers of old arcade games. We enthusiastically played classics like Tetris, Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Paperboy. In between games, I snuck a glance at my CGM to see how I was doing and was elated to learn I was not only sitting pretty at 120, but that I was also steady. No shaky lows or thirsty highs for this girl!

And this beautiful pattern continued as we started phase 3 of date night: wine and a movie. Again, I was a bit concerned about the affect the alcohol might have on my blood sugar. But thanks to a little research on low carb wines and careful monitoring, I was doing just as well as I had been earlier. I almost chalked it up to some wonderful sorcery, but I would have been selling myself short. I was responsible for doing the right thing in my diabetes care, despite a few potentially scary obstacles thrown in my path. It felt great and I know my boyfriend was just as glad as I was to see my success.

My Sunday of diabetes, drinking, and date night is a reminder to me to celebrate the victories, big and small, where my diabetes management is concerned.

 

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