Thanksgiving, Meet My Pancreas

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Now that the carbohydrate frenzy of Thanksgiving has passed, I wanted to write an update on how my pancreas coped with the madness: it did a great job. (Or, rather I did a great job — it’s not like my pancreas is up to much. How interesting that I’m always very ready to take the blame for bad blood sugar, but not as quick to take credit when it’s good.)

I think my blood sugar was probably helped by the fact that I was moving around a bunch and  was feeling relaxed. But I also discovered that if you spend all day cooking, as my husband and I did on Thursday, by the time dinner comes around, you’re not that interested in food. Or at least I wasn’t. A combination of kitchen burn-out and a well-timed dose of Symlin meant that I had no desire to reach for seconds — despite the fact that the food was delicious. (There’s also something to be said for controlling the menu — sure, we had homemade rolls and mashed potatoes, but I made certain there were carb-free options on the table.) So, while not perfect, my blood sugar wasn’t a disaster.

The best part of the weekend, though, was spending time with my family — by which I mean my parents, my husband, and two close family friends. We were in Point Reyes — a beautiful area just north of San Francisco — and we spent the days after Thanksgiving hiking, walking on the beach, and even going on a trail ride. Me on HorseI’ll admit that last activity surprised me — my dad was thrown from a horse once, which would be bad enough, except his foot got caught in the stirrup and he was dragged behind the horse as it ran across a field. Needless to say, they’re not his favorite animal. But despite the fact that he’s still terrified of them (I’m not a horse and I can still smell his fear) he got right up there in the saddle, gave its neck some hesitant, supportive pats, and thoroughly enjoyed himself. (Whether he would willingly go on a horse again — let alone one that liked to break into a spontaneous trot — is a different question.)

Anyway, this is me on a horse (not to be confused with being on a boat) and I like this photograph because it gives a good sense of who was actually in control. Yes, I’m sitting on the horse  — known as Cody — with reigns in my hand (and quite a cocky look, if you ask me). But after a few minutes of bouncing in my saddle whenever Cody decided he’d prefer to trot, I realized that ultimately, he was the one running the show. Which, if I think about it, is the way I sometimes feel about my blood sugar — I can pull back on the reigns all I want, but there are times when it’s going to do what it’s going to do. When that happens, the best I can do is to hang on for the ride.

Metaphors aside, though, diabetes does have one major advantage over horseback riding: it doesn’t hurt your inner thighs.

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Best title ever!

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