The White Bread Cure for Insomnia: Diabetes Blog Week Day 3


“Now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?” Diabetes Blog Week

How many times a day do I do something really stupid, like eat?  Look at any ordinary day of my life and you’ll realize that even though EVERY time I eat I’m distressed, I still keep doing it.  All the time! 

It goes something like this… how many carbs are in it? If I don’t bolus and just take a walk after, will that do the trick?  What if I end up with really high blood sugar?  Is this really worth a bolus?  Will it satisfy me or will I be hungry again in an hour?  What if I don’t eat now and try to wait until dinner?  Then will I be so hungry that I’ll overeat at dinner?  I remember reading somewhere that even too much lettuce can cause a BG spike, though I doubt it’s a very impressive one. Overeating is still definitely a bad idea.  Wine always causes a sharp BG drop for me.  So maybe I’ll just eat and drink more. But too much wine will make me drunk and hurt my liver.  But not enough food will make me hungry and tired.  But high blood sugar will wreck havoc on all of my organs…

Food, in any form (even lettuce!) is an emotional issue.  It’s always against me.  If I were the star of my own action movie, I wouldn’t be battling aliens or sharks.  It would be me against a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream the size of the moon.

But then – all jokes aside – not so long ago, I got my revenge on carbs, and for a flash in time it was blissful (and delicious).

Here’s how:

For the most part, I’m a good sleeper and I’m happy to go to bed early, take a nap whenever, and sleep in.  But one night I had insomnia.  And not being able to sleep when I want to probably aggravates me more than not being able to eat what I want to.  Also insomnia makes me anxious, and anxiety raises BG.  The more I thought about it, the more doomed I felt.   But at some point during the restlessness, in a revelatory moment that I didn’t realize was idiotic until the morning, I figured out how could get my sleep and have my carbs, too.  I would eat my way to sleep.  I would use my diabetes as a cure for insomnia.

There was a fresh challah in the kitchen: thick, braided white bread with sugar.  It’s one of my favorite things to eat, and it makes my blood sugar spike faster than the speed of light.  A couple of bites of challah could take me to 250 in no time.  And nothing makes me sleepier than high BG, especially when it comes on fast.

I hurried out to the kitchen, reached into the brown paper bag and grabbed the challah.  I was going to eat white bread and it was going to be good for me.  Because it would put me right to sleep. And I really needed to sleep.  Because my BG is worse when I’m tired anyway. So this was really the most sensible thing to do.  Plus, I would be using carbs to my advantage.  Sweet and twisted (like a challah) revenge.

As expected, the challah did the trick.  I was drowsy in no time and within a half hour I went from wide-awake to can’t-keep-my-eyes-open.  And I wasn’t concerned in the least while the high BG did its thing corroding my insides, because it was a cure for insomnia.  And as I drifted into a hyperglycemic slumber I had the satisfying thought that diabetes might be fucking me over in every way, but for one stupid night, I [seemingly] used it to my advantage.

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Katy Killilea
8 years ago

Favorite part: “Sweet and twisted (like a challah)”

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