May 31, 2005

Charlotte vs. the Bionic Bagel

Well, last week I ran out of time to write about the Evil Matron Glaring who subsequently became Egregiously Mollifed & Gentle--this would be the tech, of course, who performed my EMG and whose behavior during same has contributed to my DUH w/r/t nerve damage. She was quite mean to me at the onset of the exam (I was late and that was NOT okay) but became startingly kind and friendly by the end, without apparent cause. A number of rational, non-DUH-stricken folks have pointed out logical explanations for this shift that have nothing at all to do with the tech having discovered, as I fear she did, that something Extremely Morbid & Grim is occurring within my nervous system. She probably, for example, realized she had behaved inappropriately toward me and figured she'd better compensate in case I decided to complain. Or, even more likely, she was initially upset that I had put her off schedule but calmed down as the test proceeded smoothly and she regained her lost time.

Okay. Sure. Makes sense. I'll keep trying to buy into that.

Meanwhile, the reason I ran out of time last week is that I was getting ready to visit Mr. Brooklyn, hooray. Am now here. I have yet to learn how to behave as well as I should with my eating when I'm in New York. There are many more temptations than I typically encounter during my staid culinary life in Minneapolis. At home, for example, my main stress over carbohydrates is deciding whether I should microwave Amy's Tamale Pie for 27 grams (minus 5 g fiber) or Amy's Shepherd's Pie for 27 grams (minus 4 g fiber). Here it's more like: should I eat delicious but inappropriate restaurant foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three?

Consider, for example, that quintessential New York pleasure, the bagel. I never believed until I ate one myself that it's true what they say: the bagels here are beyond compare. (Mr. Brooklyn theorizes that there's some magical ingredient in NYC water that makes the difference.) Alas, bagels are especially cruel to the diabetic system. Made of highly refined flour, they hit the BG aggressively. Yet no human I've met can resist consuming them with generous amounts of cream cheese, a fat that slows down digetive processes and results in a sort of double whammy: you get nailed right away AND later, sometimes much later, by the refined carbs.

One of the fine things about modern insulin pumps is they come equipped with tools for addressing problems like these. You can spread out part or all of your insulin over an hour or two or three, for example, to try to cover foods that bite you back later. This requires experimentation, as it's an individualized process. It is my mission to make productive use of my vacation time by deriving a formula for healthful (ahem) bagel consumption.

Mr. Brooklyn buys his bagels at an appropriately named shop called Bionic Bagels. What better opponent for Charlotte's sophisticated gadgetry? Already three encounters have taken place. The first ended in clear victory for the enemy: 2 hours post-bagel 176, 3 hours post-bagel 246, argh. Undaunted, Charlotte and I sent for reinforcements and renewed the attack. We have since gained considerable ground: 2 hours 138, quite respectable, 3 hours 179. The current battle plan is to weigh the bagel, compute insulin, add half a unit, take 60% with bagel and 40% over the next hour. Our strategy for the next engagement is to spread out the 40% over a longer span of time.

My friends, we shall prevail, and the rewards will be great.


  1. If they are half as good as Detroit bagles it is definately worth it.

    I spent a year in Detroit and learned to appreciate true bagels. However, Detroit beagles do not need cream cheese.

  2. You know Violet, bagels in Chicago are also quite good -- and Joseph is, unfortunately, a fan. Thus, we too were engaged in a similar battle this past weekend. I'm afraid the bagel won this time around. But your post gives me hope for future engagements...

  3. Ah, I remember bagels... Just be ever-so-glad that you are ONLY diabetic (not gluten-intolerant) and can eat the things at all. Dosing is the easy part...

  4. Amy, I am eternally grateful, as noted below, to be able to eat gluten. This post was meant to entertain, not to sound like a whine about dosing for bread...sorry if it came across otherwise.