The “15’s”

It’s been forever and a day since I’ve posted, I know.  Two weddings (in both), all the events that surround them, business trip, fun trip, family emergencies… it has all added up.  Hope to be posting more soon but here’s this one for now.

Who decided the number 15 should be so involved in the diabetes world?

-Low?  Eat 15 grams of carbs and then wait 15 minutes!
Yeah, right.  More like eat 15 grams of carbs, times that by 3 (at the minimum), and if I really feel like it, just eat until I feel better whether that is 15 minutes from now or 30. (Especially middle of the night lows.  Those 4 glucose tabs ain’t gonna calm this sweaty train wreck down)

-Insulin to carb ration is 1 unit for every 15 carbs.
I think that is the starting point for almost every newly diagnosed diabetic.  Over time and trial and error you adjust.  I’m almost positive that was my ratio for years until I went onto a pump which then made fractional units possible. I know you can take ½ units with a syrine but even then… it’s iffy.  But who started it at 15?  Why not 10?

-Take your insulin (at least Humalog when prescribed to me 19 years ago) 15 minutes before eating for it to start working.
When I was first diagnosed they told me to take Humalog 15 minutes before eating so the insulin would peak at the same time my food would, thus stabilizing my sugars a bit more.  I had no clue about fatty foods taking longer to peak, dual waves, square waves, I’m not on a pump and you gotta be kidding me if I have to take another shot 1 hour after I eat wave…  But even 18 years later I RARELY do this.  I try when I drink coffee because it seems no matter what I do, I spike.  I wish I was better about doing it.  But at restaurants you never know how long it’s going to take to come out and I hate having to order a Coke if I go low.  At home if I’m not “cooking” cooking, I am usually just grabbing something and eat it.  It maybe takes 5 minutes to prepare if that and I rarely think to take insulin before then.  I’m hungry now, dangit!

So why is “15” so special!?


3 thoughts on “The “15’s”

  1. If you were diagnosed a long time ago, you also started on the Exchange Diet where 1 carb exchange was assumed to be 15 grams. I never thought about how prominent “15” is in my diabetes. Good post:-)

  2. Ah, 15… you crazy number, you. Yep, I totally don’t eat just 15 carbs. Tend to also multiple it exponentially, inhaling All The Carbs as quickly as possible. And I don’t go by the 1-to-15 ratio. Because I’m not a fan of math, but feel the strange need to know the math in my head instead of just blinding trusting my pump to get it right, I go with 1-to-10. Because that’s easier to calculate in my head and I don’t have the patience to use other numbers. Oh, and pre-bolusing… yeah, that’s a work in progress, too. Great post, Jillian!

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