Crashing: a polemic
I just spent the last three days in Vegas, which can make anyone tired and on-edge, especially if you're gambling your life savings away.
For a diabetic, however, I can't think of a more volatile environment to spend your time in than a casino. You're surrounded by alcohol, shitty food, loud noises and less-than-admirable behavior opportunities. But, it was my only chance to see Justin for two weeks (and it's a half hour flight from Burbank) so I hopped on a plane. As you now know, I'm in the middle of an intense battle to bring down my A1c and change my lifestyle in general. Spoiler alert: I failed miserably while I was in Vegas. I immediately ate a bunch of chicken fingers and had two martinis. I had been so deprived the week before (NO sugar, NO alcohol AND calorie restriction AND hard exercise) that I just about couldn't help myself. Thus began a three-day binge followed by the worst day I've had in a month.
Here's the thing: we weren't alone on this bender, we were alongside hundreds of magicians. "Magic Live" is a yearly convention where the best and brightest (and not-so-great-but-trying) gather to buy, see and discuss the latest in the world of magic. The cool thing about this community, I've found, is that it's one of the very few entertainment industries where the up-and-coming can brush elbows with the pros (no, really! David Copperfield and Penn and Teller were there at certain points and fully approachable). I find that so cool. Justin is really finding his place in the ranks these days, and so this convention meant a lot to him this year.
That said, let's skip ahead to day three (the last night), 8:45pm. At this point, we had been out ALL NIGHT the night before (who do I think I am? A healthy 18 yr old?) which had ended at the all-too-famous Peppermill diner where I treated myself to a quarter of a waffle. I know that sounds innocuous, but it's pretty sinful for me at the moment. I slept (poorly) from about 7am to 1pm, at which point I drew back the curtains in our shitty room (sorry, Orleans, but your hotel is seedy as f*ck) and nearly melted like a vampire from the shock of the sunlight. I made some (again, shitty) hotel room coffee (that made me giggle because the spout was broken and it basically farted my coffee into a styrofoam cup for three consecutive minutes) and dreamed of going home that instant. I checked my Dexcom (continuous glucose monitor) and cringed at the insane peaks and valleys I'd had over the last 12 hours. (I didn't even need to look. I could feel the horrible job I'd been doing).
Anyway, back to 8:45. Justin and I had FINALLY discovered a great restaurant in the casino and were having a moment of relief that we weren't going to eat bad food for the first time in days. I was starting to tap my toe, because we needed to be at the 9pm "big show" that would wrap up the convention and still had not gotten our food after sitting there for an hour. For a normal person, this is an annoyance and an inconvenience. For a diabetic, it's the recipe for disaster. We spoke with the manager, who put on a good show of regret and got us our food to go by 9:02. At this point, I could feel myself slipping, blood sugar-wise and patience-wise. We got to the show and slipped in some seats in the back, took out the food (trying to be very quiet) and started eating it. It was pitch black, however, and we couldn't see what we were eating. I hate that. My patience slipped even more. We closed up the boxes and decided to wait. This is the point that I lost it. Not eating when you need to eat (when you're diabetic) is not just physically uncomfortable and harmful, but it's the mental equivalent of blue balls. For me, all logic goes out the window and a deep sadness descends on my entire body.
When the show ended I was close to tears. The culmination of days of bad control was coming to a head, and there was no stopping the crash. I left and retreated to our room, ate a Kind bar (tearfully) and fell asleep. When I woke up, it was 1:30 am. I had missed the afterparty. More importantly, I had missed a "surprise" parading of all of the living magicians to ever have graced the cover of "Magic" magazine (including Justin), and a million texts from Justin about how important it was and how much he wished I'd come down to see it. So then, of course, I cried some more. There is nothing more frustrating to me than when this disease takes over my body and emotions, and even more so when I miss things because of it. I felt like I had come to Vegas for nothing but to mess up my progress and feel a bunch of unwanted feelings. The entire next day was filled with nothing but frustration, fatigue and cringe-y self-reflection. And a turbulent flight back to reality.
I'm back home now and back on track. I feel better, but I have an emotional hangover from all the swings. I'm going to do my best to keep going with this tight control thing, and hopefully not slip as far as I did this week. Check out my beautiful straight line (all below 100!) from the past 12 hours! Nothing feels better than this. (Well, eating chicken fingers when you've been dieting does...but that's neither here nor there).
Sugar crashes suck in so many ways. Writing about it is helping me realize that I need to dial it back a little bit with this crazy diet. I clearly "let loose" in Vegas for a reason, and if I can keep it all in moderation (as the wise nutrition gurus say) then I might not feel the need to fall so hard off the bandwagon. We shall see.
Still type one,