Steak and G&T: a night-out full of surprises

Vanessa Bolosier
Vanessa Bolosier

Last night I went out for a steak and a G&T — here’s how it went down.

So many choices. So many unknowns. Image by Patrick Tomasso

Last night Cyndi and I went to an Argentinian steakhouse with one of our prospective investors. As someone with diabetes, going out is always a pain for me — I mostly eat meals I cook myself, and I don’t like the sugary surprises in all the sauces and hidden extras.

About two hours before dinner, we met another potential investor, and he offered us a G&T. I do love a G&(diet)T, but it raises my blood glucose very fast. If I don’t inject, I’ll jump 6 mmol/L in about 30 minutes. Fortunately, I’ve got my own magic to make it work, so I happily accepted!

Ordinarily, I would inject 3U shortly before my first sip, and then nothing at all for the future G&Ts that inevitably follow the first. But I knew dinner would be a steak and no carbs, and my insulin was working well throughout the day, so I decided to be careful and only inject 1.5U.

We arrived at dinner 10 minutes late and a bit sweaty from the quick dash across town (late!). I was at 8.8 mmol/L. Man! I should have injected 3U for the G&T! So, I added another 2U knowing I wasn’t going to eat any carbs .

We were feeling festive from the first meeting, so we ordered another G&T, and for some reason it was about three times the usual measure of gin. I figured that was ok, because gin would continue to lower my BG well into the night and the steak will raise it. (I usually inject 2U over 2 hours for a steak, but I didn’t want to add insulin to gin.)

Over dinner (cheese, steak, leaf salad, spinach), we explained what it’s like to live with a condition that no one understands, and what we’re planning to do about it. After about two hours of chatting and enjoying the meal, I was curious to see how my math magic was working out, and our guest wanted to see how I take a BG reading (though he felt bad for making me “stab” myself). I pulled out my meter: 5.1 mmol/L.

I was proud for about 5 seconds until reality set in. So much gin and a bit of insulin still on board. A tube ride and 15-minute walk home still to come. Will that steak carry me through? Nope. I was 3.4 mmol/L when I got home 2 hours later. I was tired and tipsy. How to correct and not go too high? I took 2 Dextros (~7g of carbs) and fell into bed. At 4am (4 hours later) I woke up at 12.7 mmol/L :(. The steak won. I should have had more gin…

The steak won. I should have had more gin…

I’ve been doing this for 23 years, and I’m still amazed that I’m expected to come up with all these exact numbers in the face of so many variables and unknowns. All while getting on with my life — a mathematician, historian, dinner date, entrepreneur and control systems engineer — all in one evening!

I know technology can come up with these numbers for me, and for all of you. That’s what we’re doing at Ayuda. For now, I will still enjoy a G&T, but in the future, I plan to do it without all the extra work!

Love, Isabella

Vanessa Bolosier
Vanessa Bolosier