Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reflex Theory.

At breakfast last Saturday morning, diabetes came up in conversation. (Weird, right?)

From L to R, back row: Bennet, Kelly, Karen, Sara and Mike.
Front row: Jess, me, Abby, LeeAnn, Leighann. Photo credit: Bennet.
The waitress came around with coffee (lots of takers there) and orange juice (I was the only taker, with a downward CGM arrow poised somewhere in the 60's). The speed with which I drained my glass and the location of our breakfast (we were adjacent to a bar) lead me to an epiphany of sorts.

Lately I've made a lot of beverage switches - absolving myself of Splenda in my morning coffee, avoiding soda and choosing tea or Crystal Light Pure instead, and when it comes to social drinking I've been calling a glass of wine over to my team more often than my fruity "girly drinks" of yore. You know the ones - cranberry vodkas with lime (which I've recently learned are named Cape Cods - sounds much more fancy), those sugar bombs called Fuzzy Navels, and the deliciously evil combination of pineapple juice and cake-flavored vodka. At some point I realized how quickly I guzzle those drinks, whereas a glass of wine I tend to sip in a more reasonable and ladylike manner.

It hit me, as the liquid disappeared down my throat, the reason I might be consuming those types of drinks so quickly.

It's a reflex.

Ever since I was a child, juice has been a form of medicine. Orange juice, in particular, was something to be administered in one continuous gulp as I struggled to hold the glass; shaking, sweating and completely out of sorts. The taste of oranges signals panic. Fear. Desperation. It amplifies the screaming in my head that says to EAT EVERYTHING EVER RIGHT NOW OMG I'M DYING.

Why did I expect that to be different as an adult, and with something else added to it?

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has found this to be true - does anyone else feel like they'll never be able to drink a glass of juice like a "normal" person?

19 comments:

  1. I'm a T1 newbie, so I grew up drinking juice as a regular beverage, not as treatment for anything medical. My first alcoholic beverage was of the fruity variety and it took me quite some time to warm up to wine (which I grew to love before the pancreas kicked the bucket).

    Now, not even having had diabetes for a year, I don't view juice in the same way. I don't ever want to just enjoy a nice glass of orange, apple or other fruit juice. It might as well have a prescription label on it.

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  2. Wow, you've given me something to think about. Thanks for this post.

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  3. Nope! Juice and anything sweet has the panicky feeling attached to it. I cannot for any reason pace myself...Soda, juice, iced coffee...it all goes down with in rapid gulps. As a kid I used to challenge my friends to juice drinking contests. I could (and still can) suck those boxes in no time flat.... Just one more thing diabetes changes.

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  4. I am a fast drinker, too! I always have to have a glass of water with me or I'll be under the table quicker than you can say "One Martini, Two Martini, Three Martini, floor."

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  5. MOST definitely a fast drinker. I mean, who could actually think juice is *good* after drinking it all these years as a medicine. Especially the stuff that came in the metal cans....GROSS! I only use juice in desperation now. Much prefer glucose tabs. (until I burn myself out on those too)

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  6. To be honest, juice is one thing -- okay, the ONLY thing -- that I completely eliminated from my diet shortly after diagnosis. It never seemed worth it to use up my allowance of the "fruit exchange" (before carb counting) so quickly. I don't even use it to treat lows. Maybe, like Tammy, that tinny, partially sour juice from the little cans with the foil sticker on top turns me off; even chalky glucose tabs are more appealing to me.

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  7. Ha, I'll have to think about that. I keep a box of Capri Suns on my counter- I had a couple over who have two young kids and after they left, I was telling my friend that I felt bad I did not have anything fun to give the kids to drink. He goes- uh, don't you have that juice on the counter? Oh...yeah, people drink that just to drink it! That didn't even cross my mind (also a good learning experience that helped my friend understand more of my diabetic mind).

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  8. As a T2, I don't have that connection to OJ. But, as a person who loves sweet stuff, I find that if I open a 12 oz. can of Diet Pepsi I have to drink it all, and usually in a short time. If I get the same amount of water with ice, I may nurse it for over an hour or even not drink all of it. Some of it is as you say a connection between the drink and what happened at another time in your life. Some of it is just that we like something sweet whether juice, soda, or sweet tea.

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  9. OMG You just kinda blew my mind!! I had never thought about it in that way. Any kind of juice that crosses my lips is sucked down in 3 gulps or less

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  10. We recently had a houseguest who helped himself to our orange juice, and I about snatched it away from him before realizing that the non-Ds don't see drinking O.J. as taking someone else's medicine. And maybe he hadn't noticed that I'm diabetic.

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  11. Kim, I've been thinking about juice as medicine lately, but I couldn't put a name to it. I too get sick of just sucking the juice back instead of enjoying it a bit. I even get to the point where I'll change from orange to cranberry to apple just to jump-start my taste buds once in a while. Thanks for making me think.

    Juice as medicine... Sounds like a blog title!

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  12. OJ was my favorite beverage before I was diagnosed (at 24). It didn't take long for me to see it very differently. First, as a luxury with its 15g for four measly ounces. Then as medicine. Then as something that I drank so infrequently that it was never worth buying.

    Now it's like a long-lost girlfriend. We hooked up most recently in Paris a few years ago when I discovered that Starbucks will squeeze you a fresh glass while you wait. It was sweet, tender, guilt-free, and never to be spoken of until today. (You can keep a secret, right?)

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  13. I have such a love/hate relationship with orange juice. I love to drink it, love love love. I hate that it can easily add 30 grams of carb to my meal, so unfortunately I rarely drink it. When I do have it though (for recreation, not medicine) I drink it. so. slow. I'm bolusing a lot for it and I want to enjoy every last second of it!

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  14. Juice in my home is kept in the same cabinet as the test strips, infusion sets, catridges, glucagon, extra batteries and spare meters. Of course a few are always kept in the fridge as well but are relegated to the butter compartment with it's counterpart insulin. My kids know juice is medicine. Sometimes it urks my Middles (only child w/out D) but I don't see the point in drinking juice as a beverage when water and milk are better. Juice might claim to have all the nutrients as the actual fruit but why not just eat the dang fruit - I always have a variety available (of fruit). That way you get the fiber too. One time my youngest at age 4 (dxd at age 2) saw his friend pop open a Capri Sun and asked his non-D friend "Are you low?" Doubt my kids will ever see juice as anything other than a life saving nectar that should be consumed in less than 7 seconds.

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  15. Haha I noticed this same thing a long time ago. I will never be able to drink any fruit juice like a normal person--especially orange juice. I won't drink it with alcohol either--oh sure, I'll drink 12 margaritas in all of their sugary glory, but vodka and OJ? No, that will make my blood high. I wouldn't THINK of drinking OJ unless I'm low. Also, I absolutely CRINGE when I see my fiance sit down to breakfast and pour himself a tall glass of OJ. OMG how do you just drink OJ for fun? And all of that sugar??? AGGHHHH! I've also gone through phases where orange juice give me post-traumatic-stress-disorder-type flashbacks.

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  16. Maybe it's just because fruity drinks taste good and wine tastes bad? ;)

    LOL! Just kidding, it sounds like there might be something to your theory based on everyone's comments!

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  17. As a kid I frequently used saltine crackers to treat a low. Now I'm the only one in my group of friends who can complete the saltine challenge ( 6 saltines in a minute, no liquid to drink). Definetly a skill I got from diabetes because I would scarf those down during a low.

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  18. I'm totally with you on this.

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  19. fascinating post and interesting comments, thanks for writing about this as i probably never would have thought of it on my own. i wonder what my kid's opinion would be. i'll have to ask her.

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