Extend-ing Myself

Today’s forecast: post-breakfast peak, mild swings mid-day, followed by severe overnight lows. Topsy-turvey carb ratios that make my CGM line look like a game of Pong! Heck, what did you expect following a major time zone switch?

Actually, the flight over here went surprisingly well. We colored. We watched loads of TV on our little individual screens. We made reptiles out of Floam. Then the little ones slept and my 9-year-old and I shifted uncomfortably in our seats for hours, dodging the sleepers’ feet and elbows. Only one quick puking incident upon landing. (You didn’t think we’d skip using those courtesy “travel bags,” did you?) Oh, and I had two lows, treated by two entire snack boxes of Sunmaid raisins. Could have been worse.

Spent the first night in a London Sheraton with an amazing indoor tropical pool setup. The kids were in heaven.

Flew out to Duesseldorf the next morning, so late to the airport that they had to upgrade us to business class. Received a breakfast that actually tasted good, and little stuffed Lufthansa airplanes. Oh, happy children! And I only needed half a box of raisins.

Here in Germany I’m cursing the DexCom, though, ’cause it’s beeping like a Muther all night long. Diabetes_extendbar_1 What is UP with these LOWS? But seasoned traveller that I am (ahem), I am prepared! On a whim, I packed a handful of Extend Bars, which I’d only just recently discovered (at this year’s ADA Conference in June.) These diabetes snack-bars are specially formulated for long, slow carb-release, so they’re ideal for controlling overnight lows. See that glucose conversion chart on their site?

So I’ve nearly eaten through my “intro pack” (15 bars for $15.99). And they really do taste great! Even the new apple-cinammon flavor, which I expected to gag on. Note, however, that they control lows but don’t necessarily prevent highs. I thought I could eat them as a mid-day snack without a glucose spike, but nothing doing. Strangely, despite their claim of incredibly low net carbs, the average bar contains 21g carb, minus 5g fiber, which leaves you with 16g carb that certainly seems to hit the system just like any other source. So I’m not sure what the magic trick is that makes these bars release so nice and slowly overnight. But it works!

btw, these bars were invented and clinically tested by a certain Dr. Francine Kaufman, head of the diabetes center at the children’s hospital of Los Angeles, and author of the much-hyped book Diabesity. I met her son Adam at the ADA Conference in June. He’s heading up their newest D-venture, a startup developing comprehensive “diabetes lifestyle tracking software.” I’ve got the business card at home in California, in case you’re interested.

Sooo, back to vacation. DexCom has me low again. I’m off to the indoor swimming pool to join my family, stopping on the way to find out if Extend Bars are available yet in Germany — if so, probably only via prescription at the Apotheke. So much for travelling prepared!

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3 Responses

  1. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk August 8, 2006 at 11:10 pm | | Reply

    I’d be interested in knowing more about the “diabetes lifestyle tracking software”, as this is the topic of my Master’s thesis that I’m finishing up (well, a web-based system). I’m curious to see what he’s doing!

  2. Mo
    Mo August 12, 2006 at 4:14 am | | Reply

    > cursing the DexCom ’cause it’s
    > beeping like a Muther all night
    > long. What is UP with these LOWS?

    Just curious: what level triggers a beep? And can you adjust it, or is it permanantly set at 50 or whatever?

  3. AmyT
    AmyT August 18, 2006 at 5:30 am | | Reply

    Hi Mo,
    You can set the high & low levels. I have mine at 70 and 220.

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