Thursday, June 16, 2011

Challenges of Eating Mexican (food, not people)

We haven’t been eating out a whole lot lately, but last night we all decided that a joint excursion to a local Mexican restaurant would be a nice treat. So, we packed seven kids (our niece is visiting) and four adults into three vehicles (coming from two different locations) to meet up at Taqueria Los Hermanos for dinner. Just about half way there (for those coming from the house) we were hit by a substantial and impressive thunderstorm. Downpour. Windshield wipers on high. Gusts of wind pushing the Sequoia around. Always fun with a car full of kids.

As we pulled up to the restaurant, there was enough of a break that we could get the vehicles unloaded of their passengers without being drenched. Once unloaded, we found out the restaurant (and the retail center it was situated in) had no power. Every other building in sight had power, just not the building we were visiting. They couldn’t cook with the power out, so we decided to hang a little while to see if the lights came back on.

While we were waiting, my watch and phone (and David’s phone) went off announcing “Lantus Time” (7:00 pm). It was also time for William to test, so I pulled out our kits and laid them out on the little café table outside the restaurant, and we did our thing (gusting wind and alcohol wipes are fun). By this time more than one kid was hungry (including William) and a wee bit of whining was commencing from various quarters. And BananaBear was having a small asthma issue from the smokers parked outside the restaurant, and was quietly sucking on her inhaler. So, we decided to have our group seated inside and have drinks and chips while we waited for the rest of our party to arrive, and then make a decision then about whether to wait it out or find another restaurant. Yes, the manager said, we can serve drinks and chips. Then, no, on second thought, let’s “wait” on that option. And, oh, yeah, we can only run your card for another 30 minutes or so, then we can only handle cash to settle your bill.

By this time, William was gearing up for full-fledged “I’m dropping” wailing mode. I was holding him in a Mama Bear hug and talking quietly but firmly to him. It was time for food. Very, very soon. Even though he tested high (219) his afternoon snack was clearly wearing off and he was dropping rapidly. (Although I can't speak from personal experience, for William dropping rapidly from a high seems to be almost as upsetting as dropping slowly into a low). So, I gave him a squished up chewy granola bar that had been in my purse for quite a while, to hold him over. By that time, we’d decided to head to the “other” Taqueria Los Hermanos, ten minutes away, and have dinner there. I gave William 3 units in the car to cover the bar and a bit of the high, counting on having access to chips in a short time in case he dropped suddenly.

Thankfully by the time we got to the “other” restaurant, the rest of our party had already arrived and we were immediately seated. Chips and queso and sangria immediately commenced (this location only served beer and wine, so no margaritas for mama…a bitter disappointment at that point, let me tell you!).

"Foood! Sooooon!"

One of the tricky parts of eating Mexican is the chips. Free-flowing chips. Hungry children. All those empty carbs. Don’t know yet how to bolus dinner, because dinner hasn’t even been ordered yet, much less arrived so you can eye-ball the carb load. So, I’ve adopted the “count the chips as you eat” approach.

One hatch mark for each chip. Yep, that a lotta chips.

Even after dinner is ordered, I still have to wait until the plate (or, in this case, platter) arrives. The whole time, chips are being downed at lightning speed. I can almost hear his BG spiking with each crunch. Still waiting for the platter, here’s what my sangria looked like.

Okay, not really. I set up that shot. Really.

And, finally, dinner! No food library on the planet can possibly arm you for the task of counting these carbs.

Let’s play “Guess Those Carbs”. The rice on top was William's addition to the nachos.

So, let’s see…. High BG an hour ago, but dropping rapidly. A smushed granola bar. Three units of rapid-acting insulin. Twelve units of long-acting insulin. A butt-load of chips. Now, an immeasurable pile of carbs. Can’t check BG again because he’s been eating. And despite the size of his eyes, I know his stomach is NOT going to hold all that food. There is no formula on the planet, as far as I know, that will tell me how much insulin to give William right at this moment. I take my best guess and give him 8 units, knowing we’ll be playing “Chase the Blood Sugars” the rest of the night.

Despite our challenges, we actually did have a “normal” meal out, everyone had a good time, and the food was GREAT (and, believe me, finding GREAT Mexican food in GA can be a challenge!). Over the past two-plus years, I’ve learned not to let myself get stressed out so much I can’t enjoy the pleasures of a meal out…with seven kids. Okay, amend that reference to “normal”. No such thing when you’re eating out with seven kids ;)

William enjoying his chips, queso and diet coke (no carbs in the coke).

Banana Bear and BooBoo.

Kitmama. All the kids are on the other end of the very, very long table, and the sangria is on our end of the table...thus the Mona Lisa smile.

David snapping the photographer with his phone.

The Pirate with Dad's stolen hat.

"Wanna candy, little boy?" - Dad

BabyMan. Ain't he just toooo cute?!?

ThunderBear and BananaBear.

LittleMan carbed out.

Too cool BroBear.

So, how did William’s BG night end? Not too bad, actually. Dinner was plopped in front of him around 8:30 pm. We spent the rest of the evening watching "XMen" so I could keep an eye on him. At 11:00 his BG was 301 and I gave him a full “bedtime” correction (2.5 units). I had sent my phone alarm to check on him in two hours, but it didn’t go off (or I shut it off in my sleep, which is possible). At 5:30 am when I woke up, he was at 94. At 9:45 am he was 85. At noon (with no breakfast) he was 194. Go figure. (With that kind of rise in BG without food, I would normally increase his Lantus a tad, but with all the lows he's been having - including a couple in the 40's - I'm going to keep his Lantus right where it is til things settle down a bit).

I'm not really sure the point of this post, except maybe to let you all know that even in the middle of a severe thunderstorm, with power outages, late dinner with a gaggle of hungry kids, a diabetic child with wacky BG's, and carb-counting from hell, you can STILL enjoy a meal out if you can smoosh your brain into the right frame of mind.

So, go enjoy a nice Mexican dinner, consume a pile of lovely carbs, and have a great, big margarita for me!

1 comment:

  1. Ha!!! The hatch marks were killing me...and the "Mona Lisa smile induced by Sangria". Great post and thankfully it lets me know I am not alone when we eat out. It is difficult BG-wise, but we are out there doing it. xo