The Chinese dumpling experience

By | 6 May, 2009

Tim heading off on his hols got me thinking about my travels with diabetes.

A couple of years ago we spent a month travelling round China. It was brilliant and surprisingly easy from a diabetes point of view. The food was delicious and I ate pretty low carb food for the whole trip which made a real difference to my control.

The exception was the Chinese dumpling banquet in Xian. A meal comprising twenty two courses of dumplings stuffed with everything from fungus to crab to shark! That’s a lot of dumplings. And nowhere in my many years of accumulated diabetes wisdom have I come across the carbohydrate count of a dumpling.

So I did what every good diabetic does when faced with previously unencountered gastronomic delights, I guestimated.

The banquet was interesting, although after the 14th dumpling it did start to feel like a bit of an endurance test. But we passed; we ate all the dumplings and waddled home looking quite dumpling-like ourselves.

Of course, I had wildly under-guestimated the number of carbs in a dumpling and when you multiply that by 22, that’s quite an error. When I woke up in the middle of the night unable to detach my tongue from the roof of my mouth I guessed I’d underdone the insulin. 24.8 on the meter, a gallon of water, a bucket of insulin and back to sleep.

I woke up the next morning with a headache and a tongue not even wet enough to lick a stamp. Still hovering around the 20 mark, I had another bucket of insulin and went off to see the Terracotta Warriors.  Disconcertingly I could also feel at least 21 of the 22 dumplings sitting heavily at the bottom of my stomach.

This went on for 2 days. That’s how long it seems to take to digest 22 Chinese dumplings and get blood sugar levels back down to normal.

A Chinese dumpling banquet was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, I’d never be stupid enough to repeat it.

Category: The Blog

About Alison

Diagnosed with Type One in 1983 at the age of four, Alison's been at this for a while now. She uses Humalog in a combined insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system and any blood glucose meter as long as it takes five seconds or less.

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  1. Pingback: All restaurants should be made to publish carb counts | Shoot Up or Put Up

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