The Poetic Diabetic: “Not all sodas are created equal” 11/2/23

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Hello, welcome back to Poetic Diabetic! As I try to survive junior year of high school (a fate I would not wish upon some of my worst enemies), I have not had quite as much time to write super complex or intricate posts, so this will be on the briefer side. I aim to cover one of my worst cases of consistent prolonged highs, and how I resolved it through a sheepish realization that should have been obvious in retrospect.

So, one little factoid about me is that I am insanely addicted to caffeine. Every night before school, I worm my way down to the kitchen, boot up the k-cup coffee pot, and brew myself a delectable albeit overcaffeinated concoction of coffee, milk, and sugar. On the days without school, however, I often resign myself to the ‘simple joy’ of a fresh iced Diet Coke.

Even before I was diagnosed with T1D, I have always been a fan of Diet Coke over regular Coke. Sure, it will keep you up past midnight, still rot your teeth, but at least it is calorie free! Now, since sugar is both the literal life and death of me, my adoration of the beverage feels even more justified.

One of my favorite ways of combatting the first of those side effects is to purchase the caffeine-free cans, which are always tinted gold to highlight their natural superiority over plain ole’ normal Diet Coke. On one evening this past summer on a trip to the grocery store, that was exactly what I managed to find: a twelve-pack of caffeine-free Coke. Without a second thought, I bagged that bright gold box and carted it home!

Immediately after walking through the front door, I cracked open a can of that shiny brown nectar and poured it into my mouth. All was well and good, and the world had finally found peace, until I heard my phone scream that my levels were over 250!

“Bizarre,” I thought, but that did not stop me from bolusing and continuing with my drink. That did not really bode too well for me, though, as my alarm continued to blare till the wee hours of the night… and then the morning after… and then the morning after that. Normally, this would be a suitable time to check the box and see if I purchased the right soda brand, instead, I did my best to crack down and figure out what the problem was in every other way imaginable; while drinking a can of soda to help me focus.

A third high in a row after a period of extended fasting (a process most would call sleep) ended up being exactly the experience I needed to investigate the common thread uniting them all – those cursed soda cans. Much to my bewilderment, these cans were not “diet,” as I had so foolishly previously assumed. Instead, the can was labeled, “Caffeine-Free Coke,” with not the word diet in sight.

In the end, the moral of the story is to both realize that these kinds of mistakes happen, and to remember to double check the labels when buying food products. That is all I have for now! I look forward to making another blog soon. Till then, have a wonderful day, and remember to check your blood sugar!