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Pizza and Martini Night!

By Karen Graffeo

Guest Blogger

Posted:  8/28/2012 3:46 PM


As a person with diabetes, I find that certain foods will completely wreck my blood sugar.  Those items can vary from person to person, but I’ve got quite a list of foods that always bring me major blood sugar mayhem.  So when I began pumping after 28 years of injections I was determined to use my pump’s features to tackle some of my favorite challenging foods.  Any guesses on which food was first on my list?

If you guessed PIZZA, you get a gold star!  Shortly after starting on my pump I began my mission to figure out how to use the Dual Wave Bolus feature to enjoy pizza and happy blood sugars . . . . at the same time.  The Dual Wave allows me to deliver part of my meal bolus immediately (conveniently called “Now” on the pump), and part of the bolus over an extended period of time (called “Squared” on the pump).  My endo helped me get started by recommending how much to deliver “now,” how much to deliver “squared” and how long to make that square bolus last (called the “Square duration” on the pump).  I punched the bolus in, enjoyed my pizza, and then tested my blood sugar every hour and took detailed notes.

• Did my blood sugar dip low early on, only to soar later? Next time I might try less insulin “Now” and more “Squared.”
• Did I spike early on, but fall back into range later?  I might try more insulin “Now” and less “Squared.”
• Was I low a few hours after eating, but rising several hours later?  I might increase the duration of my “Square” delivery.
• Did I find I was high for quite a while but then finally came back into range?  I might decrease my “Square” bolus duration.

It took a lot of trial and error.  It took quite a few pizza dinners.  (I was happy about that last part.)  But in the end I was able to figure out my own personal “Dual Wave Pizza Bolus” and it works well most of the time.  It might not quite work every time, because sometimes diabetes just has a mind of its own, but more often than not my Pizza Bolus leaves me with blood sugar levels I’m happy with.  In fact, Friday is now known as Pizza and Martini Friday in my house.  To celebrate the end of the week, I pop a pizza in the oven while my husband mixes up a cocktail for each of us, and my Dual Wave Bolus helps keep my numbers on track.

Now that the summer is here and it’s too hot to run the oven, we’ve been experimenting with home-made pizzas on our outdoor grill.  I love having more control over what goes in my pizza and being able to use fresh ingredients from my garden.  However, our home-made pizza doesn’t have the same amounts of carbs, fiber and fat that our frozen pizza has.  So I’m back to the “Dual Wave Pizza Bolus” drawing board . . . . . but our home-made pizzas are well worth the effort and I know I’ll have it figured out before summer ends.

Editor’s Note: While Karen’s youthful smile may make you wonder, she is old enough to drink legally and only does so in moderation. For anyone thinking about their own pizza and martini night, you can find some tips from Dr. Kaufman on alcohol and diabetes here.

- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
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Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

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Posted on Tue Aug 28 16:46:40 GMT 2012

Ty for sharing...dual bolus does not always work for me...I keep trying though!

Lorry Meyer

Posted on Tue Aug 28 17:03:03 GMT 2012

Thanks for this it was exactly what I needed and for the same reason, pizza! Well burritos too.... I'll talk to my doctor about the beginning amounts.


Posted on Tue Aug 28 17:17:07 GMT 2012

I only use dual wave on pizza that I have not make myself. For the pizza we make at home, a normal bolus works for me. I know exactly what went on the pizza and I roll my crust super, super thin. Pizza on the grill is the only way to go!!! Delish!!

Rebecca Day

Posted on Wed Aug 29 04:08:38 GMT 2012

Not until I read your blog did I realize that I had given up pizza since starting on my pump in March. It helped that my start was over the summer,not so much pizza eating season, if there is such a thing. I loved all your advice go learn how favorite foods can work awith detailed instructions to develope a re-usable plan for those foods.
Thank you for sharing your expertise.
Rebecca Day
& my Medtronics 723 pump "Spike"

Jennifer Hoehn-Walsh/The Pump Project

Posted on Wed Aug 29 16:37:15 GMT 2012

I've been a T1 for 30 years now and had an insulin pump for almost 10. I often use my dual wave option on a daily basis. I drop very quickly, even after I've had a meal, so I usually will take say 40% up front and take the remaining 60% over , say, the next 4 hours.It works out well for me because when you get that big spike after a meal, I can handle it quickly w/40% of my bolus and then I'll come down gradually over the next 4 hours w/the remaining 60%

Scott K. Johnson

Posted on Wed Sep 12 23:53:40 GMT 2012

Great post Karen - thank you!

Patty Pallotta

Posted on Thu Dec 13 19:38:03 GMT 2012

thanks a million! I was never taught anything about my pump since I got it from my family doctor....not so now. I sought out a great endo and she is working with me with all of my questions (a million of those too!) I love the name Spike for my pump!! Hope you dont mind my copying.


Posted on Fri Dec 14 00:52:09 GMT 2012

Glad to hear things are going so well for you now Patty. I agree – Spike is a great name!

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