As a teenager, I sat in the cold unpersonalized classroom listening to the obese man in the front of the room. He sat at a raised podium-like desk, spouting strange phrases focused on numbers and angles and how they all connect. A blackboard in the background was littered with figures and symbols, but none of it made any sense to me. Mr. High School Math Teacher broke from his monologue and pointed a question at me, grimacing as I shot back an answer that indicated I was clueless and didn't much care about what he was talking about. His face contorted as if in pain, and he held up and shook a large textbook as if to say, "This is important to your life and you should care, Mr. Hoskins."
But food labels confuse me. And EVERY bite of food carbs means you face a Stowaway Math Problem (see George and Scott's awesome YouTube video on this!). For example: measuring out 1/3 cup that costs 13g for each serving, and I'm eating 3.5 servings. Plug that into the equation with an insulin-to-carb ratio of 10g (which I refuse to change because that's a simple number that offers HOPE for easier calculations.) Then factor in a correction bolus for a 202 mg/dL, and adjust for the snack or correction bolus taken a couple hours ago that hasn't yet worn off completely...
Ugh. Seriously. Even though I typed that above graf, my mind tuned out right after the spot about measuring a 1/3 cup portion. Had you been here watching me type, you likely would have observed my eyes glazing over. There's numbers, symbols, lines, graphs, angles, and weird herioglyphics floating across my sightline... Ugh. But this is such a regular part of life, and food-makers don't ease the difficulties, either. Like when you order a pizza, and the pizza-makers own website says one slice out of 8 costs so many carbs... Yet the pizza you've received is cut into 10 slices! WTF?! C'mon! It's like they're trying to make my D-Math more difficult!
Luckily, I'm not totally lost to the Dark Mysteries of the Math World. Thanks to my wife Suzi, who's a banker and math guru. She's got the skill.
This means that while Suz is the calculator, I'm left to say what I want to eat, possibly help in cooking and preparing it, and letting her fill me in on what it all costs (in the Hoskins Household, that's our lingo for carb counting: How much does this "cost?"). It's a great partnership. Admittedly, though, I'm the weaker link as I'm just lost without her.
That's it exactly, Jim! At least some of us PWD are math teachers, have math-inclined spouses and family members, or simply can rely on insulin pumps for some math help. It does us well, even if we didn't capture the pride of our High School Math Teachers. We should form a D-Math Club, with Mr. Huck leading the way!
As far as the math goes, I'll look forward to returning to my pump in a month or two. Then I won't need to be a Human Calculator as much. Maybe then, 2+2 won't equal 5. Well, maybe it won't. I'll never be the person who could have answered that question posed so many years ago by Mr. High School Math Teacher, but at least I can look back and know that he had a point. Consider this my semi-public apology: Mr. H.S. Math Teacher. you were right. I should have paid more attention to you, because math is important to my life. Especially my D-Life. Wish I would have known it then.