Being Diabetic in a Non-Diabetic World (or Household)

September 4, 2009

Many who read this may or may not know that I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes around five years ago.  Since then I have done very poorly at remembering to take my medication or check my blood sugar.

Enter [url=http://www.rememberthemilk.com]Remember the Milk[/url] and my nifty new glucometer.  I’ve been using RtM for roughly three weeks now and I can’t recall I day that I’ve missed my pills.  I use the note feature in it to keep track of my blood pressure and my blood sugar as well.  The site is great on it’s own or you can integrate it into gmail (and possibly other e-mail clients), an iPhone/iPod Touch, or even most Smart Phones.

I’ve only been checking my blood sugar now for five days and the results always seem bleak.  So far they’ve ranged between 223-281 in the morning with one fluke of 181 and between 292 and 367 in the evening a couple hours after dinner and before bed.   In the morning the results should range between 80 and 120 and two hours after meals it should be 160 or less.

On a bright note my morning readings have been getting increasingly lower with the 281 being the first day I checked and the 223 being this morning.  My evening results seem to hover between 290 and 300 for the most part.

Now admittedly I was in denial for probably the first two years of my diagnosis because I’m fairly young and I like to eat.  And liking to eat is my problem.  You cold even say it’s my bane.

Now it’s not that I like to sit around and eat all the time, but I do like good food and I do like to go out from time to time.

I’ve learned when going out your best bet is to get water to drink.  Most resturants have a very poor selection of sugar free drinks: water and diet cola.  Ok so water it is (unless the place has particularly good Diet Coke – which I only know of one anymore).   The next thing up is what to eat.  My favorite foods are Chinese and Italian – both are a nightmare for diabetics.  The rice and pasta turn into glucose and up goes your levels (in fact that 367 was after a dinner at The Olive Garden).  Now the obvious answer here is probably to just not go out and eat these things.  I can better select what I make at home.

This brings me to an even bigger problem.  I’m diabetic, my wife and roommate are not.  So what do we commonly end up eating.  Usually cheap and easy pasta dishes (mac and cheese or knock-off Hamburger Helper).  There have been many times I’ve just wanted to throw all the bad things out, but they’re so good.

You’re body does need so many carbs everyday and smaller more regular portions are better, but have you ever seen how much is actually in a serving of pasta?  About 1/2 cup.  I’m 6’5″ tall and I weight about 280 lbs.   A 1/2 cup of pasta is actually about the size of my fist, maybe a little less.  And I’m one hungry guy.

I’ve tried following appropriate diets in the past, but with two people that never seem to have to worry about how high their blood sugar goes compared just one of me, I tend to cook for the masses.  I don’t like inflicting what I have to go through on them.

Lately I find myself being asked “What’s for dinner?” and my response is to look over at my testing stuff (glucometer, lancer and my blood pressure cuff) and just say “Nothing, eat what you want.”  Why?  Because my brain says “if you eat, you’re sugar will be high and you’ll be depressed all the next day.”  Do I go without eating?  Not generally, in fact when that happens I eat too much.  Kraft needs to learn to make 1.5 box sized boxes of mac and cheese since 2 boxes is too much for three people, but one is not enough.

What I find amusing is that it costs far too much money to do the healthy thing when you are sick.  I can get a bag of cereal that is full of carbs (and lots and lots of sugar) for about $2 and it’ll last me three weeks or more, or I can buy and carton of eggs for about $1.29 and it won’t even last a week.  Foods that are good for you like raw vegetables I can’t eat, they make me ill.  I do so wish I could eat a salad.  Fresh fruits are high in sugar, and while that kind of sugar is better and your body can handle it easier, it’s still too sweet.

Well enough of the rambling.  There may be health updates as things go along.  Hopefully next up will be a review of District 9.

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