Sweet Memories!

Sweet MemoriesUnfortunately, the meals we have eaten all of our lives, are now under fire.  Nutritional “gurus” tell us one thing one day, only to be changed by another “expert” the next.  Who”s right, who do we believe, and WHY is it so darn confusing.   In the old days, we trusted that our parents, who learned from their parents, who most,  lived to be  a ripe old age,  that putting a well rounded meal on the table included; meat, vegetable, potato and of course, bread.  On Sundays or special occasions, there was gravy for that  meat and  potatoes and sometimes even dessert.  I can remember having second helpings of a certain dish if I really like it, leaving the table uncomfortably stuffed,  and that was fine!!.  Oh my gosh, no wonder I was “chubby”.

I was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes, or Type 1,  while still in grammar school,  after a summer vacation at a friends cottage, eating nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and sodas.  I soon began drinking copious amounts of water,  being starved all the time, but losing weight!, which to me, was wonderful.  My mother decided to get me checked out.  Her suspicions were right, and to this day I’ll never know how she knew about the symptoms of Diabetes,  since there was no one in the family with it.   So, obviously, in our minds,  the above meal was not bad because there was no “sugar” in that food.  We bought a food scale to measure portions, but that was about all.  I remember eating Frosted Mini Wheat,  but it was the cinnamon frosting not the sugar frosting, so it was alright!   Wow!!  ”This isn’t so bad!”    It’s no wonder I never worried about lows in those days.

My life to me at that time changed, though still a young girl, it seemed to be nothing more than glass syringes and stainless steel needles,  urine dip sticks, and keeping records of food, times eaten, and  activity,  all to report to the MD who I would see every couple of months for insulin adjustments which were just a guess to him.  ”Let’s try this sliding scale for a while”,  meaning,  even if  my numbers were bad, stick it out for a few months.  Even after spending an entire week in Boston at the Joselin Clinic for Juvenile Diabetes,  sticking needles into oranges, and taking classes all day long, we still new little.  I remember way back then, asking my mother if I looked like the kind of kid who could kill herself, because I truly did  feel overwhelmed and devastated.  I never thought I’d say it but, thank God for blood glucose monitors.  I think I was in my early thirties when I got my first one, as once I left home, I had no insurance, and really no doctor.  I felt I was doing fine as I was, which I was, of course,  since I could not truly  keep trac. ,  I was great!  It was not until I got my first blood glucose monitor that I also had my first low blood sugar.   I was determined that I was not going to be a “diabetic”, but a person who had “diabetes”  (PWD).  I heard over and over that I could not do this activity, or that sport because I was diabetic, I was rejected from the army after passing  all the test, flunked the physical because of  insulin dependence.    I was told over and over again by MDs, that I need to keep my sugar as low as someone without diabetes.  So during one period of my life, I lived in a constant state of hypoglycemia, all the while increasing my hypoglycemic unawareness until I could actually function at work with BS  levels in the 30s.  After several severe episodes, where it was getting harder and harder for my husband to get glucose into me, we pushed for an insulin pump, which has been my husbands best friend ever since.

Today, I still wear the pump, for  my husband,  and I still have lows, however not as serious, but I feel I am in charge.  I white water raft Class V’s, skydive, roller blade and ride my own Harley.   It does takes me longer to shop for groceries these days, as I am a label reader and  of course I cheat,  however, I get my taste of what I want and I’m good.   My big NoNos are not just carbs, but HFCS, any of the fats, especially trans fats, (hydrogenated oil), and saturated fats,  as well as preservatives and things I can’t pronounce.  I am working on “Nutrition Labels”   101 for my next article.   Stay tuned.

 

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2 Responses to “Sweet Memories!”

  1. Erica says:

    This blog is so amazing! Im so proud of you for putting all your struggles & triumphs on this blog. I hope you are able to help as many people on this in internet world as Im sure you have helped in the real world.

  2. dmchugh says:

    thanks Erica, I appreciate you taking time to read it…I only hope more people will use it for a sounding board so we can all learn from each other’s comments.

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