Is there a song for everything in life, do you think? Changes are in the wind. Big ones, small ones. This post doesn't have much to do with budget stuff.... just stuff I need to get out of my head so I can process it better. =0)
Week one.....DH was diagnosed 2 weeks ago with Type II diabetes. Went to the ER with a blood sugar of 460. For those that are interested "normal" blood sugar is between 80 and 130. What does that mean? Who knows? It meant my savings from shopping last month went to low-carb snacks for that last week.... without sales or coupons (hard to do when you don't know which of similar items has the lower carbs)... last minute shopping the day of diagnosis. It meant that I spent a LOOOOOOOOOONG time in the grocery store this week. Like HOURS!!! I haven't spent that long in a grocery store in a long time.... I think I was setting up my price book the last time I spent that long. Takes a long time to look at the Nutritional Label on 10 different kinds of fruit cocktail. Then yogurt. Then ..... then.... then.... It meant that I had a hard time figuring out dinner for that week. *L* Oddly enough, it appears that other than pasta and potatoes, I was doing a pretty good job otherwise. But when you are looking at what you had on the menu pre-diagnosis, and knowing very little about what you are supposed to be having now, or what the carb count is of that stuff.... well it's a bit like I imagine what the "deer in the headlights" feels... so many options, but what is the RIGHT one? It means we have salad with dinner EVERY night. Which is ok.... I like salad. =0) It means that there are no more sodas. Yes, I know there could be diet soda, but I don't care for the taste, and neither does DH, so no more soda. Means finding other things to drink... water is great, but it's water, and sometimes you just want a little something else.... like flavor, and if your water has flavor... well you might want to check the source! =0) It means lots and lots of reading and questions and reading some more.
On the up-side, herbs and spices are "free", so that means I don't have to deal with bland food. Which is how I've always thought about "diabetic food". And I'm not willing to make two dinners every night, so we're ALL eating the healthier foods now. =0) The girls don't like it much, it means I get to add fish into the menu at least once a week.... they'll learn to like it. =0)
Week two....Turns out that one of the smaller changes was the food (at least from MY perspective.... DH is the one who had to make most of those changes at work). Although I now have to shop for produce EVERY SINGLE WEEK. That's kind of a pain. I've never eaten so much salad in my life. His blood sugar is now within the "norm" range....low 100's. Like less than 110. Which is great.... But now I'm finding that I hope it STOPS going down. It's still dropping by about 5-10 points a night... the first week it was closer to 15-20. SO I have hope that soon we will know what his new normal range is.... I don't really want to change his meds until we have that answer... although the doctor wants to up the dosage on one of them. When we went for a walk this weekend his blood sugar was LESS than 70 for a minute.... had to eat something to get it back up. The walk wasn't anything outside of the norm for us, but apparently, with the changes, it's something we now need to pay attention to. And we learned to test his blood sugar BEFORE the walk, and carry his tester with him.
I must say that I'm impressed with him. He went from several sodas a day, interspersed with several trips to the vending machines, and a breakfast biscuit, and something fried for lunch.... (I think the only "good" meal he had was at home!!) to eating breakfast cereal at home before leaving, packing snacks and lunch, and drinking water (and those little sugar free drink packets). And his blood sugar has dropped 350 points in less than 2 weeks. And although he said he doesn't really want to "exercise" anymore, he went walking with me 2x last week, and one of those he planned out (and was more than a mile, maybe 2)!! So maybe not exercise, but moving, and that's enough for me right now. He is amazed at the end of the week, when he has money in his wallet still. He hasn't adjusted to NOT buying those overpriced snack foods yet. =0)
I am counting calories, carbs, sugar and fat for the first time EVER. It's enough to make a person crazy. And now I'm finding that I think I need to incorporate more calories.... and I have no idea about the rest! The carbs are lower than "recommended" and that's OK (so says the doc).... DH is satisfied with the amount of food... which was the big thing for me. I don't want him to be hungry, because then he will go looking for something else to eat... and the options at work aren't the best. So today we're off to see a nutritionalist.... or a dietician.... I'm not sure which one they are. We'll find out this afternoon. There are obvious questions like.... How many calories, carbs, sugar, fat, and salt should we be eating each day? There are not so obvious questions like..... What the heck is the deal with beans???? They are high in starch, but they are also an alternate protein.... So how do I count chili, for example? Or burritos? Because I can't eat meat every day. I think the first doc freaked me out a bit when she said "no beans because they are high in starch".... and I was in overwhelm so I didn't say... "But there are so many other great things in beans".... so today, I get to! *LOL* The overwhelming panic is slowing.... things are coming together slowly, so slowly.
I am really concerned about the amount of calories though. Yes, he needs to lose weight, but I'd rather he do it healthily. But he says he's happy and not hungry with the food we've planned. So I just don't know. Maybe I'm counting it wrong or something. Like I said, I've never counted them before. And weighing out and measuring food is a little weird.... DH hates it. I've tried to tell him that it's just so we can see what a "serving size" looks like, and we won't do it forever.... but it's just one more thing he has to change right now, and he's not happy with it.
We've investigated artificial chemical sweeteners...ditched most of them, found one that he likes, and one that he prefers (though that one is plant based and not available everywhere yet, thus the alternate). Looked into all different kinds of meats.... Looked briefly into alternate meat sources.... other than my normal meatless meals, that is SO not happening! *LOL* Though my mom says that "nutritional yeast" makes a pretty good white sauce, and tofu has it's uses, though not as a main course. And she's a vegan!
I'm still looking for a book that lists "real foods" and all their nutritional information. I'd think that this would have been much easier than it's turning out to be. I mean I don't care what the nutritional information of a bunch of processed foods are, we're not eating them much (and besides it's on the box!)... but things like potatoes and tomatoes and apples don't come with serving sizes and a nutritional label. I suppose that I could buy refrigerated potatoes, and that would tell me, but they add salt and other things to make them able to keep them, and I don't when I'm cooking them, soooooo..... It's my PITA thing right now. The books I have found have a lot.... a LOT of "name brand" things, and a LOT of restaurant menus... And I'm sure that we will venture out into that world again at some point..... carefully.... but for now, I just want to know the nutritional value and serving size on real foods.... like the UNprocessed stuff. That's one thing that I hope this appointment helps with.... and we bought a "food diary" so that we could track these things for a little while that says it has a few pages of this in the back of the book, though it won't be here until tomorrow.
I'm a bit ticked at the doctors for not at least trying diet and exercise before dumping meds on him.... but from what I am reading about these meds, one only acts when he needs it to, and the other hasn't reached an "effective" dose yet.... And those numbers really needed to come down, so I can't be too mad. But I don't want to raise the dosage (which they want to do) until his blood sugar stabilizes to his new "norm" with all the changes he made. I figure then we can SEE if he needs more. Sometimes when you make changes your dosage needs to be adjusted downward.... because if the meds are still working on lowering blood sugar, and your life is working on lowering blood sugar, then you can lower it too much. And that's just as bad as having it too high. *sigh* So I figure we need to see what the actual numbers are before we up the dosage to an "effective" level. And if it's not at an effective level and he's meeting his blood sugar goals, maybe we need to lower the dose and/or get rid of it.... but that's still weeks away yet.
So lots of changes.... Not sure what effect this will have on the budget yet. I'm able to start looking for sales on some stuff now... I have the names of the low carbs snacks he likes.... and I'll start incorporating those into my pantry rotation. =0)
So that's my last two weeks of overwhelm. Hope yours was much calmer!!