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MORE changes!



As with all "life changing" things, there will be a few bumps in the road. Ours has come by way of CALORIES. Let me preface this by saying, I have never in my entire life counted calories. Ever. Now I know why.... they're stupid. *LOL*

Diet... the food you eat regularly, not the fad to lose weight.... He's eating VERY well.... 3 meals, plus 3 snacks. He's still losing about 2 pounds a week. His blood sugars have dropped to "normal".... that's normal, normal, not "normal for diabetic" normal.... the only number we are still battling with is the 1 hour after breakfast number (which is "normal for diabetics" normal)... ALL the rest are great. And here's the important part..... He's NOT hungry.

The nutritionist said he needed to be at about 1900 calories..... we generally stay between 1400-1600. Keeping in mind, he's also cut the other "bad" things.... like sodium, cholesterol, sugars, fats (the saturated ones) and the trans fats (to about zero, but we still like butter!!).... and he's not craving anything.... and he's not missing anything (yet)... AND if we add anything in to get to that 1900 calories, it's going to add to one of those categories, and put him over his "goal" numbers. AND he's not hungry.

I've talked to the doctor about it. She says it's ok. But..... I still worry. She also agreed to wait and run his blood work again in May (3 months) before pushing the other drugs she wants him to take. And she took him off of one of the diabetes meds. (we asked) And the sugar stayed stable, so good. She seemed to be rather shocked when I told her that our intention is to totally control this with diet/exercise.... that our goal was to get off the remaining med. (I've told her this at every meeting so far, but she still seemed shocked.) When I asked her what his numbers needed to be to do that, she did not know. *sigh* I'm irritated with the "we have a pill to fix that" mentality. Hopefully she will do the research and have the numbers at our next appt.

Maybe I'm still in "war" mentality, but other than having to shop once a week, instead of once a month, this is going rather smoothly. I did get ahold of a good cookbook. (bought 3 more yesterday) We've only had one thing out of it that I would consider "bad"... and it wasn't inedible bad, it was simply bland as heck bad. So I'm sure that's helping a lot. He's rocking and rolling on this thing.

I was really concerned about the grocery budget going into this. I mean we can raise the food budget if necessary.... but I didn't want to. =0) Challenges! I love them! *LOL* It's the middle of winter, fresh fruit and veg is not cheap right now. I can work the summer picking up fresh fruit and veg on the cheap and can can them cheaply, make all the sugar free jams and jellies (and sauces, salsa, etc...) I want, and basically set us up for success for next winter. But not starting this in the middle of winter. Then there's buying all the lean, lean, lean meats. And almond milk.... *sigh* $6 a gallon is the best I have been able to find. The reduced sugar jelly, the snack foods.... the sugar free things, nuts, things that should be low/no sugar to begin with.... like cut fruit in water (not so easy to find, and costs more than in juice.... figure that out!). Anyway, I figured that my grocery budget would take a hit. It's not been that bad though. So that's a big relief. Just shopped for the last week, and still have a little left in the budget envelope. Have adjusted a few of our recipes to fit the way we're eating now.... wasn't that difficult. As I said, we were eating pretty good at home before. Just added a larger variety of veg, and a lot more of them. My "meat and potatoes" DH is eating a lot less of both.

I am extremely thankful that I started cleaning out the freezer in Jan, and hadn't started stocking back up before this thing hit. =0) These nudges happen for a reason I guess. *LOL* I'm starting very slowly to stock it up with lean, lean, lean meats. I never knew there even WAS "low fat" ground pork!! *L* Ground pork, sure, LEAN ground pork? Not so much. But there is, and we're finding these things, and starting to cook with them.

So it's going well so far.... I think we're going to have to battle the doc to get him off the final med.... and work a bit harder to get his numbers down still further.... but I also think that exercise will help with that. On the other hand, I think that when he starts exercising regularly that he'll need more calories, so...... I'm not sure how that will all shake out. =0) I'll worry about that one when it gets here I guess. *L*

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I'm so glad his blood sugar is being controlled and he's feeling well fed!


I can answer the bit about the fruit in water being more expensive.  It's just plain harder to make fruit in water shelf stable than it is for fruit in sugar; the sugar helps to keep the osmotic balance higher which is then harder for microorganisms to grow in.  I hope that makes sense.  Just like the sugar free fruit spreads will be more expensive, partly because the no calorie sweeteners are more expensive, but partly because getting things shelf stable with less sugar (or salt or vinegar, depending on the product) is trickier.

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Im just so impressed with you guys. My dad did the exact opposite, stuck his head in the sand and continued to eat whatever he wants. It's so disheartening.

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You are doing such a great job.  Not sure if you'd be interested, but I've read that you can make your own almond milk and that it is much less expensive.

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Hi Zaga, Thanks for the info, that makes sense....  I'm going to have to research my home canning recipes very carefully.  =0)  I haven't had any problem with the reduced sugar ones I've done in the past, but with making them with purpose (other than taste) I'm going to have to double check.


Hi kelvan, that is disheartening.  As weird as it sounds, I think we were "lucky" that DH found out because his blood sugar was so high it sent him to the ER.  It made it very clear that this was dangerous.  If we had found out in a routine blood test, I'm not sure that this would have worked the same way.  KWIM?  When you feel fine, it's a bit harder to take it seriously and make all the changes required.  Because you feel fine.  When it lands you flat on your back with blurry vision, it changes the way you look at it.
It's hard.  I think public opinion is that it's the fault of the person with diabetes.... If they had just.... done something different, then they wouldn't have it.  It's stupid, but there you have it.  And guys tend to internalize that a bit I think.  They NEED to hear.... "It's not your fault".... and they need to accept that before they can battle it.  And doctors don't seem to take it as seriously either... at least ours aren't.  They didn't tell us that HE could control it, they said take this pill and try to eat better.  *sigh*  That didn't do it for us.  The "eat less carbs" didn't make it any clearer.  The information is out there, but you have to weed through a bit to get to it.  All the "special diets" in the world won't help, unless you figure out how YOU react to things.  Which means sticking yourself after meals.  I have not found ANY other way to get that information, and since DH didn't want to stick himself 10 times a day (totally understandable) I've LOOKED.  Just not found anything that will give you the same control over sticking and seeing immediately what that meal did to your numbers.
I think the best site I've read so far is this one.... http://loraldiabetes.blogspot.com  If your dad does the internet, he may want to check it out.  It's by a type 2 diabetic who has been living with this for years and years, and seems to have a bit figured out.  He manages his diabetes without having it take over his life.  Or as my DH puts it, "Life controlled by the numbers".  He has all kinds of info on the site, from other folks experiences to how to stick without pain.  And a lot of other things.  I found it a realistic view... not perfect, and he says he's not a doctor on the site, he's just a guy dealing with this and how he does it.  Dh liked it.  It's not preachy or full of "should have dones"  It's just straight talk, and pretty good advice (mostly).  Anyway, he may like it better than the "official" sites that are full of too much med speak.
I wish you and your dad the best.  We're only a month into this and it hasn't been the smoothest month, in spite of the progress we've made.  We've battled the "fault" monster (who is not helpful at all by the way), we've battled the "can't eat that" monster (yes, you probably can, the item isn't in dispute, the amount is), we've battled the "diet" (fad type) monster, we've battled the "why the heck did it DO that" blood sugar numbers, and the "YOU can control this thing" monster.  And I have had to battle the "diabetes police" monster. (which was probably the hardest for me, and still sometimes an ongoing battle).  =0)  It's totally worth it, but not easy.
And really, say you learn all about it and try it for a month and don't like it... you can always go back to ignoring it.  And if you try and fall, then get up, dust off, and try again.  Or if you only eat better at one meal a day, that's a 33% improvement.  If he starts moving more, it will help the blood sugars.  Not "best", but "better".  And as the support team, I think that we have to accept that it's "better".... not prefect, but better than it was.  It won't do everything that more control would do, but every little bit helps.  Thinking about how well his blood sugars are doing helps me to not push too hard on the "movement" part.... we'll get there, he's now feeling to good to just sit around anymore, but if I push it, he'll resist just because.... So I have to be subtle.... and I'm not real good at being subtle!  *LOL*
If I can help you in any way, or if you just need to vent, please feel free to PM me.  I'm by no means an expert, but maybe I can give YOU some support!  =0)
Thanks mbeaser.... I'm going to look up the how tos right now!
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This is years in the making. He was told he's pre diabetic 10 years ago so it crept up on him. He had a heart attack and 2 stints put in this year my mom thought that would be the catalyst. It lasted for 2 weeks. I just don't care anymore. You can only let it get to you for so long you know?

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Kelvan, I'm sorry.  Yeah, that was probably the hardest thing for me.  =0)  Just accepting that it wasn't really up to me.  (which I do accept MOST of the time!  Really I do!  *L*) I can cook things that are good for him, but that's only one meal a day.  He's at work for most of his meals so it's up to him.  And as I said before, I just told him that if he was going to play with this thing then could he please make sure that his insurance was paid up so that we would be ok when it killed him.  He's doing so well though.  I just wish that everyone would get the message that it's really serious and really will kill you if you let it.  And it's totally controlable (mostly).... you can minimize the damage it does in any case..... but there's a lot out there that's contradictory too.... and that's not helpful.  It makes it seem harder than it really is.


Zaga....I use Pamona Pectin (citrus based, set with I think calcium something), which says that you can use as little sugar as you like. It doesn't have a set amount of sugar, and doesn't have a recipe in that regard.... other than the pectin and calcium.  It's one of the reasons I started with it... I didn't like the sugar flavor of most jams out there. *L*  But I guess if they sell it commercially AND put out a "cookbook", it's probably OK.  Just don't want to kill anyone "doing the right thing"!!  =0)


mbeaser.... have you tried this?  It seems easy, and cheaper than store bought....  Except for the first one, to see if it's any good!  *L*  That'll have to be a small amount of almonds.

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I made my own almond and cashew milk -- it's easy.   I don't drink it (or cows milk) though, so I don't know if there's a difference in the commercially prepared milk and homemade milk for taste purposes.  I started making it after I got my VitaMix because I don't drink it - and buying a 1/2 gallon or quart at a time for a recipe or two was becoming wasteful.  Works great for what I use it for.  I think the nut bag cost me $4.  Soak the nuts (almonds have to soak for much longer than cashews), drain the nuts, put nuts and fresh water in Vitamix, pour into a mason jar through the nut bag and poof.  Nut milk. 

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Momto6 -- I have used the nut meat a few times in homemade granola. I admit, though, that I throw the nut meat out more often than I use it. The nice thing about the cashew milk is that there really isn't any nut meat, so I feel better about making that.

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And as I said before, I just told him that if he was going to play with this thing then could he please make sure that his insurance was paid up so that we would be ok when it killed him.  

The problem with diabetes is that it doesn't just kill you.  My mom is in end stage renal failure and goes to dialysis 3x/week.  Most of the patients are there because of diabetes.  It is not a respecter of persons - young/old, black/white/other, fat/skinny (although more overweight), rich/poor, men/women. This is a years long drawn out death.  Some things for DH to consider:


Physical complications:  Many of the patients have had heart issues.  Some are blind.  It's not uncommon to lose your toes, then a foot, then a leg - wheelchair bound for the rest of your life.  Almost all have a fistula which is an ugly bulge in the arm reconfiguring veins and requiring trips to an access center when problems arise.  Patients without a fistula have a port and run the risk of death from infection - I've seen a number die quickly from this.


Time: 3-5 hours a day, 3x times a week and you are wiped out the rest of the day.  If you choose home dialysis you will need about half a room to store the boxes of supplies and it takes many more hours.


Diet:  In addition to the diabetic restrictions there are a whole new set of limitations.  32 oz. liquid/day max.  No baked goods, nuts or seeds, milk, beans, salt, soda with artificial coloring, shellfish.


Cost: $50k-$60k/PER MONTH  You better be on Medicare or have good insurance.

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Plinda, Yeah.  I kinda wish the doctors would say it like that to everyone.  But they don't.  They quickly gloss over the complications.  Fortunately (unfortunately) we know enough folks with diabetes that I know that it can be controled and rather easily.  And my mom is one of those "the doctor is not always right" people and has been my whole life, so some of that may have rubbed off on me!  *LOL*  So I research EVERYTHING they tell me, and then ask them questions about what I think is the best plan.  *L*

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Zaga....I use Pamona Pectin (citrus based, set with I think calcium something), which says that you can use as little sugar as you like. It doesn't have a set amount of sugar, and doesn't have a recipe in that regard.... other than the pectin and calcium.  It's one of the reasons I started with it... I didn't like the sugar flavor of most jams out there. *L*  But I guess if they sell it commercially AND put out a "cookbook", it's probably OK.  Just don't want to kill anyone "doing the right thing"!!  =0)

That sounds like you're safe, I wouldn't worry.  

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