Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fitness Friday--Because I Have To

I had no intentions of resurrecting Fitness Friday right now. Right now I should be thinking about the upcoming school year and showing you pictures of our classroom and updating you on all the wonderful projects I'm accomplishing around the house.

But instead we got thrown a curve ball this week. S has diabetes. It's really no shocker since his whole family has or has had it. We sort of expected it one day, but not right this very week.

And I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed as Tuesday I embarked on a crash course called, "What Do I Feed My Family Now?" I asked him ever so kindly if he could do without food for a few days until I could figure this stuff out but he said that wouldn't work for him. Fine.

So here we go. I'm not assigning anything this week so you can talk about whatever you want to. Let us know how you've been doing. Or, you know, your dog. :)

The Beginning of Our Diabetes Journey
I've never understood carbs. Whenever anyone talked about carbs and proteins all I heard was blahblahblahblahblah. My menu planning and grocery shopping for the last few years has been all about being frugal. Only. I haven't read a label in years. When you are pinching pennies you can't worry about which cheese is the healthiest. My dad had heart surgery when I was in college so I actually know a lot about heart-healthy diet and I used to read labels all the time. This is somewhat different and I'm out of practice.

Good for me though, I've been learning to cook from scratch this year. I can't do a whole lot yet, but I'm confident enough to start googling recipes and diving right in trying them. I think my kitchen will be more used than it has ever been now. I'm going to be in there a lot and planning is going to take a whole lot more time. I was already up to 22 meals on my 30 Meals list and now I have to review them. Sigh.

So I've been learning and reading and taking notes all week. I've managed to put several meals in front of my husband and tell him with some level of confidence that it was all good for him. Let me give you some facts if you know about these things, they will mean something to you.

On Tuesday my husband's A1C level was 11.8. A really good level would be a 6. So....yeah. His was nearly double what it should be. And his blood glucose was over 400. It should be under 100 for a healthy non-diabetic person. more showing love to my husband with chocolate. How I love baking him a cake or making cookies to put in his lunch! Now I'll show love through apples or something. The girls haven't seemed to notice the lack of sweets around the house. Anyway, they can always score some cupcakes at Grandpa's house. There has been no caffeine or sweets around here all week and we've all been civil to each other with a minimum of Tylenol being taken, so that's good.

I feel a lot of pressure. His health is up to me! Not really--of course he is the one who has to live with it. But I do feel a great responsibility and I know how much easier I can make things for him by making our pantry a no-brainer for him. By educating myself and having things around that he can eat...he won't have to think about it so much. I also need to teach my daughters since they have a good chance of needing this knowledge one day.

I'm going to leave you with a tip. Whenever you want to learn about something totally new to you, head to the children's section of the library. When my dad had cancer and the doctors were going on about this organ and that organ and my family all admitted (after the doctor left the room) that we didn't know where these things were he was talking about, I went to my school library and checked out a book. I brought the beautiful colored illustrations of the internal organs the next day to the hospital and we all passed it around. I did the same thing this week. I checked out two non-fiction books on diabetes and I actually learned quite a bit from them. It's a really good place to start.

OK Ladies, if you are so inclined, feel free to join in. I'll be back next week talking more about our health and fitness!


  1. Not sure I'll join in this week, but wanted to comment here. Brenda, I am so sorry for the diagnosis, but I want to applaud you for a.) being such a great wife! That S can know you also take responsibility for his health must make him feel so loved and well taken care of!

    And b.) That is a wonderful idea to go to the children's section of the library for something like this! It makes total sense when you are facing something that can be so complicated that you would want something very easy to understand. Brilliant!

    And c.) That you are a good example of being flexible. No, you didn't have FF and revamping your meal plan in mind this week (I know July is your getting ready for school month), but you are like Gumby-- bending with changes. :)

    Blessings to you, Friend!

  2. Hey there Brenda:)) That's quite an adjustment to make with the family! I'm praying you don't get too overwhelmed (too late!) and that you'll have grace for every day, after all, it's just another part of your journey:) You can do it! And don't beat yourself up when you happen to fail:) You'll get the hang of it soon enough, and pass along all those good recipes you find along the way:)

  3. Praying for you! I unlike possibly a lot of people understand what you are going through! I have been diabetic for over 12 years and can count carbs in my sleep. ;) I think when my son was an infant I actually did a few times. Although it seems overwhelming now, you will make it through this and still be able to keep a grocery budget. It just takes some creativity some times. Just because you are dealing with diabetes doesn't mean that you will never make cookies again, because I promise you that we all crave it and will get it from somewhere!! Better homemade semi healthy ones than that junk from the gas station right? Maybe oatmeal cranberry?? Anyhow I digress. Don't be afraid to ask people for help and get involved in a support group etc. Just like homeschooling you develop a "support group" of your own. Find people who live and deal with it on a daily basis not just the lady down the street who's great aunt was diabetic and had xyz because of it. :) I am passing along my email address if you want to ask questions feel free. Right now I know you have a lot of them. :) By the way, diabetes doesn't have to control your life..... I'm a insulin dependent firefighter/ EMT :)

  4. You are a smart, creative, resourceful woman. With God's grace, you can do this.

    I'm sorry to hear about your husband's diagnosis, though.The adjustments will take time to implemen,but you'll do great.

    You'll be pleased to know that apart from the cost of produce, cooking from scratch is actually a pretty frugal way to go.

    Prayers for you and S. as you embark on your healthy new lifestyle. And pryaers that he is able to stabilize his blood sugar and keep it level.

  5. Firechick--thank you! I might be e-mailing you when I get my head around some actual questions that make sense! :)
    And thank you guys--but it's not about being a great wife. I want my husband here and healthy--so I have to get busy doing something about it! OK so I guess a really crappy wife wouldn't care, huh? :)

  6. Sounds like you're all handling the news with a really great attitude, and that makes such a huge difference in how it will affect your life! For my dad's health, my mom has had to learn all about cholesterol levels PLUS preventing gout -- which is really frustrating because the two are often at odds with each other. So far all I've had to do is raise my eyebrows when my husband orders like he's a teenager with daddy's checkbook on the rare occasions we eat fast

  7. I remember how overwhelmed I felt when I found out that my husband and boys all had food allergies requiring a total change in the way we ate. For a few months, until I got it down, my grocery budget was impossible to keep, I had to change my expectations, and we had to try a few duds before we found the recipes we like. You can do it, though! Now, we taste the food we used to eat and wonder what we ever saw in it!

  8. My hubby and I came up with a great oatmeal cranberry cookie recipe, made with whole wheat pastry flour and sweetened with raw honey instead of sugar. They were really tasty.

    So firechick is right! There are lots of creative ways to eat wholesome, delicious, healthful food.

  9. Brenda, my son Eli has been a juvenile type one diabetic since age five. He is insulin dependant. If you need me...let me know.

  10. So sorry for the reason Fitness Friday is starting up again, but also so glad that it is. This is just the motivation I need to get back to more healthy eating.

    Even though I am not diabetic, I know sugar is not good for any of us, and so this post has been a good wake up call.

  11. I just wanted to add that having a diabetic diet now will go a long way in helping your children not develop diabetes later in life. I know it is hard, but it really is a good thing for the whole family. And the longer you can prolong it for your kids, the better off they will be. They will have developed the right eating habits to help them as adults. I just thought I would throw in a blessing in a difficult circumstance. My mom has diabetes and frankly, I don't take it serious enough in my own life, as I may develop it later.

  12. I love fitness friday! I was more of a lurker the last round ;^) I am so proud of you for stepping up to the plate, and facing the pitch of this new challenge. My mom, whom we are living with, is diabetic. so, I too, have been gently changing our meals a bit, and mine alot a bit (I figure I'm on borrowed time as g'ma had diabetes too). I am still working on that 30 meal plan... it is taking me awhile, probably cuz I am not much a cook :(


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)