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MACJR

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Almost a month ago I came down with a sore through that was quickly followed by coughing fits that just seemed to go on and on and on. Since then, there were a few times that I thought the coughing was finally winding down… only to have the coughing fits come back even stronger than before.

 

Finally, I gave in and let Tammy-Vicky call my doctor and set up an appointment. I had sworn that I would never go back to that doctor but she is the one with my medical history that goes back about 20 years. And right now I really am not in the mood for trying to break in a new doctor.

 

Anyway, one of the things my doctor often asks me when I go in for a visit is, “Have you been keeping track of your blood sugar levels?” The answer is usually “No.” This time, the night before my appointment, I decided to take a blood sugar reading just so I could say, “Yep, everything is normal, like usual.” Unfortunately, to my shock, my blood sugar levels tested higher than I had ever seen them before. In fact, the blood sugar levels were more than double anything I had seen before. I was stunned.

 

My father had diabetes from a young age, the problem was discovered when he was a young adult, and it became much worse as he aged… but then Dad really did not take care of himself all that well. Ultimately, heart failure, and other complications from diabetes, took my dad from this earth a few months after he turned 52… an age I find myself getting closer and closer to as the years go by.

 

My dad’s mother developed diabetes in her later years and is still alive today. In fact, Grandma Crane turned 88 a few days ago. Although Grandma has diabetes I think she developed that mostly from a lifetime of sweets, I am not aware of anyone else in her bloodline that had diabetes but it is possible that there were case I do not know about.

 

I believe my genetic propensity towards diabetes comes from my Grandpa Crane’s mother’s side of the family. My Great Grandma (Collins) Crane died from eating too many sweets (suicide by cake). It is speculated that she planned her death so that she would die on her deceased husband’s birthday. If that was indeed her plan, it worked.

 

Although diabetes does run in my family, on the Crane side, few family members have more than borderline cases. Until the other day I was not convinced that I even had borderline diabetes. Sure, there was a test that said I had Type II Diabetes, but my personal blood sugar readings had never tested above normal levels. In fact, there were times my blood sugar levels would get a bit too low, which made me think, that like an aunt, I had a mild case of the reverse of diabetes, hypoglycemia. In either case, my blood sugar levels had not been a major problem for me. I just had to make sure to eat regularly and try to eat right. Okay, so I do not have the best diet, especially for someone who should be watching out for the big D, but at least I generally avoid the sweets better than most of my family (never mind the two cups of cocoa-coffee I drink almost every day).

 

Well, anyway, when I did see the doctor yesterday about this coughing problem I have been having I also had them confirm my blood sugar levels. I was hoping that it was just the expired testing strips that I had used that had given me bad readings. Unfortunately, it was not bad test strips. Even though the testing strips I used were expired (because I did not have any fresh ones) they were still giving relatively accurate results.

 

Well… bummer. After all this time of living under the threat of diabetes it has finally woken up to hit me.

 

I am hoping that with medication, and a better diet, I will get this diabetes back under control before it gets a chance to become even worse. Right now it is still just Type II (non-insulin dependent diabetes) and I want to do my best not to graduate to full on Type I Diabetes. I do not want to have to use needles to shoot myself with insulin… like my Dad had to do for his last decade or two. I am hoping that I can improve my diet and get enough exercise to put the Big D back into its relatively dormant state. I now know that I will always have to live with the reality of being a diabetic, but I also know that with proper self-care my chances of getting off the diabetic drugs, and keeping myself from getting insulin dependent, are much greater.

 

Now, can anyone please tell me how the hell to budget in a good diabetic diet on a poverty-level fixed income??? Frankly, I think that is impossible. Good, healthy, foods cost toooooooooo much! Those of us on a fixed income can barely afford the kind of crud that they call food that does wonders to shorten the lives of the poor… even those without pre-existing health problems.

 

Oh, and as for the cough I originally went to the doctor for, I was prescribed a powerful antibiotic that is currently fighting the bugs causing havoc in my lungs. So far, this is only making my coughing more frequent and far more violent, but I am hoping that this is a sign that the battle is raging on and the bugs are losing. I do feel more stuff breaking up down there deep in my chest. I am also coughing up a lot more nasty tasting stuff too.

 

Yuck!

 

 

MACJR


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nannyjo

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MACJR

 

Now, can anyone please tell me how the hell to budget in a good diabetic diet on a poverty-level fixed income??? Frankly, I think that is impossible. Good, healthy, foods cost toooooooooo much! Those of us on a fixed income can barely afford the kind of crud that they call food that does wonders to shorten the lives of the poor… even those without pre-existing health problems.

 

Oh, and as for the cough I originally went to the doctor for, I was prescribed a powerful antibiotic that is currently fighting the bugs causing havoc in my lungs. So far, this is only making my coughing more frequent and far more violent, but I am hoping that this is a sign that the battle is raging on and the bugs are losing. I do feel more stuff breaking up down there deep in my chest. I am also coughing up a lot more nasty tasting stuff too.

 

Yuck!

  

MACJR

 

The only possible thing that I can think of to help with the cheap "good food" is to try growing some on your own.  I know that you have a green thumb from some of the pictures that you have posted.... maybe you could start some indoor pots with Veggies in them.  Lettuce and tomatoes are fairly easy to grow.... maybe some of the other thigs would be too. 

 

Also, I know around here some of the apartment complexes have "community gardens" to give people a place for little vegitable gardens.  Maybe if your place doesn't have one you might be able to get folks together to start one. 

 

That way you get your food and your exercize at the same time.

 

I'm sorry to hear that the cough is worse - though I think that you are right, it sound like it is breaking up and this is its last hurrah.


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Questmaker

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Reply with quote  #3 
Are there any Farmer's Markets in your area? Around here there are a lot. Even the local flea market has a few veggies vendors that set up nearly year around. The main thing is that the produce is fresh and cheaper than the stores. You can also try and find some good meat markets (I don't recall you ever saying you were vegetarian). I have found that getting stuff straight from a butcher is much cheaper than the stores. I don't know much about Diabetic cooking even though my father is Type 2 but I figure that using more natural ingredients it should help.
Also I'll see what I can research that you might be able to substitute for your cocoa-coffee. Maybe unsweetened cocoa powder? Hershey's isn't all that bitter.

Xeromem

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Reply with quote  #4 
Are there any Amish/Mennonites in your area?  I've found that in addition to selling produce they are usually willing to raise meat animals for people at a very reasonable price.

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MACJR

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Originally Posted by Xeromem
Are there any Amish/Mennonites in your area?  I've found that in addition to selling produce they are usually willing to raise meat animals for people at a very reasonable price.

I have not heard of there being Amish/Mennonites around here but there are many dairy farms outside the urban areas. It is something to think about anyway.

 

I worked on a slaughter truck for a few months back in my late teens. Boy, that was gruesome, and grueling, work but the pay was good. That job had me visiting many of the local dairy farms quite often, as well as a few butcher shops. I have not been back to that world since a short stint as a young adult but I do have an idea of where to look for such things.

 

I have found that by reducing my portion sizes and eating smarter that my food budget is stretching out a little further. My situation is still tight, but eating less does help. 

 

 

MACJR


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Quote:
Originally Posted by MACJR

I worked on a slaughter truck for a few months back in my late teens. Boy, that was gruesome, and grueling, work but the pay was good. That job had me visiting many of the local dairy farms quite often, as well as a few butcher shops. I have not been back to that world since a short stint as a young adult but I do have an idea of where to look for such things.

 

MACJR



I never worked at a butcher shop but when I was a teenager we used to raise meat animals (beef, pork & chickens) and we used to slaughter and butcher the chickens ourselves.  For the larger stock that we raised for other people we called in one of the local butchers who gave us a pretty good deal on his services because of the number animals we would have at butchering time and that we also helped a lot in process.  So I know what you mean about it being gruesome and grueling work.

Also strict portion control does help quite a bit in stretching our budget as well besides being healthier for us.

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Reply with quote  #7 
By the way I too have diabetes which runs in my family on my mothers side.

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MACJR

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeromem
Quote:
Originally Posted by MACJR

I worked on a slaughter truck for a few months back in my late teens. Boy, that was gruesome, and grueling, work but the pay was good. That job had me visiting many of the local dairy farms quite often, as well as a few butcher shops. I have not been back to that world since a short stint as a young adult but I do have an idea of where to look for such things.

 

MACJR



I never worked at a butcher shop but when I was a teenager we used to raise meat animals (beef, pork & chickens) and we used to slaughter and butcher the chickens ourselves.  For the larger stock that we raised for other people we called in one of the local butchers who gave us a pretty good deal on his services because of the number animals we would have at butchering time and that we also helped a lot in process.  So I know what you mean about it being gruesome and grueling work.

Also strict portion control does help quite a bit in stretching our budget as well besides being healthier for us.

 

I was also familiar with the needs of harvesting animals from a young age. My first years were lived in the country, with a wood stove used for cooking even. Later, in a small town on the southern border of my state, in my teenage years, I used to hang out with the farm kids at the other end of town. They raised cows, horses, sheep, and chickens.

 

As for diabetes, it has been a struggle to find the right balance of food groups, and the right portion sizes, and I still have not perfected my diet yet, but I am doing much better now.

 

Now it is just a matter of fine tuning my meals to keep my glucose levels more stable. At times, I dip a little low or peak a little high, but at least I am keeping myself out of the danger zones and my 14 day average keeps getting better and better.

 

It scared the heck out of me when I first discovered my blood sugar levels had gone sky high. It was complications from diabetes that killed my father... but he really did not take care of himself. I intend to put a bit more effort into living a longer life.

 

 

MACJR


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Xeromem

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Reply with quote  #9 
Yep finding that right balance of foods can be a real challenge. What make it even harder is when some of your favorite foods are on the don't list. Just be glad you haven't developed any food allergies as well like I have. 

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