Eating & Drinking with Diabetes

One of the biggest things that has been on my mind lately is eating and drinking. I eat horribly and I never know what to drink. Despite that I have somehow been able to bring my A1C down to 6.1%. But if I am being absolutely honest with myself I am not really sure how I did it. I have made some changes. The biggest one was cutting out sugary pop. For much of my teen and adult life I have been a big Pepsi and Root Beer drinker. My husband and I have stopped buying regular pop. However we have just replaced it with Coke Zero (which was the closest taste wise to Pepsi I found), which I know is just trading one issue for another. This has likely contributed to my A1C lowering because I was drinking insane amounts of regular sugary pop before I was diagnosed and even a little after while I was sort of in the denial phase.

I have been trying hard to just drink water but I find it so bland. I am not a fan of the flavor water enhancers. I know they are sugar free but I find they are bitter or taste like chemicals. Which I know is the Stevia or Aspartame or whichever natural or artificial sweetener is in them. I don’t drink fruit juices unless my blood sugar is low and it’s all I have access to then I will for the sake of bringing my blood sugar back up. I really struggle with what to drink. I know plain old water is best and sometimes I actually just want cold plain old water but other times I crave the bubbly fizzy taste of pop.

I also really really struggle with what to eat. I am very picky and have some allergies. I’m allergic to shell fish and do not like any other kind of fish. I tested positive years ago for an allergy to peanuts and almonds and some other tree nuts (can’t remember which ones) and a few years ago found out I did not actually have an allergy to peanuts. I was recently re-referred to the Halifax Asthma and Allergy Clinic and was tested again for peanuts and tree nuts and she came to the conclusion that I have Dermatographia and Chronic Hives because I reacted to everything including me scratching my arm on her desk while she did it which swelled up had a big welt. So that had been giving me false positives for years. Blood tests revealed that I am not allergic to peanuts or any tree nuts. I have been slowly reintroducing them back in.

I only like a few vegetables like carrots, peas (kind of), celery (raw only, can’t stand it cooked), radishes, lettuce, cucumber and sweet potatoes and potatoes. I would love to add in more veggies but I hate the taste of cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, squash, green beans and eggplant. My friends and family always say it’s all about how your prepare them but honestly I have never been able to find a way to prepare any of them that make them even slightly tolerable to me. I tend to like raw veggies more then cooked. Also as I mentioned in my last post. I have no time in the day to make anything before leaving for work. I never have the time on the weekend either to do any meal prep for the week.

I have the hardest time finding things that I like to take to work. I scour Pinterest, Facebook, and websites for recipes and ideas and just never come up with anything appealing which typically leads to me bringing already prepared stuff from Sobeys (grocery store) or Walmart or getting supper in the food court at work or even drinking a Glucerna for supper. I have met with a diabetic nurse and a nutritionist and still find it hard to put their ideas or suggestions in place.

Sometimes we will make casseroles like Sheppard’s pie, scalloped potatoes or a macaroni casserole with enough leftovers to take to work with us. I still find though that I get bored with eating and sometimes I just don’t enjoy eating at all and find it more of a chore that has to be done then something to enjoy. I get so frustrated because I feel like a failure because I can’t really cook other then the basics.

I haven’t been counting carbs like I have been advised to because quite honestly it is depressing. I can never get it right. I always have to many carbs but yet am left feeling hungry not not full. The only time I thought I had a decent grasp on carb counting was when I was in the IWK Woman & Childrens Hospital for 4 days in October with a uterine infection and I had to choose from their diabetic menu. I kind of which I had kept a copy of it because it was so easily layed out and so simple. I wonder if I can find a copy online…

Work vs Life Balance & the Freestyle Libre

I’m not sure why I keep paying for hosting or to keep this domain since I just don’t really feel the need to blog like I used to. I’m just too busy. Edward and I both leave for work at 12:20 PM and catch the bus and by the time I get home at 11 PM and take my insulin, change and head out in the car to pick Eddie up for Midnight and drive home it is almost 12:40 AM. We sleep 7 or 8 hours get up and do it all over again. That’s been the last year and a few months in a nutshell.

At first I was working 3 PM to 11 PM and was able to get discounted parking at $76 a month but then I requested an earlier shift at my doctors suggestion to help regulate when I ate supper and had my afternoon and evening breaks before and after supper because I was on both short and long acting insulin. Testing my blood sugar when I woke up and went to bed and before and one hour after every meal. They put me on a 1:45 PM to 9:45 PM shift with a 3 PM break, 5 PM lunch and 7:30 PM break which works out pretty nicely except that now I get to work about 1 to 1:15 Pm because I like being early and discount parking doesn’t start till 2 PM at Scotia Square’s Parkade. So I switched to taking the bus back and forth to work as the non-discounted parking is something like $200 a month with taxes.

It means using less gas, less wear and tear on the car and also more walking (walking to the bus stop, being outside more) and generally getting a bit more exercise so that part is a plus but I have to leave at 12:20 PM to get there by 1:08 PM for my 1:45 and when I leave at 9:45 the next bus is not till 10:23 PM which gets me home about 11 PM. So it’s a bit of a trade off. Bus passes are like $78 a month so only $2 more then parking. It’s just I could have left around 12:45 and got home by 10:15 If I drove.

There is no like work vs life balance really. Our weeks are taken up so much by work and getting to and from work that we have time for nothing else. When I worked at a place that had free parking and when I was on day or rotating shifts I found I could typically get more time to have a life and do things on the days I worked. So right now we are really living for the weekends lol.

I shouldn’t really complain. I get paid more then most people I know, more then my husband by about $6 an hour and because of me we have health benefits that cover 80% and dental that covers 90%. As well as I have short term disability benefits that cover 100% for a certain number of weeks and then 66.67% for the remainder until I am back at work and since I have been hospitalized twice since I started working there a little over a year ago and had to go on short term benefits 3 times in a year and 3 months I am really extremely lucky there.

Because of my benefits I was able to get this. It’s been’s a wonderful tool to have, the Freestyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system. After installing the sensor on the back upper arm you can just scan it whenever you want to see what your blood sugar is. Took me a little bit to get the hang of using it but now I use it almost exclusively and only test when it shows I am rapidly going low or high and even then when going low I know it. I can feel it and can act to catch it before it happens because the arrow shows me going low and then within minutes I feel symptoms. I admit I scanned like 35 times a day in the beginning. I was paranoid it was not working as I didn’t understand the 10-15 min delay and how to spot trends but now I can accurately use it to dose. Even though I still use my Contour Next One to double check.

I was able to bring my A1C down from 8.2% to 6.1%. With 8.2 that means my average blood sugar was about 11.9 mmol/l (215 mg/dl) and I brought it down to 6.1 which means average of 7.8 mmol/l (140 mg/dl). My target right now is I would like to get below 5.6% for my A1C and keep it there. But as with a lot of diabetics it will likely fluctuate I will likely go up and sometimes down. I just have to really use the Freestyle Libre and I am also going to try signing up for and using the LibreView software which I am going to sign up for after this blog post to see if I can figure it out. There is so much more I can be doing with it like recording insulin, carbs, exercise and using the charts to determine where I need to make more changes.

At the beginning of this post I said I don’t know why I keep paying for hosting and keep this domain but maybe I can use it to connect with other bloggers who are diabetic either type 1 or 2. I always loved the support you could receive in the blogging community and have been blogging for over 18 years. In fact I bought this domain in 2008 though I do not remember the month so this blog is now in it’s 10th year or almost in it’s 10th year! Wow