One-eyed, One-Horned, Flyin’ Purple People Eater!

…well, that’s what I was expecting anyway!  

The nutritionist actually ended up being a two-eyed, real, live, normal (as normal gets?) person!  She was kinda quarky and clearly much better at Math than I, and I liked her very much.  In my experience, I have not met so many encouraging, helpful diabetic support people.  Is Pennsylvania like a utopia of healthcare professionals?  Is Wisconsin a burying ground of sour-puss endocrinologists?  Maybe, just maybe, fault falls to the hearer–not the various tellers of information–for the previous negative experiences.  That hearer, of course, is this girl right here!  It is refreshing to be at a place in my heart where I can hear.  I know that this is the result of God’s loving, constant pursuit of my heart in this area.  I am truly thankful that He continues His work until it’s done!  (Phil. 1:7).  Thank you, Jesus!

Well, now that I am listening, what did I hear?  Is life as I know it done, or what?  Will I never look a chocolate cake in the face again? —- “Nutritionist” what a horribly super-negatively-charged title to have.

Dun.. dun… dun!

After I kinda laid out for her my history and my self-diagnosis, she proceeded to be very helpful.  YAY!  This is what we came to.  My doctor does not yet have a proper carbohydrate-to-insulin ratio for me.  When I eat food, my body has a special “sweet spot” (pun intended, I guess) when it comes to what I eat and how much insulin it takes to cover any given amount of carbs.   Carbs are like the holy grail to diabetics.  We live and die by this number.  What Lynn (this is how I will refer to my nutritionist for the remainder of the post) said was if  I could make some changes until we get that specific ratio figured out it would be very helpful.  At this point, she lost me a little with a lot of sciency-talk.  The goal is to eliminate as many variables as possible.  I cannot necessarily control stress or other contributing factors to glucose variation, but I can control the amount of carbs that I eat.  (Sometimes, I feel like I CAN’T, but I’m going with her theory on this!)  So, the game plan is this: for the next 2 weeks to a month I am going to eat the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal: 45.  This eliminates that variable.  As I follow this plan, my doctor and Lynn will be able to find my body’s specific ratios.  Then, whether I’m eating 20 carbs or 120 carbs, the ratio will be correct (theoretically).  This is not a forever thing, but it may be an until-the-end-of-the-year thing.  Of course, I’ll probably take a few vacation days during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for the most part, day-in and day-out, I’m going to be eating 45 carbs at each meal.  (If for some reason you find yourself in possession of some great 45-carb per meal recipes, comment!)

This will not be easy.  It seems simple enough–but, oh boy, this will not be easy.  To break it down for you, my daily eating looks like this: small, if that, breakfast.  Lunch is kinda my dinner meal with Ben.  Dinner is usually those Lipton cup-o-soups, if anything.  Then because I don’t eat or eat little, 9:30 pm is a mad (bad) dash to the pantry to find anything salty and/or sweet.  Not a perfect break down, but sadly, accurate enough.

I told Lynn this and she gave me some pointers.  Since I don’t like to cook dinner for just me, and I don’t always make lunch, (lots of soup here, people!) she suggested making two BIG meals a week that I can re-purpose later in the week.  She said, “Buy a rotisserie chicken; buy rice in the bag that you can throw in the microwave for a minute; buy those steamer bags!”  She added, “Anything you make can be dressed up the next day as a salad, a pizza, or a sandwich!”  Creative leftovers, I can do that.  The biggest concern for her is that I can go days without multiple food groups.  I stick to lots of yogurt and soup.  I went months without buying bread.  I thought the goal was no/low carb, but she said people should have 130 carbs a day at least.  I don’t want to burden you down with all the food nitty-gritty (not nutter-butter) details.  Big picture: I need to try to include 3 food groups at least at each meal and each consistent carb totals.

My goals:

– make a list of 3 breakfasts @ 45 carbs

-make a list of 3 lunches @ 45 carbs.

-make a list of 3 dinners @ 45 carbs.

~~This is a BIG one~~

ACTUALLY EAT THOSE MEALS

We are still waiting to hear back from the Dexcom representative that I accidentally gave the wrong insurance information to.  I’m sure the end of the year is busy for them because people want to purchase equipment before the new years’ deductible rolls over, but that’s exactly what we’re looking to do as well.  Would you pray with us that this could be figured out soon and I could have a Dexcom before January?

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A Beautiful Mind, Indeed!

Whilst I type tonight, my brow is indeed furrowed.  I find myself on the eve of another appointment.  Tomorrow, it’s to the nutritionist’s house I go.  I was told that paperwork would be coming in the mail for me to fill out for this appointment, so I carefully observed each parcel for the following days.  No mail came.  I called the lady who said that some paperwork was coming and she said, “No, I changed my mind, you would fill it out when you come in.”  So, I stopped watching the mail–and what should arrive the next day?? Paperwork from the nutritionist.  I’m not sure who sent it, but it came.  The unopened envelope sat kinda in the open for a few days; I would glance at it and think, “what sorts of honest, unhealthy reports await to be written in there, I wonder.”  Not that I’m “unhealthy” in a buys-twinkies-and-stuffs-my-face kind of way, but I know I don’t pass the gold-star-from-a-nutritionist test.  (I’m hoping for a bronze-ish star tomorrow, actually)  I know the only way for these people to help me is if I am completely honest with them and with myself about my health, but I also know there are about five versions of myself health-wise.  Let’s see, there’s “just hand over the chocolate” Briana; there’s “Zumba is like my new favorite thing EVER” Briana; “No, I’ll pass on that soda and drink my coconut-flavored-seltzer water” Briana; there’s also “okay, that sleeve of saltines was a bad choice, now I need take insulin and make better choices” Briana —- there’s the making of one of those great movies where the main characters eventually prove themselves to be one person with split personalities in the end here.  Sheesh.  I started filling out the paperwork  and got completely overwhelmed.  WHO AM I?? What are my top 5 snack choices, and does a Caramel Macchiato count?  How often do I work out?  Does being a preschool teacher count?  There was this one time I was going to the gym–and I plan on starting that back up real soon—so how do I answer that question??   Do I need a “refresher” on diabetes management, or do I want them to start over? What are my biggest hindrances?  Honestly, when it comes to what “derails” me, it changes daily.  hourly?  like minutely. They also asked questions like “What are your top 5 questions on diabetes.”  I think that I do have many questions about diabetes, but right now I’m asking all the questions of myself–who am I, why do I do the things I do, is it possible to change, will I ever get this right?  Do I have to go to the doctor’s tomorrow?? I do get anxiety about going, even now my heart is beating fast and I’m a wee bit scared.  I really don’t want to cry, but the truth is, I often do.  I really don’t want to take an honest look at who I am and changes that need to be made —WAIT A MINUTE, YES I DO! — at least, sometimes I do.  I really, really do!  I am so overjoyed to have the opportunity to care for myself.  So many others with terminal illnesses would look on diabetes with envy.  It is NOT something to just “put up with.”  It is a gift to be embraced.  My heart knows that.  God chose it for me and me for it! But on nights like tonight I feel like the wind is out of me–heart rate up and spirits down.  As I picked up and set back down my pen tonight–uncertain how to proceed–echoing in my head was the song, “Lead me to the Rock that is Higher than I.”  I don’t always need the wind “in me,” so to speak–I have the Holy Spirit Who invites me to take each step in His strength.  (Gal. 5:25)  I don’t need to have it all figured out, because He does.  (Jer. 29:11) I don’t even need to dismiss or be ashamed of my struggles, because God longs to my strong in my weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

I am still apprehensive about tomorrow.  I’m not sure which Briana will show up at that appointment, but I do know my God.

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.  He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”

Psalm 62:1-2 ESV