Monday started like any other day. Zoë and I got up, ate breakfast, showered, dressed, and started in on our daily routines. Zoë went to the doctor’s for her past due checkup and I continued working. Then she came home and shared with me that she had to start taking a medication to control her blood sugar and needed to meet with a diabetes educator. Since I do most of the cooking, our doctor suggested I go with her.
To be honest, neither one of us was surprised, well not totally. But there is this feeling when you actually hear those words – you have diabetes. I am grateful that Diabetes is something treatable. Less then 100 years ago, it wasn’t. I have been spending this week doing some self-education about diabetes and ran across a story about a woman named Gladys Dulls. Gladys was one of the first people in the country to begin using insulin when it was first discovered in 1922. She was 7 years old when she began using it. For many, she has been an inspiration. She passed away in 2008 at the age of 91 having lived with diabetes for 83 years.
Sometimes when we first hear news like this, it can generate all kinds of feelings. This week, I have been focusing on what I can do to help Zoë and I both live healthier lives. As her doctor said to her, we need to keep you around long enough to repay your student loans. So this week, I have been reading about and searching out information about cooking and eating as a diabetic. So the grocery store list looked a little different this week.
As I had already made a commitment to eating healthier, this will work well for me also. So gone are the onion bagels that Zoë loves. Instead, I replaced them with mini whole-wheat bagels and multi-grain English muffins. The white bread was replaced with multigrain and the pasta was replaced with whole-wheat pasta. It is a good thing we already love beans. It is time to experiment with healthier grains like cous cous and kasha. Of course, I had fun looking up new and healthier recipes to prepare for both of us.
I have to say how grateful I am that we are learning how to live with this disease in our lives in 2011 and not in 1922 when Glady’s family first did. I am grateful that Zoë will be able to manage her diabetes through medication and diet. I am also grateful that I love her enough to say no to purchasing things that are not diabetes friendly. Those things she tends to love like sugar-laden soda, chips, cookies, and chocolate. So what is this going to mean for those who receive batches of cookies from me each month – lol – they will be getting cookies made with sugar substitute. Diabetic does not mean boring.
I have also fallen in love with the American Diabetes Association website. They have a wealth of helpful information for those who are diabetic and vegan/vegetarian. They gave me some great ideas on how to begin to re outfit our pantry. We do not go to meet with the dietician until March, but being the just do it person that I am, the changes started immediately. Tomorrow morning, we will be having our first diabetic friendly breakfast sharing a fruit smoothie and an English muffin with either peanut butter or jellyJ. Nothing fancy, but it’s all about the journey.