Saturday, January 10, 2009

Trying to learn to walk a tightrope

As some of you may remember I was diagnosed with Diabetes II last May. Although I was pretty upset at the time I was not overly surprised as my father developed it in later years and I have always been quite sensitive to carbohydrates, my ankles swelling if I had too much bread or cake for example. About 30 years ago I cut my intake of grains down considerably because of that problem. Because I have always watched my carbohydrate intake I have none of the health problems associated with diabetes but I have to keep my blood sugars under control all the time. Most of the time I do fine but I do have some issues with the morning reading. I control the diabetes by diet alone and am not on any medication.

Right now I am trying to plan what I can eat while on the road to Mexico. We will probably have breakfast and then get on the road each day. My husband and his buddy can then go until supper time with nothing except a cup of coffee. Not that that is a good routine but they are not willing to change it. I cannot, I must have regular meals, as that is my medicine, and we don't want to stop all the time so I am planning what I can have on hand in the car that will not upset the blood glucose apple cart. I will have to insist they take time for exercise, at least for me, as sitting for hours on end is not good either, and since they are like a couple of camels, visiting the bathroom infrequently, I will have to call a halt every so often regardless. They were trying to figure out how far we could get per day factoring my bathroom breaks, can you believe it!

I found that, over Christmas, relaxing my vigilance even a tiny bit caused my blood glucose to go up and it took a while to bring it back to normal. Especially the morning reading. So I don't want to allow the trip to Mexico to screw things up. Diabetes can set you up for blindness, kidney failure, loss of limb and heart problems just to name a few horrors so it is nothing to mess with.

Diabetes is a very individual disease, what works for one does not work for another, what raises my blood glucose may not raise yours, so there is a lot of experimentation to find what works for you as an individual and no one else can do that for you. You are on your own as your doctor and nutritionist can only give you a guideline but it is up to you to find out what works. Thank goodness for the Internet because there is a wealth of information to be found.

I have tried the very low carb approach and while it was wonderful for the blood glucose readings it did not suit me personally. I find the more balanced approach of the Zone diet works well. This program suggest taking your carbs mostly from fruit and veg and limiting grains which suits me but I find it a bit complicated to work with. The hardest thing for me is to drink a lot, I am rarely thirsty but if one isn't getting bulk from grains you need the lubrication of lots of water to keep things going smoothly.

Anyway that is where my head has been for the last few days. I think I have a plan now and I typed it up on my desktop computer and transferred the notes to the laptop with my neat little USB gadget, so handy.

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Jeni said...

Just don't drink the water down in Mexico, Vic. Or so I've always heard anyway. I can't say that from personal experience, just an anecdotal quip.

Liz said...

That sounds really difficult to manage. Although you have a routine at home travelling and all that entails will need a lot of planning. Well done for getting it sorted in advance. Your husband will just have to admire the scenery while you do what's necessary!