This is not going to be a post about something I've read, it's about what I'm doing to help my husband learn to control his diabetes. First, a little background. We've only been married since December of 2006, I don't have a clue what his ex-wife did to help him, other than she used to set up his pills every other week in his pill-keeper/scheduler thingy. I do know that after she left him, he ate a lot of tv dinners and cereal, and I know that his BGs are not under control. Getting him to test on a consistent basis is like pulling teeth.
Now, since I'm not diabetic, most of what I know about it is what little I've read in passing. He was diagnosed with diabetes when he got his separation physical from the Navy 13 years ago (and who knows how long he had really been diabetic before that and just undiagnosed, he was in the Navy for 20 years and I don't have a clue how often they do complete physicals with blood work-ups, etc). His parents were both diabetic, and a couple of his brothers are too.
He sees a doctor at the VA hospital in St Cloud, and at his last physical check-up, she told him he needed to lose weight (he's 5' 10" and 252 lbs, has been that weight, within a pound or 2 for the last 5 years). He weighed 220 when he go out of the Navy (at 38), so he gained 30 lbs in the first 8 years after retiring (to age 46), and hasn't gained any in the last 5 years (now 51). She spouted the calories in/calories out thing (I had to bite my tongue on that one), told him she was setting him up with an appointment with a case manager (I'm assuming this is a nutritionist) to get his BGs under control (they range anywhere from 100 to 250, depending on what he's eaten and when he tests). She didn't say what his A1C was (I think that's what it is), just that it needed to reach at least 7, so it probably was higher than that.
So, I have been doing some research online (and that's where my reading fat acceptance blogs has been such a help, thanks guys, you've given me some ideas of where to look and how to decide if what I'm finding is credible). Basically, I've figured out that he doesn't need to lose weight to get his blood sugar under control, what he needs to do is change what he eats (less starch and simple carbohydrates and sugar) and test more often to see how that affects his blood sugar. If it was up to him, he would eat meat, rice, corn, green beans, and potatoes, with chips, snack cakes, cookies, popcorn and mixed nuts thrown in for snacking after supper and before bed. When he works, he takes sandwiches (bread, butter, lunch meat), chips, and cereal bars for his lunch (he did before we got married, now he takes left-overs from supper the night before, and I'm trying to make those meals better for him).
I got a book that was recommended, The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes and am reading that. I've been looking at diabetes websites, and researching carb counts, glycemic index, etc. So I am talking to him, finding out what's on the list of recommended foods that he likes, and adding those to our grocery list. I'm cutting back on the things that will spike his blood sugar (I won't cut them out altogether, but there are less of them in the house) and trying to add more low/no carb veggies, more fruits, more complex carbs. Trying to make sense of nutrition labels isn't easy, especially on things like breads and cereals. But from what I've read, and anyone reading this correct me if I'm wrong, the carb count can be average if the fiber content and whole grain content is higher because it takes longer to digest those and therefore they affect blood sugar more slowly (gradual rise and fall instead of spike and crash?).
Now, since we need to make healthier choices, and I've been researching HAES, I think this is a good plan for both of us to follow, but the baby steps are killing me (gradual changes seem to work better as far as he's concerned). When I decide to do something, I usually just do it, but that was when I was single and didn't have to take anyone else's thoughts/feelings into consideration. And having been single from 18 to 53 (as a single parent, I was in charge of what my son ate at home), adapting to being part of a couple is different, to say the least, especially when both of us have health issues (his diabetes, eye complications, and arthritis, my arthritis and mobility issues).
It's funny too, how a person's likes and dislikes change throughout their lifetime. I used to hate broccoli and cauliflower, now, they aren't too bad (I don't think they are delicious, but I can eat them without going ewwwwww). I don't know if I would like asparagus or not, Mike won't eat it, but I might get some, just to see if I like it now. I like spinach (used to eat the canned kind with vinegar all the time, not sure about fresh, might have to check on that too). I love pickled beets, and cucumbers in vinegar. I like vinegar, I think in part because we had it on spinach, beets, and cucumbers when I was a kid, mainly because my dad liked it. He liked it because when he was kid, he got into some lye, and the doctor back then told his mother he needed to drink vinegar to counter-act the lye (at least, that's what Grandma said). Funny how likes and dislikes come about (to this day, I hate breaded tomatoes the way my mom made them: canned tomatoes boiled in a pot, add sugar, tear up bread and add, stir and serve, blechhhh!, slimy, nasty and forced to eat them).