I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2000. Since then, about five different doctors have referred me to diabetes nutrition counseling of some kind. Every single visit has been the same frustrating experience for me.
The first 15 minutes consist of you sitting down to do a bunch of paperwork. Then I am taught how to test my blood, use a log book and what a carbohydrate is. I get some copies of a handout about counting carbs and a blood sugar log book. When asked, “Do you have any questions?” I always want to scream, “Uh, DUH!”
If I ask “What am I supposed to be eating for blood sugar control?” Or “What exactly is diabetes nutrition and why aren’t you teaching me that?” I am handed a few recipes for things like Kale Salad, Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” and something requiring an ingredient not carried in any grocery store, anywhere on Earth.
When I ask how to determine how many carbs is good for me on any given day, I’m told to just count, test, and stay within the range. But some days 45 grams of carbs is okay and other days it will send me to bed with crazy blood sugar swings. How can there be an arbitrary number that is the same for all diabetics? Hint: There isn’t.
This would be the reason that it took so long for me to take the referral my doctor gave me to a nutritionist when I would ask food questions. I really didn’t want to do another diabetes nutrition class and suffer that frustration again. But I sure was in a corner.
I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I ate all the “diet” things I was supposed to. Often, I’d skip breakfast as I’m rarely hungry in the morning. Lunch would be a quick, “healthy food” like a Lean Cuisine in the microwave. I’d cook a dinner for my husband and I, but after dinner, I’d be hungry and constantly putting carbs into my mouth. (Hmm.. no wonder I felt icky!)
What I needed was someone who wouldn’t prescribe some packaged cleanse or put me on some fad diet. I need someone who could make sense of all these weird ideas I have about food and put me on a track to eating for fuel and health instead of this crazy chore about counting, measuring and worrying.
I found that person. More in the next blog entry!