But, I Can’t Eat That

 

I try to say, “I can’t eat that” in all sorts of different ways so other diabetics don’t get told, “But, you can’t eat that?!”  I say, “I’m not hungry” or “I personally don’t do well with that kind of food”, etc.

Truth is, there is a lot I can’t eat.  I mean I can, but my blood sugars pay a price which means my health pays a price which to me translates as a big no-no. 

I could eat pasta for dinner.  I’ll give the right amount of insulin to cover it and I’ll be fine.  Until a little later that is, when my blood sugars start creeping up in the most sneaky way.  Slowly…slowly and suddenly I test before bed and find I’m over 200. 

Frankly, anything white does this to my blood sugars.  ANYTHING.  So, although I could eat a hamburger, I better leave out the bun or I’m going to be sorry later.  Same goes for rice, a sandwich, and cookies.

You know how the “raw diet” has become strongly marketed for type 2 diabetics?  Well, when I stick to a “raw diet” or a “clean diet” I see wonderful blood sugars.  My insulin resistance lowers dramatically.  And I lose weight.   It’s fabulous.  Except for the part where I pay for the groceries.  It’s cheaper to buy the processed stuff for sure!

The way I see it, you have the “right” to eat what you want.  I just think that if you’re not getting good results with a particular food, it should be on your “only once in a while” list.  

Maybe it’s just me, maybe I have nerve damage and it makes me digest food more slowly.  Instead of being a victim to that I just eat differently and I’m fine.  But I guess my point is…I wouldn’t want anyone to scoff at me for turning down pizza.  I have the right to say “I can’t eat that” without people saying I’m fueling a diabetes myth.  Nerve damage affects a majority of type 1 diabetics after a certain amount of years.  I think the figure is 50-70%.  This means I’m not the only one and those who are safe now, may not be later on and they too, deserve to feel free and accepted when it comes to their health choices.

So although it must really be difficult for people to explain over and over and over again that type 1 diabetics can eat anything as long as they give insulin to cover it…the truth is it’s more complicated than that.  Not everyone has this liberty and not everyone will retain it. 

People can handle complicated answers (well…most people).  Next time someone says, “Wait, can you eat that being a diabetic and all?”  If you can then say something like, “Yes, I definitely can because I take insulin to cover the carbs, but this varies from diabetic to diabetic because of other factors.” (I’m sure you could come up with something much better)  Yes, this may leave a poor soul a little perplexed, but, the right thing to do is to tell it like it is instead of make a general statement that is meant to encompass everyone but instead falls short.

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As a mom of two daughters with diabetes type I, I remember saying, “oh yes, she CAN have that piece of cake, she just has to cover it with the right amount of insulin, but then again, it might be all she has; so it is better to have just a little piece together with something healthy or very low carb.” This was my long answer. The short one was: “Oh yes, she can, just have to put enough insulin.” The truth is that I knew that balance is a difficult act and sometimes I just wanted for them to feel no pressure about “eating” like the other children. We parents must always have good communication with our kids and try to support their good eating style, if not us, then who?

Thanks for the comment, Mom! Being the child with diabetes, I never realized you and Dad had to worry about this balancing act. It’s nice to know now how you both felt back then. And the support you give that goes both ways (eating just like everyone else and eating different for health) is much appreciated!

ditto mom! I think there’s a lot of things we both didn’t realize you and Dad had to worry about. Getting older has definitely opened my eyes a lot, and I’m sure being a mother, Sysy, has done the same for you :]

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