Farewell to all that

The Great Australian Pie Tasting Tour is no more.

I must bid farewell to my ongoing vacation-time quest in search of Australia’s best steak & kidney pie. Also chocolate cake, cheesecake, biscuits, cookies and cupcakes. Out of the blue, symptom-free, I have been diagnosed as type 2 diabetic. My doctor spotted high blood sugar on my annual blood work-up and sent me to do a glucose tolerance test.

I did not ace it.

The radio silence from Chiconia these past few days has signalled furious behind-the-scenes activity. I have made appointments with all the necessary healthcare professional. I have been thoroughly scared into submission by the highly menacing information in all the booklets and fact-sheets and websites I’ve been directed to. I’ve ordered information books and cookbooks. I’m waiting to find out what kind of glucose monitor and test strips I shall need. I am rattling with medication and vibrating with good intentions.

There’s one upside. I don’t need to inject insulin. Yet. Whether that materialises is in my hands and how well I control my intake. We all know I’m anally retentive, so hopefully I’ll stay well on top of it, but equally, we all know I dearly love a good meat pie, and my ongoing love affair with cake in all its forms is legendary. This will require a severe exercise of willpower and common-sense.

If there are any T2 diabetics out there who’d like to share their top 3 tips, I’d be delighted to hear from you. If any non-diabetics would like to offer some cheerful encouragement, that would also be most welcome, as I’m feeling very meh, not to say depressed.

Meanwhile, I’ve quilted two thirds of the Floribunda blocks. Two rows left to go. I might just have time to finish it amongst all the medical appointments!

Ah well. Illegitimi non carborundum, as Pa used to say.

 

85 thoughts on “Farewell to all that

  1. hmmm, I did not like to Like this post. I have no personal experience with diabetes, although many many of my friends have been diagnosed with type 2. None of them have to use insulin, and I will ask one or two of the closer ones for their advice/experience. From what I know about them, their condition is manageable.
    Don’t let the bastards get you down, indeed. Hear hear!

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you, any useful advice would be great. I think it will be manageable, but a royal pain in the backside, not to mention the severe deprivation of pielessness!

  2. Caroline says:

    Oh no, Kate, not on top of everything else !!
    I have (fortunately) no experience of this (yet) although the medics often ask whether I’ve had any symptoms. Why is it that any time life throws things like this at you the standard medical advice is always to take away the little treats that make life enjoyable.
    Anyway, soldier on ol’ gal
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, that was rather my feeling too. It’s almost as if I’m slowly working my way through a bucket list of bad stuff, ticking it off as I go! Never mind, I will Find A Way (she said, through gritted teeth).

  3. knettycraft says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that news… no experiences with that (so far) but… hey gal…. as I know you you are going to make a challenge out of this… I bet we will see very delicious , diabetic friendly new recipes here…. xoxo

    • katechiconi says:

      You’re quite right, I am seeing it as a challenge! It has already changed my cooking habits, but I think I need to wait for the cookbooks to learn new things before I start getting too ambitious 🙂

  4. tialys says:

    Noooooooooooo!
    Why did you have to go looking for trouble?
    I’ve no experience of this either unless you count a cat I used to have who needed insulin injections every day but I don’t think any information about that would be helpful to you.
    Pa was right though – try not to let it get you down. Easy for me to say I know.
    😘

    • katechiconi says:

      Believe me, I was not looking for trouble… I truly thought I’d had enough health obstacles to last me a lifetime. Now, there’s a whole new bunch of stuff to learn, hurdles to overcome and deprivations to get used to. NO MORE CAKE, for starters. Never mind. Onwards and upwards.

  5. claire93 says:

    sorry to read that Kate.
    The husband is type 2 (diagnosed about 5 years ago now). He had meds (Metformin) which help keep blood sugar levels where they’re supposed to be, and does try to eat smaller portions of everything (doesn’t always happen though). I suppose my top 3 tips, as the wife would be: 1 – keep a food journal for a couple of months so that GP can see what you’re eating and how meds are helping. 2 – avoid having any of the forbidden foods in the house. If they’re not in the cupboard, you can’t eat them. and 3. do allow yourself a little treat once a month, something to look forward to, without going totally overboard ^^

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s odd, I’ve been food journalling for a while already, and had lost some weight as a result, so the habit was already established. Good to know that one will stand me in good stead. The Husband is being extremely supportive and is following along with the changed way of eating and is encouraging, especially as now his work pants are much easier to do up! Treats are tending to take the form of a little extra of something rather than lashing out on bickies or cake. Hopefully this will all become second nature once I’m also testing my blood sugars and can see consequences in action.

  6. kymlucas says:

    So glad to read comments from folks with suggestions. The blogosphere truly is a family sometime. Still, I’m sorry to hear this news. As a lover of carbs and most things sweet, I can only imagine the challenges involved. BUT I have great faith in your ability to overcome and even flourish. ❤️

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s not that carbs are forbidden, I think, more that certain carbs are a bad idea. But I must wait for my ‘education’ on Friday to determine where I’ve been going wrong. I certainly intend to flourish, and probably in a much more slender form than I’d ever anticipated! I rather liked being comfortably upholstered, but if I must be slim, at least it’ll be for the right reason!

      • kymlucas says:

        Very true. I’ll look forward to hearing about it.

      • katechiconi says:

        Well, the Education was an education. It’s all much less penitential than I feared, and will certainly be manageable.

      • kymlucas says:

        I am so glad! You must share your wisdom with us and recipes too, if you find any good ones (and want to do so. :0)

      • katechiconi says:

        It’s still very much a work in progress; I still need to lose weight in order to manage the diabetes. Once I’m at a good weight, I can increase what I’m allowed to have just a bit. Right now, I’m still learning what affects my levels. Pasta isn’t looking good!

      • kymlucas says:

        Maybe once you reach the optimal weight you’ll be able to occasionally have?

      • katechiconi says:

        Could be, but just at present they want me to concentrate on changing my ideas and the way I approach food. It’s actually working quite well, as I haven’t had anything remotely naughty for 3 weeks or so, but don’t feel the lack.

      • kymlucas says:

        That’s great! I think it’s probably the only right approach.

  7. kymlucas says:

    Also, oddly enough, I just received a tshirt I ordered with that exact phrase. Illegitimi non carborundum, indeed!

  8. Jean M Ramirez says:

    PLEASE look into NUTRITIONFACTS.ORG. This is a legit nutrition site. There is NO MONEY TO BE MADE by just changing your diet. My whole life I’ve been convinced that God did not intend for us to have such poor health. Look into the 7th day adventists. they are the only BLUE ZONE in this country. I am a retired RN, Lutheran non-nutcase. Please check out the web site. {any typos can be blamed on the cat on my lap}

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you, I will certainly look into it. In the first instance, I think I must pay head to my diabetes educator, but once I’m on an even keel, I do intend to be inquisitive and adventurous within the confines of the disease.

  9. jmcheney says:

    I agree with Claire’s suggestion for an anticipated treat now & then. I think your determination, fortitude, brilliant talents & sensible info gathering are your great assets. Years ago my mother denied her type2 diagnosis with her usual contrariness. She was cantankerous & sneaky about her favorite foods & treats. She lived alone then & for some years & then in old age had caregivers in regularly for her bad arthritis & trouble walking. She never did have to have insulin & seemed to suffer no real consequences for her bad behavior. Who knows why not? I talked to her doctor several times & read all the booklets. She declared I was the one who had it because I am always thirsty & drink lots of water. I have never tested positive for it — yet… But we just never know what’s coming next. Remember in the movie Out of Africa when Farah tells Tanne after her syphilis diagnosis (caught from her philandering husband), “God made the world round, so we cannot see too far down the road.”? Giving up sweets & other beloved foods is terribly hard. It sure would certainly be for me. I wish you Bon Courage, Kate, & well- being as you forge on.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m in favour of rewards for good behaviour, but in this case the consequences are potentially more hazardous than putting on a few pounds. I shall have to see what the books and educator say about appropriate treats, and take careful notes! My ambition is to be like my aunt, who had Type 1 and injected herself several times a day. She died at the age of 86, her eyes and kidneys intact, and in full possession of all hands and feet.

  10. Liking this post is my support to you my friend. In no way am I pleased with this news but it’s the way it is and it’s the way it’s going to be. U are very good at keeping on top of things and if u beat the ‘cancer’ thingy then this is a piece of cake. I’m on the other side of FaceTime whenever u feel the need to chat or rave or rant… I’m always there … ❤️
    You will get there 💝💝

  11. Not fair! You’ve already had much more than your share of trouble keeping your mortal form in working order.

    I have close friends with Type 2 diabetes. One has kept it well in hand by adhering to a keto diet. (I’m not sure how she manages to live without a bite of fresh fruit.) Another friend simply sticks to a healthy diet high in vegetables and proteins, but doesn’t pass up bread or pasta in small amounts. As long as her levels are good, she allows herself a daily treat (homemade granola or small scoop of ice cream). She stays active with a good-sized walk every day and is taking up dancing classes as well.

    The person I know best with diabetes has been a massage therapist for decades. She’s very tuned to her body and its reactions. She tests her blood sugar frequently throughout the day as part of her own process of fascination with what the disease can teach her. For example, if she’s exasperated with her husband she’s noticed her blood sugar levels are bad. Same if she’s watched the news and can’t get worrisome images out of her mind, if she’s waited for her son to call and he forgets, or nearly any other experience of frustration, anger, and worry. The cure? At least for her, she’s found all sorts of ways to level out her blood sugar. She assumed meditation would help, which is does to some extent, but what helps the most is going outside. A walk in the park really helps. (Interestingly, one park walk was interrupted by loud music by other park-goers which irritated her, and that irritation was enough to cancel out the walk’s benefits.) Sitting under a tree in her yard helps, or even standing by the tree looking at its leaves and letting her thoughts drift. She’s pulled on a jacket to stand in the snow looking at stars and laid flat on summer’s grass. I wish she’d write about this approach.

    • katechiconi says:

      I think there’s quite a process of elimination ahead of me, to see what works for me. I’m probably not the best person to keep ice cream or other treats in the house, since there are two of us with weak willpower where treats are concerned! I know that exercise makes me feel better. It remains to be seen how I can consciously control the blood sugar – although the trick my doctor and I enjoy is me using biofeedback to reduce my blood pressure before his eyes. Maybe I can make that work elsewhere…

  12. knitnkwilt says:

    I have no real tips; I just dropped one slice of bread in my lunch sandwiches and most sweet snacks and desserts. I just keep hovering one number above and one below and hope it gets no worse.

    • katechiconi says:

      I have a very sweet tooth and no Off button where treats are concerned. Meals are usually sensible and properly balanced, but portion sizes and on-the-side snacking will need adjustment, I feel sure!

  13. After our long conversation the other day, I thought about what has helped me all these years since being diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Fall in love with other foods. In my younger days I dearly love sweet treats. Over time I convinced myself to love other things that in moderation do me no harm. And I learned to recognise the signs that food with sugar and refined carbs made me feel bad, so there’s not so much of a stuggle to avoid them… I know my limits, and that I’ll feel crap if I exceed them. For me, the most stressful thing is convincing the well-meaning it’s not an insult if I refuse or only have a taste/small/single portion of the home baked sweet treat they are offering. Yay… only 3 tips! Oops… bonus piece of free advice that probably goes against accepted dietary guidelines but works for me. I try to eat my good 3 meals per day at regular times… because hangry isn’t fun for anyone! I rarely snack between meals, only if I’m really hungry or my blood sugar drops, and then as I mentioned I eat a small amount of nuts or cheese. You’ll feel more confident after you see the dietician and arm yourself with tools that suit your particular needs and style.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve taken on board all your recommendations from our conversation, to the point where I fetched a piece of cheese out of the fridge when I found myself going a bit doolally when trying to sort out my tablets last night before dinner. 2 mins later, I was fine, so thank you for that. I think regular meal times is going to have to be a feature of life for me, since I can already tell the medication is working by the fact that I can definitely feel my blood sugar has dropped before I eat. Which is the way it should be, but perhaps not quite as low as it’s currently going! I’ve noted your comments about fruit, but shall wait for the educator on the subject, since I’ve noticed fruit featuring in a number of diabetic recipes. It may not affect me as strongly as it does you. Thanks for all the help and advice!

  14. Tami Von Zalez says:

    Welcome to the Club! I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 and am on escalating milligrams of medication. Luckily, no damage to the kidneys or eyes so that is all good. I am not overweight and had eliminated fried foods from my diet a few years ago. Sugar was my downfall. I was wondering why I was an isomniac, god knows what the sugar was putting my body through. Had to eliminate all the sugar and make better choices about protein, good carbs and fat (Butter is still on the list). Using only sugar substitutes – my fav snack right now, hazelnuts and Stevia semi-sweet chocolate chips.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! I’m also in the fortunate position of no damage to anything else, and my blood pressure and cholesterol are both quite normal. Sugar does seem to be the hard one to give up, but I’ve gone 2 weeks without eating cake, cookies, desserts, chocolate or anything like that, and it has been doable. If I get a big craving, I have some chocolate chia pudding, which is just low-fat lactose free milk, chia seeds and unsweetened cocoa. The chocolate seems to do the trick without needing any extra sugar!

  15. I had gestational diabetes, insulin injections and all. Fortunately it receded at the birth of my child, but it puts me in a risk category…Husband’s side of the family tends in that direction, and one member recently diagnosed. I recommend the Glycemic Index Diet books by Rick Gallop. many useful ideas in there. Courage mon amie.

    • katechiconi says:

      My father’s sister had type 1 and my own sister had gestational diabetes, so I suppose i should be surprised. I’m already (since 2 weeks) eating a low GI, high green-food diet with limited quantities of calorie-dense foods, and it seems to be quite doable, I’ve lost 5kg in those 2 weeks, so I shall continue with that with any modifications suggested by the educator… I briefly wondered “why me” and then realised, why not? Time to just get on with it!

  16. Dayphoto says:

    Health is such a scary thing. As you well know. My son is Type 2 and has been for years. He is doing well with the management of the dis-ease as I know you will. I am praying for you! Love you.

  17. magpiesue says:

    Oh for Pete’s sake! This isn’t the worst news anyone could get but it sure ain’t fun. Of course we all wish you the best, and have full confidence you’ll overcome – probably with flying colors! All those new recipes to try out for example… 😉

    • katechiconi says:

      It really is all a bit unnecessary, isn’t it? But yes, it’s just another hurdle to get over and I’m sure once I’m in the swing of it, I’ll think it’s much less doom-laden. I’m sure there WILL be new recipes to try and share.

  18. Susan Nixon says:

    I’ve lived on the edge for years without falling over, but that day will end sometime. My father had it for decades and was pretty good about his diet, thanks to my mother. =)

    It’s a manageable disease, especially if you don’t have to do insulin injections. That makes it much easier. You will find a new-normal-balance once the surprise wears off, and find great adventure in searching out foods that give you the comfort and satisfaction of old favorites, while being good for your new lifestyle.

    You can abuse the restrictions a *little* bit, but I always find myself thinking, “If I hadn’t eaten that, how much better off would I be?” =) Here’s what my husband always said. “Any day above ground is a good day.” Even one with dietary restrictions. =)

    • katechiconi says:

      I know you’re right; after all, I’ve lived with other major dietary restrictions for nearly 20 years, so what’s one more? I know I can do this, I just wish it didn’t come with a whole bag of potential health problems. Roll on Friday, and lots more information to process!

  19. I’ve been borderline with pre-diabetis for years. Just means I have to cut out the crap for awhile. If I start on the sugary stuff, it’s like I went to the bar and got loaded. Then I have to sleep it off. I do have my test strips to monitor it. If the day comes that I cross that line, I have no idea how I’ll survive. After certain people come and spend time with me, I’m so drained, I reach for chocolate or anything sweet to calm me. My son and his S.O. will be here for 10 days. I have 4 chocolate bars already stashed so I don’t hurt anyone. 🙂 Somehow, cabbage just doesn’t work the same. I hear your anguish and feel much the same about it. I wish I could offer any help but alas, I’m no help here.

    • katechiconi says:

      A friend in a similar position to you swears by crackers, butter and cheese for moments of stress, rather than chocolate. I got a bit wobbly last night before dinner and tried her suggestion. It seemed to do the trick, and I escaped the sugar rush. I do know that my new treat and snack free diet with lots of green stuff does seem to make me less sleepy.

      • You are correct. The new diet will help you feel better. I always do, UNTIL…. I can go weeks or months. Then I fall off the wagon. Working on it though. The choc remains unopened and may stay that way if I learn to stop letting things upset me. Old habits. I’m cheering for you.

  20. anne54 says:

    Kate, i know that your determination will pull you through this….it’s just a shame that you have to go through it. I don’t have experience with diabetes, but I know from my research into inflammation that sugar is a factor in inflammation. So there will be other health benefits to cutting out sugar too. Take care, my friend, and remember, the more information you have the better. xxx

  21. Chris S in Canada says:

    Oh dear. You didn’t really need this, but there you are. My dad lived 30+ years with T2. He always liked veggies anyway so that wasn’t hard. He was never a big eater so portion control was easy. He left this world at 97, so I figure he had a pretty good run. But the medication (metformin) can have some side effects down the road. Your doctor should be up to snuff with that stuff and will monitor – but you should certainly ask questions.

    My big guy had sudden onset T1 at age 30. 37 years later he is doing just fine thanks. Some loss of sensation in feet and fingertips. Never outside without sandals or shoes. After cataract surgery a few years ago his vision is amazing. He is careful to eat at regular mealtimes, snacks (or drinks cold water) if he feels a little low (or high). The advances in medicine are incredible so his 2 types of insulin are well thought out and managed by health professionals. He has a monitor that he wears on his shoulder and passes a “reader” over as many times a day as he wishes. No finger pricks unless he is feeling really out of whack. It’s called Libre and has revolutionized diabetes management – no more feeling like a pincushion.

    You will do just fine. Follow your healthcare professionals as they teach and advise you. However you are already adept at reading your body so make sure you listen to yourself as well. You will miss the cakes and so on, but you will come to a stage where you will be able to have a small piece and be satisfied. Hard to believe but true.

    Biggest piece of advice? Don’t be too hard on yourself, it only makes you miserable. You will find your balance. Second biggest piece of advice (which you already know) is to be the best advocate you can for yourself. Ask the questions and get the answers so you can make good decisions.

    Blessings on you!

    • katechiconi says:

      I love food and I love to eat, so learning to treat food as fuel that needs to be balanced with available insulin is going to be a sharp contrast, but I can do it. I also know that if the time comes that I need to use insulin, that too can be successfully managed without huge life changes. My aunt is a shining example of that, having died in her 80s after a lifetime of T1, with no other obvious health issues whatever. I know huge leaps in diabetes management have taken place, CGM such as you mention being only one, and insulin pumps being another. All things being equal, I’d prefer not to reach that territory, though!
      I’ve always been extremely involved in and proactive with my own health, and I don’t imagine this will be any different. Thanks for the encouragement and advice, it’s greatly appreciated.

  22. Oh Kate – you certainly have had more than your fair share. Thank goodness you have such a positive and practical way of looking at things. I am so glad that there is such a wealth of great hints, tips, support and information for you – and quilting, the perfect thing to keep you creatively engrossed in beauty when you need absorbing distraction.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s a bit of a blow, but you just press on, don’t you? Meanwhile the rest of life continues unabated. I shall have to unlearn a few habits in the kitchen, learn a few new ones and swap some ingredients for others. Put like that, it’s not such a huge deal, is it? (Yes, OK, I do know there’s more to it, but that’s what the day to day practicalities boil down to).

      • Mu mum married a T2, when at he time was injecting to regulate the sugar levels and was having hypers every couple of days. This had been the case for many, many years he tells me. Within months of their wedding, after adjusting his diet in a barely noticeable way (mostly by regulating times and quantities) he’s eating everything again, simply a little less of it in one go. It’s been over a decade, and now he’s in his late 70s and his diabetes is well under control. She uses a bit of sugar replacement in any really sugary items like biscuits, (she says it took a bit of trial and error to get the recipes right, but then, as ever, she didn’t bother to get any books or look it up on the internet or ask anyone!)
        You can definitely do this, especially as it appears to have been caught early. Massive hug.

      • katechiconi says:

        Sounds like your mum is a very healthy cook! For me, the absence of sugar is going to be an issue, as I loathe the taste of all known alternatives. I’m getting mild hypos just before I eat, which is weird because I didn’t before, no symptoms at all, but I guess it makes sense because the drug I’m on stops your liver releasing glucose into the bloodstream, so I’m missing that constant trickle… It’s not really the dietary management that I’m concerned about, more the massive bundle of other health problems that come along with diabetes, some of which already seem to have arrived without my really noticing. But you’re right. I CAN do this and I WILL do this.

      • katechiconi says:

        Back atcha 🙂

  23. cedar51 says:

    Kate, I’ve only read a few of the comments, out of interest because I have no tips or experience.I initially thought well, “quilting” isn’t something the medics want to you to give up – so whenever you want a “treat” – off to your sewing room with you 🙂

  24. nanacathy2 says:

    Well all I can say is **************************! Sometimes life is not nice and this growing older malarkey is not easy. Best of luck in getting Good advice and support whilst you sort things out. Hunting for the best lettuce leaf is not the same as hunting for the best pie/ cake on your travels. But this too you will overcome. Hugs, xx

    • katechiconi says:

      My reaction was very similar but I said it in my head as I was face to face with the doctor.! Give me time and I’ll come up with something new and tasty to go in search of 🙂

  25. How is your dairy intolerance these days? If it’s not too bad, then you can find comfort in cheese. I’m ok with a bit of hard cheese as it doesn’t have much lactose in it and I love it as a snack with some nuts. But how depressing to give up all that yummy sugar… however bad it is for all of us.

    • katechiconi says:

      I can do mozzarella, Brie and Camembert and any hard cheese. Can’t do cream cheese, cottage cheese, mascarpone or ricotta. No milk, no cream or yoghurt. Luckily there are LF alternatives for the last three, and just recently, LF cream cheese. I may become a Brie-type aficionada, cholesterol levels permitting! Or perhaps smoked and cured meats, although my tastes would have to change very radically for that!

      • I wish I could send you some of our locally made mozzarella

      • katechiconi says:

        That would have been lovely! However, whenever we go north, we can visit a couple of very good dairies on the Atherton Tableland, one of them biodynamic, both of them selling a wide variety of cheeses made on the premises. I suspect it will become my cake and pie substitute!

  26. That’s a bummer Kate. My maternal line has 2 genes – the cuddly one and the skinny one and I was lucky enough to get the skinny one despite my very sweet tooth. One bit of encouragement and one source of info. When my husband was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma we were advised to change our diet and it was hard but doable – nothing like a real incentive to make you say ‘No’ to things! Not having temptation in the house certainly helped. On the info side I have just read Michael Mosley’s ‘The Clever Guts Diet’ which arose out of his own diagnosis of T2 diabetes. (I am not diabetic but if I am to stand any chance of finishing my project list I need to take my health seriously!) The book is very readable, he researched the science thoroughly, and is full of interesting tips – such as if you cook and then cool rice or pasta some of the starch becomes resistant to digestion so it cannot be absorbed, reheat it and even more is transformed. So a small portion of brown rice or wholewheat pasta cooked, cooled and reheated is loads better than the white stuff freshly cooked. After reading it I am trying to modify my diet according to his advice so for a different reason I am on the same road as you. Good luck, keep telling us how you are getting on and I will be cheering you on.

    • katechiconi says:

      I already have the Clever Guts Diet as my insides have given me lifelong trouble. I must say that the way I’m eating right now is the best they’ve been in decades, I’d say, which does not include an avoidance of fruit and bread, but does preclude cake, biscuits and added sugar. The resistant starch aspect had slipped my mind, and I will revisit that bit – thank you!

  27. Debbierose says:

    As the wife if a T2 one medication, and my mum also. Sticking to Diet 90% worked for mum 20years B4 needing insulin. My MOTH needs the odd treat, reduce salt intake, exercise. Positivity and having fun, stil live life to the Max

    • katechiconi says:

      Thanks for this! I need to learn my good levels and testing, and after that I can launch into the experimental cooking aspect. I suspect once I’m across all that it will become second nature and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to control it with diet and exercise eventually.

  28. Debbierose says:

    Take care Kate, keep positive

  29. Bear says:

    I’m not a diabetic…yet. I have had hypoglycemia most of my life… that’s perpetually low blood sugar. We eat the same diet, though. I eat about 4-5 small “snack-like” meals a day, evenly spaced. I rarely get high on sweets… it causes my count to spike then take a dangerous nose-dive. I can go from having a 200 cnt down to less than 20 in a matter of minutes/seconds. I control with diet, and do well unless we visit inlaws who never have meals on schedule and when they do have food it’s just entirely unhealthy levels of sugar and salt. I’ve packed my own holiday meals for years now to offset. The diet isn’t so bad, once you get used to it. It will become old hat, natural in a while. Just beware of replacing the sugar with substitutes… sometimes the substitutes like sugar-free candy… have a horrible side effect of diarrhea if you’re not careful.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s funny… I don’t eat much sugar in my own cooking, it’s all in bought cake and cookies. I don’t care at all for nasty sugar substitutes, and drink my coffee and tea without sugar anyway. Don’t drink sodas. I’m of the opinion that it’s the amount I ate rather than what I ate that was the problem. Still, time will tell. I’ve discovered an excellent website that will calculate calorie values for a recipe if you input a recipe, so I can assess all my favourites and make substitutions where possible.

      • Bear says:

        Sounds like a sound plan. Me, I use a measuring cup, just the size I’m allowed, and put whatever fits. LOL!

  30. Emmely says:

    Oh Kate that just sucks. If I recall correctly you managed to do the gluten free diet for years so I am sure you’ll manage this new set of directions as well.

    • katechiconi says:

      It certainly does. I did GF for over 10 years, which is more restrictive. What’s new to me is the way I’ll have to maintain a balance between intake and activity, and learn how much energy – and therefore food – I need to support different activities. I’ll get there!

  31. Steph says:

    Oh I’m sorry! I hope the educator was helpful. The amount of bad stuff that can happen to one person all-at-once seems incredibly unfair.

    I’m sure Mouse is keeping you active and positive though, with the inimitable nursing skills of his breed. And I think I’ve read of dogs trained to sense the onset of dangerous highs/lows? Mouse could do this!

    • katechiconi says:

      She was helpful, and it seems I’m doing all the right things already. Mouse is being good about increasing my daily step-count, although whether we’ll both feel as keen once the hot weather starts again remains to be seen! There are indeed diabetic service dogs, but to be honest, I really can’t seen Mouse in that role. The nearest to alerting me he comes is the cold wet nose that says “Where’s my breakfast?”…

  32. Kate, you always have such a good attitude about things. I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. That must have been a terrible shock. You’ve had more than your fair share of health issues, but you seem to meet each one with grace. I don’t have anything to add to the amazing comments and advice above, but I wish you well on the journey. Changing eating habits is hard work, but the results will be amazing. You’ll feel so much better in the long run. Best of luck. xo

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you, Alys, that’s very kind 🙂 As you say, changing eating habits is hard work, but the alternative is not to be considered, I feel. I’m sure I’ll look back in future times and wonder what took me so long, when I could have avoided the whole diabetes issue completely.

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