Then I remembered the answers lay in bagels

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Just a quick post, with some good news… finally: my blood sugar levels are as close to normal as they have been since 2001.

Over the past three days I’ve gotten the numbers down from mid-20’s to eight. I’m so used to seeing high numbers that I’m apprehensive now about taking a reading on the chance the low numbers turn out to be an anomaly. I saw an eight at my last reading, now I’m afraid I’ll do something before the next one and end up back at 25.

It’s all because of diet. And the Metformin and glyburide, but mostly the diet.

I broke my foot a couple of months ago, and waited to have it looked at because I thought the pain was due to diabetes. It wasn’t, and I’m an idiot. At least the orthopaedic surgeon said so. He also told me, because of how long the Type-2 diabetes went untreated (at least ten years), and how high my numbers have been since I was diagnosed three years ago, that I’m a candidate for something called “Charcot Foot”.

Which is basically the polite way of telling me I’m a bruise away from losing my foot.

So, being on disability and not having much money, I approached my mother about helping me improve my diet. I figured it would take a couple of months until I was in a position where I could afford the quality and quantity of food necessary to get the numbers down.

Two months ago my diet was basically cans of brown beans, canned tuna, massive amounts of 1% milk and diet pop, and pasta. I was eating one meal a day, plus a few snacks — like a bowl of Raisin Bran. And not much else. I was basically eating like I was when I was on welfare.

With some help* from my mother I’ve spent the past four days eating whole wheat bagels, fresh fruit, real vegetables, yogurt and fish. It’s awesome.

I receive $50/month from ODSP to spend on a special diabetic diet. It’s next to useless. Rumour has it the amount is going to rise this summer, and if it wasn’t for the broken foot I probably would have waited forever for some help, but getting this stuff under control is a higher priority now.

The diet I’m using now is something I came up with two years ago, and it worked fast back then as well. But I stopped it because it became inconvenient to get the groceries, and the cost was a little too much.

But lately I’ve been looking at the amount ODSP gives me, and thinking I can work this upgrade in food into a workable budget.

…I’ve never been very good at budgeting. It’s a discipline, and something I can learn, but it’s going to take some time. After restocking my freezer and cupboards, I am now completely broke until the end of the month, which is a problem. I’ll have no more fresh food by Tuesday, but I think I can go another ten days or so on what I have, and keep my numbers down.

Those low numbers have made me very happy.

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*My mother and I are no longer speaking. I’ll write about it later, the emails surrounding the reasons why are an incredible insight into our relationship… but, other than that, everything’s great.

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...thanks.

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About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression in 1989, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. I have an 8-year old son, and a 4-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
This entry was posted in Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Clinical Depression, crazy people with no pants, Diabetes, Health, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Mental Health, Poverty and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Then I remembered the answers lay in bagels

  1. Melanie says:

    Yay for the low numbers!!!!! Keep it up sweetheart and good luck with your mom. 🙂

  2. Hi hon,

    First, love the pic.

    Second, do you have the same address? When trying to sort out shit to move, and packing stuff, I found the one that you wrote down when we met. I put it in with some papers I need to review/move. Didn’t want to throw it away!

    Third, did you get the .pdf re: the Special Diet stuff I sent?

    Fourth, did you actually get the new form? Should have been ready by April 01, and available through your/our workers. I called mine and she said, “Oh, you didn’t get it in the mail? I’ll send another out to you now.” It should have been mailed a week ago today.

    If it’s not there when I go to check the mail now, then whatever’s closest by is going to hit the fan! We’re in the same damn city! The office is only (well, I’d write it but wee nin-JAH wants to stay somewhat anonymous, still.)

    Fifth, this quote from your post: It wasn’t, and I’m an idiot. made me laugh so hard. Although, you have a tendency to make me laugh on many occasion.

    • Gabriel... says:

      Bonjour Madame Nin-jah.

      First, thank you. He’s got a lot of funny expressions. I was actually dead serious as I was lining up the shot, then he swung his head around, locked eyes and cracked that goofy smile. He does make me laugh.

      Second, I am living at the exact same address. Although I do have new-ish furniture and a cat.

      Third, I did receive the PDF, thank you.

      Fourth, I haven’t gotten the new form. My plan is to get to the ODSP office tomorrow (Friday) before my psych appointment.

      Fifth, making you laugh makes me happy.

      Thanks for coming over PatAnon.

  3. I hope you can keep up the healthy initiative. Good food is good for us.

    • Gabriel... says:

      So far so good. I ran out of fresh fruit on Wednesday, which kind of screwed things up for a little while. But I put together enough quarters to reload the yogurt, apples, oranges and bananas.

      The weirdest part of this is the early morning cravings. I’ve been waking up at 4am with a (all caps, shouting) need (/all caps, shouting) to eat. I’ll scarf down an apple while making myself a bagel with cream cheese, then drink two cups of juice or milk and then either pour a bowl of cereal down my throat, or eat half a tub of yogurt.

      It’s not pretty.

      Thanks, Clare, for the comment.

  4. Marissa Jean says:

    Wow! It’s great to read a lot of that. Not so much about your mother, though. I feel your pain about parental issues. I’ll pray for you!

    • Gabriel... says:

      Thanks Marissa, that’s very kind of you. I had a roommate about ten years ago who believed, for every one of us, at any given time, there was someone out there praying for us. I’ve always liked that image.

      Thanks for leaving a comment, for what it’s worth I think you’ve got the beginnings of a great blog.

  5. zoom says:

    I love the picture and congratulations on getting those numbers down!

    • Gabriel... says:

      Thanks zoom. The numbers bounced a little today (Thursday). I got a little greedy… one of the best ways I’ve found to get the numbers down is to cut out the pop, even the diet pop. And the best way, IMO, to do that is to take pure cranberry juice and mix in Club Soda — 30% cranberry, 70% CS. It’s awesome. No sugar, barely any salt and minimal calories… and it tastes like pop.

      But it’s hard to find real cranberry juice around here, so on Thursday I substituted pure orange juice. Which has sugar, and is probably the tastiest thing on earth.

      …the absolute tastiest thing is Club Soda and pure grape juice, but that’d put me into a coma for sure.

      So on Wednesday I was a 13, then Thursday morning I was a 10, and by the afternoon I was a 25.4 and Thursday night I was a 23.6. So I think that’s it for the orange juice.

      Thanks for the comment zoom.

  6. IfByYes says:

    Can you claim back taxes for your diet? I know you can if you have Celiac disease.

    • Gabriel... says:

      Excellent point Carol. There were new provincial tax credits announced for people with disabilities this year, some of which mean I’m receiving an extra $100 or so in my return. But nothing specifically for diabetes.

      I can make a claim for tax credits if I’m using insulin, which I’m not — but might be, starting in May. Those credits are based on a 14-hour week spent keeping track of the diabetes, but not food preparation. The tax credits available to people with either type of diabetes is for equipment costs, not (as I understand it) for food costs.

      I just found these two sites that have way more information that I do:

      Canadian Diabetes Association: Tax Credits for people with Diabetes

      Canadian Mental Health Association: Disability Tax Credit

      Thanks for the comment Carol.

  7. Pingback: The safety net my family offered me turned out to be full of holes and the security blanket caught fire | …salted lithium.

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