Saturday, January 30, 2010


Ah! How much do you take before you are addicted to it? Ok, let me reword that. How much does he have to take before I get addicted to him taking it? LOL! I'm already there!

Who knew a pain pill could give me so much relief when I don't even take it? As long as I drive, and he "loads" up on drugs, we are finding that we can get back to the routine of living. Ok, of doing at least one thing a day perhaps!

Today, we made it out to lunch and then to a movie. Have not done that in a few months and I miss it. Of course, by the time we got back home, the percocet(s) had worn off and he went straight to bed. He's been there ever since, about 5 hours now.

We have started the Low GI menu and so far, it's going ok. We're starting to decide just what we can eat at which restaurangs, the rest will be here. We've actually sat down and gone over a menu for a full week. Tomorrow we are going to see if he can do anything on the wii workouts while sitting down. It will at least get his upper body moving a bit. I hope.

It was a good day overall.


Friday, January 29, 2010

A carb is a carb is a carb.....or is it?

Some idiot doctor told my husband that "a carb is a carb is a carb". I disagree!!

While it may be true that the word “Carbohydrate” can be applied equally to all types of carbohydrates, there are different types of carbs and they act quite differently.

They are all starches.

They all eventually convert to sugar (glucose).

There are 3 common types of carbs in foods:

Dietary Fiber

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of the speed at which a carbohydrate raises blood sugar levels. From this, a high glycemic carb is one which raises blood sugar levels very quickly. The spike in blood sugar creates the insulin response which means that your body will produce high amounts of insulin to return your blood sugar back to normal levels. This is done by converting all the glucose into fat which gets stored in your body. This results in low blood sugars and the craving for simple carbs.

High Glycemic Carbs used to be known as simple carbohydrates. They are already in their simplest form, easily digested and enter the blood at a fast rate. They also raise blood sugar levels fast.
candy, cookies, white bread, bagels (refined/processed High GI carbs)
potatoes, corn, carrots, pumpkin, (unrefined High GI Carbs)

Low glycemic carbs used to be complex carbohydrates. They release glucose into the blood at a slower pace, cause a smaller rise in blood sugar.
Whole wheat pasta and bread, spaghetti (refined Low GI Carbs)
plums, peas, spinach (unrefined Low GI Carbs)

These are only quick samples. Complete lists can be found by googling the topic.

The carbohydrate cycle in the body:

1. When you eat sugar or any other carbohydrate, it is converted into a simple sugar, which goes into your bloodstream.
2. We can't make sugar in this form. What is required is insulin, which makes it possible for blood sugar to be absorbed and metabolized by our cells.
3. When too much sugar enters the bloodstream, the pancreas overworks to produce enough insulin to metabolize the sugar.
4. If you regularly eat too much sugar, refined carbohydrates or just plain over eat, the pancreas "learns" to over produce insulin.
5. The pancreas continuously drips insulin into the bloodstream, gradually reducing the blood sugar level; eventually lowering it too much.
6. The result is that a couple of hours after eating too much sugar or too many carbohydrates, you may experience a low blood sugar level.
7. In this state, people may feel irritable, fatigued, stressed and hungry. Then, they may want something to eat, and usually its sugar or something sweet they reach for.
8. If you then take a pick-me-up sweet, it further stimulates insulin production so that, after the initial rise, the blood sugar level drops even more than previous.
9. This is experienced as still more stress, more hunger, and the cycle repeats itself.
10. If these eating habits continue, the pancreas - overworked and stressed - slows or stops insulin production. The result is high blood sugar, sugar in the urine, and even diabetes.

So, simple math here. If your pancreas no longer produces insulin, or not enough insulin, you have to either inject it into your body, or take a pill. But one way or the other, you have to get it in there to get the sugar out of the blood and into the muscles.

Artificial sweetener acts almost the same way. While it has no "sugar" in acts to supress the appetite. Combine that with low blood sugar, you get hungry, grab for something sweet to give you energy....and you set the same cycle into motion.

Stimulants like caffeine, stimulate the adrenal gland to produce epinephrine.
Epinephrine stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, lowering blood sugar level, but if the pancreas can't produce insulin, then the stimulant really acts to raise blood sugars overall.

Research has shown that excess consumption of aspartame slowly begins to destroy neurons. Not so good for a diabetic with neuropathy.

The dangers of diet soda:

The brain has a conditioned response in reaction to something that is sweet called the cephalic phase response. The body perceives that the arrival of something sweet means "energy". When the taste of an artifical sweetener such as aspartame stimulatesthetongue, the brain programs the liver to prepare for the arrival of new energy (sugar) from outside.

The liver, in turn, stops the manufacture of starch and protien from reserves in the body, and instead begins to store the glucose (energy) that is circulating in the blood stream.

Foods having a sweet taste without the accompanying calories stimulate the taste buds, creating and urge to eat and thus overeat.

It is the liver that produces the signals and the urge to eat The cephalic phase response triggers the release of insulin, which stores sugar in the blood stream.

This creates low blood sugar which leads to the development of increased cravings and appetite.

Studies have shown that htis urge to eat more food after using artificial sweeteners such as aspartame can last up to 90 minutes after the meal or snack.

so while aspartame itself may not have a GI still has an impact on what happens inside the body.

If you read the book "Sweet Poison" by Dr. Janet Starr Hull, she will tell you that she is convinced that long term use of aspertame can cause diabetes. Hmmmm......and it doesn't have a single carb in it!

Then there's a US healthy study released 31 Oct 2009 that will tell you regular consumption of artifically sweetened sodas can affect kidney function over time. (OK, so to some of you reading, note that the word here really is affect, not effect!) (LOL!) AND this same study also showed that artificial sweeteners can trigger high insulin levels which promotes the storage of fat.

Yet again....where are the carbs?

HUGE NOTE TO SELF - He doesn't even need to eat to get himself into the roller coaster cycle of highs and lows....all it takes is a diet coke!!!

Another thought on soda. I use it to clean the acid off my car battery. Ever try that? Works just great! I also use it mixed with water to polish silver. Whatever it is that cleans my battery and polishes my being filtered through my kidneys every sip of the way. So for a diabetic with low functioning kidneys like my husband that still downs 8 or 9 cans of diet soda every day....just consider what it's doing to him!

My mom is a retired nurse practitioner. I knew plenty of diabetics when I was a kid growing up at home. We NEVER took them anything remotely sweet. Yet today, doctors, nurses, nutritionists, etc., are all telling their patients the same line: "a carb, is a carb, is a carb." Do you think it could be that their source of income is derived from having sick patients? Consider the small possibility that diabetes was wiped off the face of the earth? Could it simply be that the medical industry is actively wanting to keep this disease around? If they really wanted to eliminate it, wouldn't we be fighting to take sweeteners off the market? Get good nutritional education in grade schools? Start with a healthy cafeteria menu?

Well, at least tell existing dibetics that there are HUGE differences in how carbs are consumed in the body and that perhaps, just perhaps, a piece of candy is a whole lot worse than a stick of cheese!

Conclusion? A carb is NOT a carb, in fact, it doesn't even have to be a carb, it can be a fake carb (sweetener) when it comes to someone who has diabetes.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Getting caught up

I've been gone for the past week to an art show and I simply had a wonderful time. The manufacturer that I design for hosted us in a wonderful suite of rooms, treated us to incredible meals, and the weather was just perfect for the most part! I got to spend time with fellow artists and then simply just let my creative juices flow. So much to catch up on here:

Mary wrote:
Hi DW,

It is so frustrating to deal with this aspect of disease too. I don't know if it is denial or if my dh genuinely does not remember things. I have to wonder if other people with chronic illnesses behave in the same way. Is this a way of coping with their disease? To conveniently "forget" about important health advice.

It is as though my dh has selective memory. We are also dealing with sleepwalking recently. I am not sure if it is a side effect of the drugs he takes. During his last sleepwalking episode he lost his glasses. It has been 3 days and we haven't found them (thankfully we has a spare pair).

This past summer I went to his medical appointments with him and I took notes. Even with my notes in hand he still denied that the doctor said those things. I finally gave up on trying to help him manage his health care. No, I can't help him but I can change the way I think about things. He is a young man, 45, and has so many health issues.

I have been dealing with this for so many years that I think it is normal behavior for him. Some days I want out of this marriage so bad I can taste it.

Thanks for your blog and letting me vent.

Mary, I think we all know exactly what you are feeling. Some days we all want out of the relationships. But I think it's not really the marriage that we want out of, it's the diabetes that we want to get away from.

I think denial can be applied to the part of hubby that doesn't want to deal with what's going on with his own body. But the lack of memory has to come from glucose levels. It's not normal because I can remember when it wasn't a problem....back when his gluclose levels were good. The combination of both issues is quite a nightmare at times. So for me, it's simply a matter of taking this one minute at a time, making sure that I take care of me, getting away like I just did (about once a month if I can) for 3 or 4 days at a time so that I get a complete break from everything...and then just focusing on the present moment and not worrying about the future.

and then Florence found us and posted:

Hi. I just found this blog today, and it is a lifeline. Forget the other wacko who accused you of being mean. She is in the lala land where DHs take care of themselves and do not lie through their teeth. Good for her.

I will be back soon with the all story.

I had to giggle at the term "wacko". LOL! I truly think that those who are diabetic, who have highs and lows and totally forget what they say and do, those who are in denial, those who are so young and inexperienced....will one day be reading this blog as well. Or at least their spouses will. And that probably scares the crap out of them! To think that your spouse wakes up every single day and asks themselves if they stay or leave, if they go for counseling to deal with it or not, if they ignore it or not....has to be quite frightening. So instead, they claim "we" are nuts, evil women, unkind and uncaring and blast us away and tell others to stay away....don't read that crap! I think it's quite sad that they refuse to even try to understand what it's like.

Perhaps the best way to relate is how some gentiles treat Jews. They don't accept their religion, blame current Jews for the death of Jesus that occurred 2000 years ago (I never quite understood that one), walk away when they see a man wearing a yamaka....and so on. Sort of a limited perspective on life when you don't bother to learn what other people believe and feel. And that's exactly what diabetics are doing when they refuse to read this blog. Their loss, not mine, because I read what they write all the time.

Note to Tom's Wife. I was in Las Vegas last night. 2 hour layover at the airport. Wonder if we passed in the halls!

So status report for us. Hubby survived my trip, but he said he had a day where he could not walk at all. I think it was the day after he went to the grocery store on his own. Usually I go with him and yes, he had plenty of food here, but wanted something else (chocolate? Potato chips???) He did pretty good today. Made it downstairs for about 3 hours, then back to bed. He commented that he really wants them to do the surgery on his back and doesn't know if he can stand the pain between now and then. I asked if his sugar had started to come down yet and he said "no", That means it is still hovering around 300. They did increase his insulin and the next step will be to switch to a more potent version.

I asked if he wanted to start the low glycemic diet tomorrow and of course, he said no. Now he wants to wait til after Superbowl Sunday as we have guests coming in that weekend. I suggested that we go ahead and start the diet tomorrow and he could go off it just for that Sunday. He shook his head. So this is my indication that he's not going to do it at all. But I have a plan. I told him we need to go grocery shopping tomorrow and all I'm going to get are low GI foods. And then I'm going to refuse to go out to eat with him. He can go out alone if he doesn't want what I fix here. I've started planning a menu tonight. Will be interesting to see what happens.

Sometimes you just gotta take the bull by the horns. LOL!