Saturday, August 11, 2007

Diabetes strikes home

I thought since my husband has learned to cook for me, read labels, and generally be highly carb conscious about what I allow to be consumed at home, that his overall sugar and starch consumption would be low enough that he would never have any health problems. Of course it seems this subject falls in the same category of "I'm just in deep denial" that I discovered I perferred to use to keep from facing lots of other unpleasant subjects.

Yes, this week we discovered that he is, indeed, diabetic. Not a whole lot diabetic; not so bad the doctor recommeded insulin diabetic, but still with high enough blood sugar to be considered diabetic. To his credit, he did tell the doctor that he wanted to try to manage it with diet and exercise and the doctor agreed to let him do it.

Well, he has had several years now that he has practiced 'stealth carb consumption'. He has been pretty good at it, too. There are several things that he considers necessary to make life worth living. I think the main one is his coffee on the weekends. He only drinks it on the weekends, and I have nothing against coffee. The problem is he HAS to have Irish Cream and Kahlua in his coffee. OK, great! He learned several years ago to make his own Irish Cream and his own Kahlua. The Kahlua is made with instant coffee, cheap vodka, and simple syrup that I convinced him to make with Splenda instead of sugar. One problem kind of solved. But the Irish cream is made with bourbon, raw egg, chocolate syrup (he will happily sub sf syrup), and here is the real problem...a can of sweetened condensed milk! HOLY COW, I'll bet no low carber even bothered to look up the carb count on sweetened condensed milk. 23g per 2 Tablespoons. Nutritional information seems like an oxymoron when you say in conjunction with a product that is made of whole milk and sugar, period! I'll try to come up with a substitute, but it isn't going to be easy. I know that Irish Cream Davinci's Syrup won't satisfy him.

Even though he knows I'm right, he still has that wishful attitude that he won't have to watch his diet forever. I've told him its a lifestyle change, not a diet, and eventually he won't think about eating fries, corn on the cob, and hamburger buns again (which, BTW, he rarely does in front of me). He argues that when he gets down to 200 pounds it won't be a problem anymore. Somehow, he has connected diabetes with weighing 250 pounds, not with having disfunctional sugar metabolism. He has 2 college degrees and isn't stupid! But he is a man, and if I nag him he'll just remain in stealth carb eating mode and not educate himself. So, my mouth is shut. My Atkins books are laying in plain sight, and I don't know what else to do. I know that he mainly eats the bad stuff when he isn't around me, and I can't be around him all the time.

The holidays are going to be rough. His mother is a wonderful cookie, cake, and pie baker. That's her special talent and she is his supplier on the holidays...I'm not making any iced sugar cookies or making fudge and Mississippi Mud Pie, but she has them sitting all over the house in literal bucketfuls. I have her partially trained to have a few things around made with Splenda so I don't sit around and bitch quite so bad about being surrounded with poison, are they trying to kill me or what? Not too long ago I actually yelled at her for buying LOW FAT some kind of crap, and pulled a regular version of it out of her refrigerator and showed her the carb count and amount of sugar was exactly 19 times higher in the low fat version. I was mortified that I yelled at my MIL, but I may have finally made some headway in keeping her from trying to feed me low fat stuff ("I got those for you, they're low fat"). Maybe I can get her convinced that flour and sugar should be eliminated from her house, too, now that her son's life depends on it. Yeah, that's it, I'll accuse her of trying to kill him instead of me for awhile.

Anyway, anybody reading this is welcome to offer suggestions. I'm doing all I can think of to convince him that Low Carb is the only way to handle this disease, and correct his HDL/Triglyceride ratio at the same time (it's bad, too, of course).