A medical student came to my house a few weeks ago to visit and interview me. This had nothing to do with the cancer or the surgery. In fact, I had seen her before several times at Lifelong Medical workshops on diabetes and stroke risk. She was required by her school, as part of her training, to do some in-home visits. After all, Dr. Miller explained to me as we were setting this up: you can learn a lot about a person by their home environment. Do they have a support system? What is their greatest worry or challenge?
My answer to that last question was: "I am recovering from cancer surgery -- my second cancer -- but that's not my worry. Diabetes kicks my butt daily." And so we talked about that. And that is the absolute truth.
I was talking to a friend the other day about what I would do differently 15, 20 years ago if I knew what I know now about how diabetes would affect me. Nothing, I replied. I don't think I could change a thing.
But that's not important, really. What's important is, what am I doing now? I'm taking my blood sugar levels every morning before breakfast, which tells m absolutely what path, what trend I'm on. I'm conscious every time I put something in my mouth, and now I write it down (in my new app in my phone). But I'm going one step further.
I'm ordering food from a local nutritionist. Yes, I've tried NutriSystem, and when the food was lousy and cardboard-like, I tried BistroMD. A little more upscale cardboard but still not tasty. And so I couldn't stick with it.
My nutritionist, Sandy Der, is making meals according to menus she puts together with my guidance. She will deliver the frozen goods to my door -- 20 of them -- and I'll eat them over the month. Then, next month we'll do the same thing. (Sandy has worked for year's with Oakland Women's Cancer Resource Center, teaching nutrition and helping people with cooking ideas.)
This month's menu items include:
Fish of the Day with sun dried tomato pesto. Side of wheat berry pilaf and broccoli.
Grilled lime and garlic marinated chicken. Side of cut corn and roasted sweet potatoes.
Beef stew with carrots. Side of egg noodles and sugar snap peas.
Hoisin glazed roast chicken breast with stir fried green beans and brown jasmine rice.
Turkey bolognese sauce. Side of whole wheat spaghetti and broccolini.
The whole idea is not to diet. The idea is to make better choices. I start May 12th. Wish me luck.