Yesterday dinner was at my cousins. We had tons of food and all kinds of desserts. We have a large family and we always eat Buffet style. After Grace was said, I was sitting in the kitchen when I noticed my cousins brother in law standing with a plate and the pure look of panic on his face. A woman who is a friend asked him what was wrong. He said he was diagnosed with diabetes last week and had no idea what to eat. She said oh, diabetes is a head game doctors play with people. I think the heads of two of my cousins spun because they are both RN's and could not believe the woman said this. I was totally speechless.
With 50 people in line waiting to eat we told him to come sit with us. The two RN's told him what diabetes was and how it effects the body. He started taking notes on his phone. They explained the importance of testing, exercise and eating properly. They also told him they were not diabetic educators and that he really should take a class from a reputable educator.
His last A1C reading was 12 and he woke up and his blood sugar was 210 that morning. He said he ate two boiled eggs and coffee for breakfast He brought water and protein bars to eat on the road. I asked him to go test again and then I would help him prepare his dinner. He came back and said his blood sugar was 180.
We got in in line and I told him if you want mashed potatoes you can't have mac and cheese, dressing, or candied yams and no roll. So he got a teaspoon of mashed potatoes, Green Beans, Kale, Ham, turkey, half of a candied yam, and a teaspoon dressing with a teaspoon of gravy.
He sat down and ate, got up and got more turkey, a load of green beans. I told him to check his sugar two hours later and his blood sugar was 192. Three hours later he asked about dessert. I told him to check and his blood sugar was down to 160. I didn't noticed that he had went out and walked with some of the kids and tossed a football around with some of my cousins neighbors kids. He wanted a piece of sweet potato pie so I cut him a 1 inch slice.
He said the one thing about Thanksgiving is being thankful. He said he was very thankful for meeting all of us. I had not seen him in 20 years and he had never met my two cousins who are RN's one lives in Georgia and the other is here. He said we didn't have to take time away from what we were doing in helping to get everyone fed to sit down and talk to him. I said that is what family is all about, helping each other.
The woman listened to what we told him and she said she always thought diabetes was in the persons head fed to them by a doctor. I asked and she said she had never been tested. My cousin asked for my kit and tested her and she was 245. She said by rights I can take you to an emergency room but you really need to make an appointment with your doctor. She said both her parents were diabetics but she never believed them. I think she does now.
The one thing we all told the man was to listen to his doctor, not to take advice from people like her who knows nothing about diabetes. He said he works for the VA and is going for Diabetes Education Classes the first week of December and he has an appointment with a dietitian Monday morning. He said he started a food journal and has written down questions to ask during class. He is also going on a Supermarket tour on Wednesday, the supermarket where he lives has them and he has talked to the pharmacist at the VA about all of his medications and how they will interact with each other. I went and got a can of veggies and told him how to read labels and one of the RN's told him about good and bad carbs. He left very prepared to start his journey as a diabetic. Had we not noticed him standing there floundering, he would more than likely eaten a lot of the wrong things.
One never knows who will cross their paths and how that person may or may not help them. You also don't know who will help you if you don't ask. I asked him if people know he was a diabetic. He said he is a former drug addict and had been in recovery for 10 years. Everyone knew he was an addict so why hide being diabetic. As he said, Life is always good and an adventure.
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