A Diabetes Break
Lean on yourself for better blood sugar readings.
By Ilene Raymond Rush
June 2010 — I was the kind of kid who dreamed of crutches.
Between the ages of 8 and 10, all I prayed for was a twisted ankle, maybe a broken leg, which would immediately yield a blazing white cast, a pair of shiny crutches and a good excuse to skip gym class for at least a semester (or two). Forty-odd years too late to get out of rope climbing and mandatory somersaulting, I finally got my wish.
A trip to a diabetic podiatrist yielded a diagnosis of a touch of neuropathy in my toes plus a bone spur on my left foot that required removal if I wanted to be able to continue to wear anything other than sneakers and flip flops.
So, in honor of my collection of high heeled shoes, last week I had the simple outpatient procedure to remove the piece of bone and in return – ta-da -- I received my very own baby surgical boot (alas, no cast) along with two standard issue aluminum crutches, sized to my very own height, plus navigational training by a physical therapist to ‘walk' around with them for three long weeks.
Be careful what you wish for, right?
To be honest, hobbling about on my long-wished-for crutches turned out to be not quite as much fun as I imagined. But this column really isn't about crutches, or even my bone spur. It's about what the crutches hath wrought – a spell of free time focused on me. Recovering from surgery involves taking time off to heal, which in my case has translated into plenty of bed rest, a fair amount of pain medication, and repeated viewings of "The Housewives of" whatever city Bravo TV is showing at the moment. More importantly, it has also included naps, stress free days, and regularly scheduled healthy meals prepared by my personal chef – er, husband – who has been taking excellent care of me and my poor foot.
Chicken Cacciatore Dish Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread Frozen Peanut Butter Mocha Parfaits Mushroom and Spinach Frittata Mediterranean Meatballs Pepper and Tofu Kabobs Lemon Sage Turkey Salmon with Wilted Greens Sugar and Spice Twists Cabbage and Grape Salad with Honey-Ginger Dressing
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...