Food, glorious food

Today, when I asked for a raincheck on my physiotherapy session, I felt like the physiotherapist might have thought I was being lazy. Looking back, I realize I should have explained my situation better.

Earlier in the day, my blood sugar level dropped alarmingly low, and I was still recovering from the impact it had on me. For a little while I was genuinely scared of slipping into a deeper, more serious medical problem.

Upon my admission to the hospital three weeks ago, my blood sugar level had skyrocketed to an extraordinarily high level of 70. Even the nurses, including my niece who is a nurse herself, were surprised, as it is usually supposed to be between 5 to 10. However, today’s sugar level plummeted to 2.2, which is dangerously low.

As a result, I experienced light-headedness, dimmed vision, and an unusual combination of feeling both hot and cold.

The nursing team promptly responded by offering me a plate full of sugar products to bring my blood sugar level back to a more normal range. Fairly quickly it was 2.9, then 3.5 and tonight it was 13.5, which is higher than normal. In any other circumstances this would cause concern, but the staff were happy it had recovered from the low levels.

They inquired about my breakfast (which I had eaten), but we couldn’t determine why my levels had fallen so significantly, other than the fact that “with new diabetics, it sometimes takes a while to settle down.”

Among the adjustments I’ll need to make upon returning home, it’s managing diabetes that is causing me the greatest apprehension right now, even more than dealing with the amputation. As you might know from my previous posts, I have a deep love for food and wine.

Nomination for the worst hospital food so far: chewy and tasteless. It was a chore eating it.

I’ll need to regularly check my sugar levels, use insulin, and adapt to a new lifestyle. Over the next few weeks, I plan to research how I can live with diabetes and still enjoy adventurous foods, and of course discuss this with the hospital’s dieticians.

Nomination for the best hospital food so far. I’d never heard of this brand of yoghurt before, but I see it’s available at my local Woolworths, so I’ll be seeking it out when I return home.

Today, we were informed that we need to remain in COVID isolation until Monday, which means no visitors over the weekend, and that saddens me. It’s tough enough not being able to leave the room, but I can’t help but admire the staff who have to wear full PPE every time they enter our rooms.

On a positive note, the hospital staff rearranged the beds, and now I have a window view of “The Wall” on Darlinghurst Road. During lunchtime, I sat by the window, observing the passersby. They also opened the window which allowed for some fresh (city) air to come in.

PS. I’m aware that some of my upcoming posts may revolve around hospital life, amputation recovery, and diabetes, which might seem a bit repetitive. However, I hope these posts will be helpful to individuals who might be going through similar experiences.

10 Replies to “Food, glorious food”

  1. Being a new diabetic can be confusing as you wade through the myriad of information, sometimes contradictory, and try to match up your lifestyle with your body’s new limitations. My partner Richard developed Type 1 diabetes over a year ago, triggered by a bout of Covid. If you ever want someone to talk to about the frustrations, he’s available at any time. He’s also across some fantastic online diabetes chat forums where people share their successes, ups and downs, as well as newly emerging diabetes treatments – he can point you to those if you like, he’s found them incredibly helpful for his own headspace. He’s gone from having to inject himself with insulin, to using a stick on pod on a closed loop that automatically monitors and adjusts his insulin levels via an app on his phone. Change the little pod every three days – no more constant blood tests and injections. The app is set to sound an alarm if he starts trending too low or too high and he can just dial the app and manually add a little more insulin if he’s high, or grab a choccy if he’s going low. He’d be able to explain it better if you were interested in knowing about it later down the track once you’ve settled into a rhythm and routine at home. Diabetes doesn’t mean the end to the food you love, it’s about moderation and discovering new low carb recipes and foods. You get to explore a new world of taste now! Bring on the fauxtato salad made with cauliflower, not potatoes – it’s seriously delicious!!!

    1. Hi Tiff there is so much great information in your comment. I’ll be in touch directly when it’s a bit closer to returning home.

      Re moderation? I was told by someone I can have a piece of chocolate, not the whole block. a spoonful of ice cream, not the whole tub, a glass of wine, not the whole… you get the idea.

  2. No need to apologise for the content of your blog, or if it may seem ‘repetitive’. It is your blog. Plus, we are all wanting to know how you are doing and if you are ok.

  3. Gee, as if there is not enough for you to deal with. Chobani yoghurt is very nice. Aldi sell a similar product but from memory there is a good bit more sugar in the Aldi brand.

  4. James, you write well. You are perceptive and are an amazing example of how to face very difficult times. It will always be interesting.
    I share your love of food and wine. It lifts the spirit and gives us something to look forward to in a few hours…unless you’re in hospital!

  5. Hi James, I was in the neighbourhood today but saw visiting was out. Wishing you all the very best for your recovery, and new food discoveries ( yoghurt – I love Jalna). It sounds like you’re getting good care at Sacred Heart. Your writing is so engaging, thanks for sharing. Warm regards, Amanda A (former ABC colleague)

    1. Hi Amanda, it would have been lovely to have seen you. Sorry about the COVID. What else could go wrong? I absolutely LOVED your gift. In the midst of lots of chocolate (which I also love!!), it was so wonderful to receive such a thoughtful gift, tapping into my creativity, interests etc. EVERYONE who comes to visit from now on will be asked to make something (and sign it). It’s such a wonderful way for us to have fun together, and it will be a wonderful momento of this time. xx

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