Tide’s Out

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I’ve been down lately, feeling out of my element, washed up on an unknown shore, beached.  My body is a strange new country, one whose language I thought I spoke fluently, until I woke up one day three weeks ago to find that the rules had all changed.

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I can still see my old and dearly beloved life, pre-diabetes, as if from an ever- receding distance.  It’s like my own body has cast me adrift, broken with the contract I thought we’d made to take care of each other, leaving me alone to slip and slide with the mysterious tide surging in my veins.

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I waver between feeling like I’m beached and gasping for air, and a raging sense that I have to get things under control immediately, or all is lost.  Neither is true, of course, but my feelings don’t know that.

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The gulf I feel between myself and every other person who isn’t diabetic is vast.  A lunch invitation turns into a mini-nightmare of fretting over the menu, will there be anything I can eat?  Am I doomed to a life of brown bags hiding low carb foods?  Every social invitation in my life involves food, most of it food that I can’t eat right now.  Diabetes is a line in the sand, a deep ditch, a gulf stream.  And worse, I know that I’ve barely gotten my feet wet so far.sunrise 778

The water is wide, I can’t cross o’er. Nor do I have light wings to fly.

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11 Comments on “Tide’s Out”

  1. Jan Lang Says:

    This is what I get for not keeping up with my blogs, even my favorites–I just now am reading about the diabetes diagnosis. I’m so sorry to hear about it and even though I know you will find your way through this, I certainly understand that feeling of your body suddenly feeling like a foreign object. I think a combination of depression/fear/introspection is completely normal when you find out something life changing like this. All I can say is, hang in there, keep working through it and you will figure it all out eventually. And use your friends to lean on…I’ve found that the best recipe of all!

  2. Nancy Says:

    We’re pulling for you, Abra. Those among us who’ve been betrayed by our bodies in some way have an inkling of how you feel, and the rest of us know it could happen to us too. I don’t know how much small comfort it may bring, but please know we care and pray for your well-being in spirit and body.

  3. Margaret Says:

    It’s not as bad as you might think. When initially confronted with this I was confused as well. Yes, I too felt like the rules had changed and I had to figure them all out again. But once you get the basics, you’ll be fine. You can still have *some* carbs, but you have to always balance them with protein to slow their absorption, and some carbs are more evil than others when it comes to raising your BG. That article leads to some really great info and a forum with people discussing how they’ve learned to eat and where they know they can indulge without a whole lot of repercussions. Hell, that whole site mentioned some things that made me think I should self-test as well, even though I’ve been diagnosed as ‘pre’ and not ‘yes you have it.’

  4. Debra Says:

    Abra, you know how much I love good food also. Its all about portion control. you can have whatever you want, just not all at once. Its really managable and watching my carbs, I’m down 20 lbs, so its not all bad.

  5. Abra Bennett Says:

    You folks taking Byetta, have you discussed this Byetta alert http://www.adrugrecall.com/byetta/recall.html with your doctors?

    Margaret, if you’re not testing, it might be more complicated than you think. The glucometer doesn’t lie.

  6. EHS Says:

    Perhaps I don’t necessarily understand all the implications of having Diabetes but I do know that the diagnosis is a blessing that will teach you how to take care of yourself better, and we do want you around for a long time…. Abra, think of ALL YOU CAN DO. You are a remarkable writer and a fabulous chef. You can teach people how to eat, cook, and prepare foods in a healthier way. Think of all the new ways you can cook. Think of all you CAN do for yourself and others… Think of how strong you were with Shel and his illness. Granted, I’m not going through this but all I see is the potential you can achieve by helping others learn how to cook, eat and drink wisely – and do it brilliantly…

  7. geri Says:

    I’ve had to rethink & redo my ‘menus’ due to digestive issues, too..it’s challenging, to say the least, for discerning, enthusiastic omnivores to change ‘courses’…. there is grieving to do…. ‘letting go’of what was…..and to then re-organize, re-educate, re-view, re-enter and renew.

  8. Amy Says:

    Dear Abra –
    I wanted to wait and think about what to say to you. I was diagnosed several years ago with “metabolic syndrome” = high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar. I was on glucophage, Byetta, etc., etc., for a while. But with watching my diet (not obsessively) and going back to doing yoga and meditation, everything is back under control. Probably leaving the District made a huge difference. I am off all the drugs and doing well. It doesn’t mean that I am free to eat and behave the way I did before. But, it did give me time to pause and consider how to modify my behavior. As a musician, I was terrified about the testing, but found that the newer meters work with such little sample that I didn’t have to use my fingers.
    Best of wishes. You have a strong will, are intelligent and are disciplined and will do fine. Amy

  9. Wolfgang Says:

    Dear Abra,
    as a dedicated follower of your literature and you your sharing your life experiences let me say this to you
    according to the great Martin Luther King
    You shall overcome ! You will manage and conquer!
    Regards
    W

  10. Max Says:

    Dear Abra,
    First, thank you for your wonderful blog. I can not tell you how much I have enjoyed those recipes that I have tried and how much your writing and photography lift my soul. Thanks also to our mutual friend, Jim McCormick for the introduction.
    Now, as someone who got the diagnosis a few years back, let me tell you that diabetes is not all its cracked up to be. I have noticed there is sometimes a tendency to rush headlong into some sort of Atkins induced protein hell. First, I agree with a previous poster that the meters don’t lie. However, you must be aware of what the meters are reporting. Are they reporting the roll you had at breakfast or is it the wine the night before. The biggest thing I have discovered since my tide went out is that you use your meter, you listen to your body, you get more exercise (mine is walking long distances) and you develop some heretofore unknown caution and things work out. You will discover some treacherous kitchens and you just avoid them or be very aware of what you eat from them. Too much talking, but don’t worry too much. Thanks again for your wonderful blog.

  11. Sue Geisler Says:

    How fortunate you are that you know so much about food and nutrition already. You are more able to plan what you eat and, best of all, how best to prepare it than almost anyone I know. And time will help you adjust.

    Keep on truckin’ and share your new food ideas and methods of diet control.


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