Yesterday while I was canning "B" rated tomatoes and peaches that I bought from a local farm stand, I thought about my mom and the road we've travelled together to help her restore her health.
There's no one magic bullet, no single miracle cure for what ails her. Reflecting back over the 2 years when we first embarked on this incredible journey together, my mom began to make some lifestyle changes soon after she had her pacemaker installed.
The thought of injecting herself with synthetic insulin depressed her and the more she injected herself, the more she wanted to kick the needle.
I helped her. Not as much as I should have, but I did help a little. I travelled a lot for my job so it was super tough to monitor what she was buying and eating while I was away. My mom did the best she could and began to wean herself off insulin by reducing the amount and type of food that she was eating.
Meat and vegetables were good choices, always leaving her blood glucose numbers lower than meals where she ate starchy foods loaded with simple carbs. She ate lots of Activia Yogurt too. She bought so much yogurt that often I'd open the door to the refrigerator and yogurts would come flying out of the ice box and splat on the floor. It was annoying and one of my biggest gripes, too many flying yogurt containers!
Gradually mom began to reduce the amount of insulin she was injecting into herself. She would have the spikes up and down the charts that would cause her to shake or hallucinate. Too low her body would shake, too high and she would hallucinate which would send her running through the house screaming about something that frightened her.
Obviously, she hated how she was feeling and didn't want to live like that anymore. She asked me to help her.
I did. I stepped it up. I began to make sure that my mom was eating better food that was more nutritious and taught her through her own body how food effects her blood sugar.
Life happened and our world was turned upside down. We sold my house and moved. My mom got wicked confused and wasn't able to find her way home when she was out driving. She drove by the house over and over again not knowing that she had made it to her destination. Mom stopped driving... thank God.
In January of this year my husband suggested that I write a blog about my experiences, he felt it would help me with my caregiving duties. So... I began to write.
Writing about my experiences helps a lot. Who knows if anyone will read my prose and gain any insight, but it sure did act as a tool to help us get over the tough spots.
There were times that I felt like giving up on my mom, but there was something deep inside of me that wouldn't allow me to throw in the towel. Not yet.
Thankfully, I persisted and looked for alternative solutions to my problem. I did the proverbial "look outside the box" that was so often preached to me when I worked for GE back in the early days of my career.
I'm not sure if it's too soon to claim victory over my mom's dementia, but I'm beginning to feel more confident that she is well on her way to having good health in her 80's.
Nutrition, diet, exercise and relaxation all contributed to my mom's recovery from diabetes. She started with nutrition. Cut out bread and pasta. Eat complex carbs like legumes. If the carbs are too high, use fenugreek to help the body absorb the sugar from the carbohydrates slowly into the blood stream. Fenugreek helps to avoid the spikes in blood sugar. It's a great supplement to help regulate blood sugar and get off synthetic insulin. Fenugreek also seems to repair the pancreas, cleaning up the system so that insulin resistance is reversed.
Spice up foods with spices and herbs that lower blood sugar, they will also help you to kick the simple carbohydrate habit.
Walk every day. Start slow and form a habit, get into a routine and soon you'll be jogging around the block.
Do things for fun. Play a music instrument, write, read, sew, garden... there are so many things that we can do for enjoyment. Having fun and laughing is very important.
Socialize. Get out and talk to people.