Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
Let me give you a bit of the history for the new readers. A lot of this is covered in my blog series called frugal diabetic. I had spent a few years getting frustrated by diabetes diets and learning to tolerate artificial sugar. Yet, my weight kept getting heavier and the sugar count went higher. I was living on food bank food and fast food and convenience foods. Food bank foods are to keep you alive, not healthy. Fast food and convenience foods are just plain bad for you. I was going to a medical clinic for the low income that had a revolving door attitude. I tried, really tried, to follow all the diets for diabetes found in books and on websites but I just grew more frustrated as my sugar levels went higher. Eventually my A1c reached 11.9 and I weighed 235 pounds.
When my frustration with the clinics and the confusing diet information got to be too much I finally took control of my own health. I stopped listening to the dieting experts because it was not working. *I* needed to be my own expert because it was *my* health that was at stake. I stopped doing the daily finger sticks and went to doing an occasional test. The only number that actually mattered was the A1c. I put away my weight scale because I didn’t want to focus on the pounds either. I still use it for weighing packages. I quit counting calories and carbs and points and measuring but I do read package ingredients lists.
I started eating the same way I had when I was a child and cooking the way taught to me by my Grandmother who I called Mama. (Grandma Mama on this blog) The meals Grandma Mama cooked and fed us were recipes used during WW1, depression era, and WW2 rationing. I started telling myself, if Grandma Mama wouldn’t recognize a food then I would not eat it. Back when I was a kid the only fast food was how fast Grandma Mama could put a meal on the table. There were no fast food places on every corner and super size was not even a description. Instead of thinking about blood sugar readings and carb counts I concentrated on just good food cooked the way it would have been in the rationing years. (1940s) I began pretending the year was 1943 all over again. I also kept reminding myself that if the ingredients of a food are made in a lab it will take a lab of medications to digest it.
Ok, I don’t want to completely go over all the posts I’ve already written bout my diabetes. I want to tell my good news. Last Wednesday my doctor told me I had a 6.2 A1c reading. That’s down from the 7.4 reading three months ago and a long way from the original 11.9 a little over a year ago. My weight is down to 160 pounds. Yea!!! My doctor says if I keep doing what I’m doing she can see me being off my diabetes medications by the next visit. I can’t say what I’ve done is going to help anyone else. This is what worked for *me*. Each person must take charge of their own health the same way I did. Know what you are eating. Know what is going into your body. My belief is that the volume of what you eat is not as important as what that volume contains within it. I’ll repeat… if its made in a lab it will take a lab to digest it.
Isn’t that great news? There is a no “cure” for diabetes but it can go into remission and stay there for a very long time. I’ve been aiming for that remission and I’m ( ) this close.
** NOTE **
I received a comment on another post but it really should be included with this post so I’m copying and pasting it here for others to read. I’m hoping it may help someone struggling to pay for their type 2 insulin.
From: James Schaupp
This is more of a FYI for diabetics that require insulin. My mother is a severe diabetic, in her 60’s and has been a diabetic since her early teen years. She retired after 30 years as a surgical nurse and had to pay outlandish prices for Insulin such as Atlantis and Humalog. Her insulin was expensive and was always in the donut hole. She found a rural older doctor that told her there was over the counter insulin. He was a doctor I believe in the former USSR and Poland. She said something about it and I called the pharmacies around here (rural Nebraska) and the cheapest was, though I hate to say it Wal-Mart for $24.95 a vial for generic over the counter insulin. She can handle a $125 month for insulin, but couldn’t before. I have been following you for a long time. I found your old quilting blog before you moved to wordpress. I hope this helps someone else that is having trouble affording their insulin. And the $24.95 a vial is full price not the co-pay. I pick it up for her and just go to the pharmacist and ask for a vial of insulin.