Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Silver Lining in Real Life

It’s been little more than two weeks since I had the motorcycle accident. I’m healing, slow but sure, but still in a lot of mouth pain. The bruises on my rib cage and my left leg are almost totally gone, but the teeth and places where I lost teeth, along with the lacerations on the inside of my mouth and my lip, are still quite painful. 

On top of that, I will go in to the Dentist and have oral surgery on a piece of tooth that has broken off and imbedded in my upper gum as well as another tooth that has broken in half, exposing the sensitive nerve endings. After that, my dentist will look at the situation and offer me my options for getting a set of teeth made, either a plate or a partial.

9/17 The day after the accident

I do have teeth on the right side of my mouth, upper and lower, but with the mouth pain and the lack of chewing surface, it has been virtually impossible to chew anything. This has forced me to change my diet and either eat only soft food that doesn’t need chewing or use a blender or food processor and make food so it slides easily through my mouth. At first, this wasn’t so much of a problem as my appetite wasn’t so great anyway, but now that I am feeling better and my appetite has increased, I am feeling the need for more nourishment.

Sure, I can eat pudding and ice cream and malts along with the creamy soups, but being a diabetic, that precludes me from having a diet rich in sweets and fat.

Mrs. Spadoman has done a magnificent job in the kitchen and using the blender, has made many vegetables palatable by smoothing them into a spoonable edible portion.

Squash, potatoes, corn, peas, rice, beans, mushrooms, apples, pears, plums and even spinach are in neat 1 Cup portion containers in the refrigerator. I simply microwave them and enjoy with a small spoon.

My favorite meal these days is brown rice and pinto beans with a couple of soft poached eggs on top.

That brings me back to my diabetes. It seems my body responded well to the portion control. Or maybe it was the easily digestible smooth texture of the food. Either way, I eat a controlled portion, and since I am not driving because of taking the pain drugs, (not safe to operate equipment or drive a car the label says), I am home to eat at prescribed times, which was another problem with my before-the-accident diabetes routine.

No bread, crackers or meat as I don’t want these things put into a blender and liquified. I’m using fresh food, not canned or processed foods, so it’s all good for you. Even the brown rice is mashed so it is easily spooned into my mouth and digested.

I’m not getting any salad, but I am eating plenty of greens. This diet has allowed me to slowly shed weight. I weighed around 240 pounds last October when I fell ill with the heart episode. I went down to 224 pounds by the end of December and managed to keep this weight off of me until now.

This morning, I weighed 211 pounds and it seems like I am still losing weight. I haven’t started doing any exercise, but that is the next obvious step that I will pursue. I have a bicycle and I will attempt to ride until the weather says I can’t get out there by being too cold or icy to make it safe. I have joined the gym where I received my cardiac rehab after last Winter’s heart stuff and will attempt to make it a habit to ride the recumbent bike and/or step machine at least ½ hour 4-5 days per week.

9/29 Still black, blue and purple

At home, I have some small weights, 5 pounders, that I will do curls and some leg exercises that I was doing last Winter. With the eating habits changed and the addition of exercise, I’d like to see myself get down to 199 pounds. This is not for vanity, but just to feel better and combat the Congestive Heart Failure and other heart ailments that plague me alobng with the diabetes.

Now, there’s the matter of being a diabetic. You may or may not know that I do take a once-per-day long lasting insulin at bedtime each evening.. Well, I do, and I was taking 70 units each day. Even with this amount plus the addition of taking an oral pill before breakfast and again at the evening meal, my blood glucose readings, that’s the amount of sugar in the bloodstream, averaged around 200 to 220 when I took the reading after fasting, I couldn’t seem to get it down. 

Most of this problem, I was told, was because I didn’t eat measured portions and I also didn’t eat on a regulated schedule. I also ate a few too many of the wrong things, or, I ate them at the wrong times, like too late at night or mid afternoon.

With the loss of weight along with the portion control and eating on a regular schedule, I reduced the insulin down to 28 units. From 70, that is quite a jump. The doctor wants me to have a blood glucose reading of 110 to 120 in the morning when I get up. It has been lower than that by quite a bit, and I’ve even woken up in the middle of the night with an extremely low blood sugar and had to eat something to get regulated again!

I’m reducing my insulin by 2 units every day until I get to that 110-120 reading in the morning. This is on the orders from my Primary Care Physician. There may be a time when I won’t have to take insulin any longer. I contribute this breakthrough mostly to the weight loss.

So, now I feel like I want to incorporate some of these measures into my life and make them habits. The portion control and blended food for ease of digestion. I knew I needed to do something, but since I was trying all the obvious weight loss ideas with no luck, it had to be something drastic. Because of the accident and injury to my mouth, the drastic measures I took happened to help my overall health.

The big challenge will be to keep this going, even after I get a new set of teeth. 

I hope I am equal to the task as I’m sure folks don’t get these second chances too often when it comes to diabetes. Thanks so much for the thoughts and well wishes from all of you. I appreciate it so very much. I’ll do my best to stay on track and do something with this chance.

Today, 10/3, 2012
As you can see, I'm still a bit swollen here and there, but the purple bruises are just about gone. ( I would have smiled, but with no teeth, I look hideous. I guess i do have just a little vanity) The hematoma I have, at the lower part of the left side of my face, is still there and puffs out that side of my mouth a bit, but overall, I feel much better and can't believe how lucky I am to have come out the other side of this accident with my life.

Mrs. Spadoman is so enthusiastic, she wants to open a diner and call it The Toothless Cafe. I’ll leave you with this recipe for a delicious Portobello mushroom sauce that is low in  calories and carbs and tastes great over a couple of smashed up boiled baby red spuds, brown rice or pasta.

Barb’s Mushroom Gravy

1 Pound of Portobello mushrooms, sliced
¼ on an onion, sliced thin
Olive oil
Garlic powder, Onion powder

Sautee’ the mushrooms and onions in a frying pan using the olive oil until fully cooked.
Place in a blender with ½ Cup or so of water and a teaspoon of chicken or beef soup base.
Blend on high until a liquid or gravy consistency.
(You may use 1 Tablespoon of flour or some Cornstarch to thicken to personal taste if needed)




Fallingladies said...

Wow, you look so much better, and smiling, i am so happy that it helped change your life for the good with your health. My husband and i have been trying to cut back on junk food as well, so maybe we'll try your wife's gravy! Also, i think i have made your rock, well i HAVE made it but i need to think on it and make sure i'm happy with it. I'll let you know.

Jeannie said...

Glad you are coming along and that there has been an upside to the accident. If only it didn't take something really drastic to make positive changes in our habits eh? I could really stand to lose a bunch of weight myself. Vitamin B6 is very good for helping to regulate your blood sugar - it might be enough when you get your sugars down to help you go without the insulin.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

You are looking GOOD, my friend! It seems there was, and is, a silver lining to the accident. Happy weight loss!

Mel said...

Wow......I'm glad for the progressive healing! And you're right--the good thing about all of this is you're getting some control on the diabetes......AND Barb is happily a part of the solution, which is way cool.

I can't imagine having those nerves exposed and bit of tooth embedded in the gum can be helping the situation. As one who 'ate a steering wheel' at 16 years of age, I can attest that having your mouth ripped open and teeth broken and embedded in that fleshy bit...absolutely NO fun whatsoever.
I'll be sooooooo glad for the relief once that surgery is done. And while there's 'that' healing time to add to it, it'll be on the backside of the solution.

The sister no longer has to use insulin or medications for her diabetes--like you, she dropped the weight through some difficult circumstances. But that 'second chance' of doing it different has really been a positive experience for her--and hopefully will continue to be for you.

*sending more healing thoughts*
And of course, prayers.
It's just what I do.

WOW do you look better. Still tender/sore, but oodles better!

gma said...

Glad you are getting better both inside and out! We should all learn portion control....don't know why I eat so much,feel better when I eat less.
Peace and prayers to continue healing.

coldH2Owi said...

Good for you New Guy. Miss you up north

Cheryl said...

Good news about your diabetes. Keep up the good work. You are looking much better. Hope the dentist has good news.

Unknown said...

You are looking much better! The weight loss, though trough unfortunate circumstances, will be a great help to you in the long run. But you already know that!

I just wanted to say hi and wish you continued healing and peace. You are a lucky man to have such a supportive spouse! But you already know that, too, I'm sure!

rebecca said...

i am all about silver linings and so grateful you have fully embraced one of yours! music to my ears. sometimes life has a way of opening necessary doors that at first seem so extreme yet in eventually reveal themselves to be our saving grace. this surely is yours!!


susan said...

This is the first I've heard of your accident and I'm very sorry to hear about it. Thank goodness both you and Barb are such strong and positive people. You have my condolences that it happened (what a sad thing that driver left you there) and my best wishes that you continue to make a full recovery.

Lea said...

You are looking great! It is so wonderful to see your smile and twinkle in your eyes. I think Mrs. Spadoman is brilliant and you two may be on to something with that Cafe idea... I believe in you and don't think for a second that you will squander any of these silver linings in your life! Feeling good... is so precious!

Christine said...

Your recovery is really coming along, Joe. I'm happy that your wife is such a clever cook! Keep on keepin' on!