This is a cross-post on my friend’s wonderful blog Gud Fudz, which Emmaraptor describes as a blog to discuss the “difficult and unnatural relationship with food.” It’s a (brand new!) outlet for sharing recipes, stories, and to have a dialogue about the complicated relationship we each have with food. This functioned as my introduction to the site and should be posted there shortly.
Trials and Tribulations of a Hypoglycemic: My Complicated Relationship with Food
Most of what I know about food is related to animal treatment and pesticides, which says substantially more about the ethical standpoint of a particular business than about what I’m putting in my body. The rest of my very limited knowledge comes from what I know about what I put into my rabbit’s body. I know, for example, that bananas should be a treat (for rabbits) as they have little nutritional value (for rabbits) and that they (still rabbits) will choose the treat over their nutritional food or that cucumbers are mostly water and, thus, not as nutritious as we (people) like to think they are for us/them (people/rabbits).
I very much enjoy food, but often my relationship with food occurs when I purchase it. I’m particular (read: obsessed) with who I give my money to. I will not buy a product from Kraft (on purpose). My problem is that, after leaving the grocery store, after the economic exchange is done, I often lose my connection with the food that I put in my body. Essentially I buy smart, full of good ideas and good intentions, but I eat stupid. I don’t balance my meals efficiently and tend to repeat the same meals, rather than get a good variety of veggies. I’ve been able to skate by doing so, until recently.
I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia back when I was in high school when I went through a stint of passing out in the shower. The problem was certainly poorly managed low blood sugar issues, but when combined with low blood pressure (thank you, steaming hot shower) had dangerous effects. When I became a vegetarian (or started to become at least; I recently learned about renit, which means I’ve been eating stomach intestines for the 2 years I’ve claimed to be a veg), I paid particular attention to making sure I was getting enough of everything, calculating closely my sugars and irons. I thought I had most of it under control; I ate every 2-3 hours, alternating snack and meal. Then I started dating a nutritionist…
I began complaining about how I felt nauseous every day around one o’clock or so and that, by four, I had a headache. When I spent the weekend with him, I felt just fine. He would ask me around these times how I was feeling. I thought he was being very caring (he was), but in actuality he was monitoring me. At the end of the three days or so he convinced me to allow him to “nutrify” me, which means to chalk me full of vitamin D, B12 and some yellow horse pill that makes my constantly chapped lips smooth again.
We talk a lot about “voting with your fork,” animal treatment, organic farming, physiology. A lot of theorizing goes on. He seems to have fixed a lot of problems, treated a lot of easily treatable things (Except for my hypochondria; that seems to have flared up again). We both got burns around similar times. His has healed, no scars. Mine still busts open when I hit it too hard on the window. Immediately he comments, “you’re probably lacking zinc and vitamin C.” Not a big deal, as these are all treatable deficiencies. Good to know! (pours glass of orange juice)
Then my hypoglycemia seemed to becoming more and more problematic on a daily basis. We were out museum-ing and movie-ing when we had to cut it short so I could get a meal in. This is not okay with me. I’m not okay with interruptions like this. I have things to be doing, galleries to be walking through, drives to be going on, dancing to do. Upon arriving at my then abode, he headed for the stairs, which we always take instead of the elevator. And I realized that if I tried to go up the stairs that I honestly felt that I’d pass out (which I hadn’t done since I was 18). After getting some “gud fudz,” he sat me down to have a serious chat. I’m thinking, “holy crap he is going to dump me… Oh geez he is going to say the l-word…”
He talked to me about type two diabetes.
Does anyone remember the Babysitters Club episode where what’s-her-face has diabetes and has to eat a muffin? She passed out a few times, too. At the time, this was my only connection to how serious these issues could be. Ok fine, this was still how I perceived the seriousness of low blood sugar…
It never occurred to me that this could have a long term effect outside of having to food good and good for you a lot and often. Bummer, right? The conversation was a bit of a wake up call. I know nothing about diabetes other than some people so actually pronounce it die-uh-beat-us and that people can lose a foot from it, which I learned through Scrubs (I should either stop watching so much TV, or watch more so that I know about diabetes).
So this is my (current) frustration with my relationship with food. How indulgent can I be? How serious should I take this? Should I seek out vitamin/nutritional supplements (for this and other issues such as the vitamin b12, zinc, etc)? What does it mean to be “on the path to diabetes?” How quick can I get off of this path? And, constantly, is what I’m eating actually good for me?