Dang it – Diabetes 2 – Really?! Why didn’t she Tell me/Teach me?


Hi – Lietta blogging. This week I was diagnosed as having Diabetes 2. It is not entirely a surpise to me as my numbers have been bordering on a bit too high over the years. I live in USA, and I have learned it is controversial as to whethr it is pre-diabetes or diabetes. Based on my previous numbers, I can say it was pre-diabetes,  and now my numbers have increased putting it into Diabetes range.   My mother died this past summer from what I am learning are complications of long term diabetes to her final diagnosis of cancer (liver). She had not said over the years that she had Diabetes 2, and now I think she rather knew or had been told and chose not to share the information – likely from her own personal guilt or shame or …. I did not hear of her having diabetes until we moved her to our region where she has lived for past 2 + years.  A Dr visit and her Dr dx her as having Diabetes 2. Dr prescribed Metformin for her, and she took for couple weeks, then she announced she would not take it anymore, she said she could Not continue to take it, side effects were too much, and she thought she could better control it with her new sense of appropriate diabetic diet.

When I learned she had diabetes, I was able to get her and I into a 6 week (weekly workshops) on controlling diabetes. I wanted to learn more in attending to her, and at that time I was excited about our Paleo diet and the discipline of purchasing and eating healthy foods. I would hazard to say now, in retrospect, that I was fairly arrogant in the pride I had in our paleo diet as prohibiting onset of Diabetes 2.  Thus would be a boon for her to learn safer ways of nutrition.  We had learned to shop parameters of grocery store; fresh produce, some protein, eggs and some dairy, nuts, and to avoid sugared and preserved foods. Means the discipline we learned eating paleo way will be helpful as we switch now to low carbohydrate diet.

We had moved Mom to our region as on our side of the state there was still specialized attention to limited sight/blindness challenges, and my mother had two eye strokes over the years, was in need of resources to assist her in her limited sight life. The first eye stroke had occurred 11 years earlier, and over the years she had hoped medical could reverse it or assist with it in restoring her eyesight. Despite medical’s efforts, her ‘eye stroke’ situation was irreperable, so she had in fact lost sight in the one good eye (as she called it) she had left. The other eye from birth did not have much sight. I remember trying so hard to learn all about her eye stroke, yet there were so many medical terms, I think I got myself lost in trying to learn the terms. In retrospect, as of this week I have learned via an article, that she had Nonarteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (N.A.I.O.N.), which afflicts perhaps one in 10,000 Americans. It tends to occur after the age of 50.  What my mother described is exactly as the author describes it.  She awoke one morning and couldn’t see.

N.A.I.O.N.  typically strikes during sleep, when blood pressure drops, and is sometimes associated with sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension or the use of pills for erectile dysfunction. For medical pharmaceutical there does not seem to be a huge market of potential patients for drug companies to profit from, and not a large pool of subjects to study. I am guessing in retrospect that perhaps drs told her something of this, perhaps not, it was eleven years ago. I remember when my mother was required to use a CPAP and she used it for awhile, then discarded using it as not doing her much good.  My mother came from the Silent Generation, did not ask a lot of questions, if Dr said it was so, she believed it was so, and obediently followed Dr’s instructions.  She did not advocate for herself too much.   She did take her complaints to family, and none of us are skilled medically to be of much aid to her in responding to the deeper questions. Pretty much we know what we know from the current norms of social knowledge.

In looking at some of the other maladies afflicting my mother over the years, ie, foot neuropathy, excessive weight gain, excessive dental problems, IUDs, her eating tendencies,  more especially after her husband died, and most recently while living in our region, her tiredness, her naps, her lack of energy …. I’d say she tried more than valiantly to hide her own fears, concerns, suspicions, and be ‘there’ for her adult children even when her moods, disposition, etc. got in the way. I am feeling quite stupid in that I did not see what seems to be right in front of my face in recognizing symptoms of diabetes, and I did and I didn’t, and assuredly my sibling group and adult children did not recognize the severity of her symptoms either. In that way, I’d say that as supportive as we were as her caregivers, as supportive as her neighbor was as her caregiver in the years before, my mother got through her diabetes quietly with not as much encouraging diabetes support as she could have had until the complications which (imo) resulted in cancer, Hospice dx, and in the end it took her life.

So now, I am looking at myself with most recent dx of Diabetes 2, and even with this the last week of research that I have been doing, the research has been most revealing about how I can proceed, and the journey my mother has already gone through.

I have what is called mixed hyperlipidemia, is a genetic disorder passed down through family members. 50% chance of inheriting the risk of the disease. Since her brothers had Diabetes 2, one with Parkinsons/Diabetes 2, one brother with amputated leg as result of Diabetes 2, and her father also had Diabetes 2 my risk factors are high. I am having grave concerns now though for my children, with both parents having diabetes in their heritage. including Diabetes 1 (their grandfather) and Diabetes 2 plus two leg amputation (their grandmother) their risk is even higher than mine!

My numbers mean my body is creating high amounts of insulin, and creating insulin resistance in my organs. Sounds like I can still attempt to made lifestyle modifications to bring it under control. However, the measurement of approximate time my mother had the painful foot neuropathy, adding the years since her husband’s death in 2006, I’d say she lived with Diabetes 2 for about 15 years, and maybe she knew, maybe she didn’t, maybe she sort of knew, maybe she didn’t, maybe, maybe, maybe. I think she had to have known somehow, somewhere as her own body was deteriorating.

That is it for now.


(one of The Two of Us)

my blog Phase Three


I’m Boss of the kitchen. Check out Holiday Hijinx menu!


As the current usurper-of-the-kitchen in our home who has relieved Lietta of the need to spend too much time doing the culinary things she has done most of her life,  I have chosen to relegate my beautiful lodge-keeper to the status of bystander, spectator and honored guest for Thanksgiving Dinner this year.

I don’t want to do turkey. Turkey agitates a gout condition of which I have been free for 16 years thanks to medication and my limited common sense.

So in listening to our fowl brother pictured above, I have elected to use beef as the foundation of our Pilgrim’s Progress To Dining Delicacies.

Using my faithful laptop, I have searched, pondered and procured the following menu:

Brisket with a secret ingredient I refuse to reveal until the big Thursday Showdown Moment:

slow cooker root beer brisket recipe

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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Whipped sweet potatoes with bananas and honey

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shallots With Balsamic Vinegar

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Fall Corn Pudding with White Cheddar and Thyme


And the piece de resistance: Apple Mince Pie in a cast iron skillet

Grandma's Iron Skillet Apple Pie

Unfortunately the fruit cake recipe I found takes more than a week to set up so it’s waiting for Christmas

Happy’s Lame Recipies: Millennium Ultimate Jack Daniels Fruitcake

All right, I know you hate fruitcake, but I don’t. This is the best fruitcake I have ever eaten. Unfortunately, making this is a real pain in the wazoo. I last made it in 1999 as kind of an end-of-millennium effort.

2 pounds mixed glazed fruit (pineapple, orange peel, lemon peel, citron, etc.)
1 pound raisins
1/2 pound golden raisins
1/2 pound currants
1/2 pound glazed cherries (I skipped these.)
1/2 pound chopped figs
1/2 pound chopped dates
1 quart Jack Daniels
2 cups chopped walnuts (I increased the walnuts to 4 cups.)
1/4 pound unsalted butter
2 cups sugar (I used dark brown sugar.)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, grated (I substituted 9 tablespoons dutch process cocoa and 3 tablespoons cooking oil. I suppose you could increase the butter and leave out the oil.)
6 eggs, beaten (I didn’t beat the eggs.)
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup Myers Dark rum (I used 2 T per cake.)

Combine all of the fruits in a very large non-aluminum bowl and mix well. Add the Jack Daniels and toss together. Cover and set aside in a cool spot for a week. Stir the fruit every other day.

Mix the nuts with the fruit.

Cream the butter and gradually add the sugar. Add the spices and chocolate, and beat until well combined. Gradually add the eggs, and beat until mixed. (I added the eggs, unbeaten, one at a time to the creamed shortening/sugar mixture.) Sift together the flour and baking soda. Remove 1/2 cup of the flour mixture and set aside. Combine the remaining flour with the chocolate mixture, and fold together with a large spatula to form a thick batter. (I added the flour to the creamed mixture in three additions, folding the flour in until all of the streaks disappeared.)

Drain the fruit in a colander (save the squeezin’s for ice cream), then squeeze to remove most of the liquid. Combine the fruit with the reserved flour and toss well. Then mix into the chocolate batter, mixing with your hands until everything is well combined. (I slowly poured the batter over the fruit, and mixed it in with my hands. This is when it’s really good to have another person help you.)

Butter and line loaf pans with baking parchment. (Pan spray and wax paper work just fine.) Fill the lined pans about 3/4 full with the cake batter. Bake in a 275 F oven until test done with a toothpick. Small cakes need 1-1/2 hours to 2 hours. Larger cakes require as much as 3 to 4 hours.

Cool the cakes in their baking pans until just warm to the touch. Then pour 1/4 cup of the rum evenly over each cake. When the liquor has been absorbed, remove the cake from the pan (leave the parchment on the cake). Wrap in a double layer of aluminum foil. (I removed the wax paper, then wrapped the cakes in plastic wrap, after which I wrapped the cakes in aluminum foil.) Store in airtight tins for at least four weeks.

The Millennium Edition yielded 6 small cakes that were baked in 1 quart pans. The recipe should yield 4 large cakes baked in 1-1/2 quart pans. The results were delicious. Ron, who doesn’t eat sweet stuff loved this recipe.

I believe Lietta is scared, worried and nervous.

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And Me?

I’m up for adventure … like stepping off a precipice

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