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Author Topic: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad  (Read 11383 times)

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Chipmunky

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Got to use this one on my sister over the weekend. Sister lives in CA, I'm in FL (as are my parents). This becomes important as Sister seems to think she knows everything, and her word should be the final one when it comes to our Dad and his health. This may be due to her being a physician (OB/GYN), but Dad is also a physician, and thus the worst kind of patient.

Bit of background- Dad is an insulin dependent diabetic, and has been for the better part of 9 years. He's been very bad in the past about monitoring his sugars and carb intake. He's also a combat disabled Marine Corps veteran, and food is one of the few things he can still physically enjoy. He has kidney damage between the diabetes and his long term hypertension (also had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery 6 years ago- nothing can beat a Marine!) Last month, Dad was diagnosed with a lower sigmoid colon/rectal cancer. He's now on chemo and radiation prior to surgery in the start of the new year. His doctors have discussed it, and as long as he monitors his blood sugar and insulin, he can eat whatever the heck he wants- right now, it's very important for him to be getting plenty of calories; the cancer is eating a bunch of them anyways.

Due to his diabetes, he hadn't been allowed his favorite, from scratch chocolate chip cookies for some time. I am making some to take to him over Thanksgiving. This is where the conversation comes in between my sister and myself.

Me: I'm making some cookies for Dad to enjoy. He's really looking forward to them.

Sister: But the diabetes! He shouldn't have ANY sweet stuff!

Me: Well normally, yes, but the doctors conferred, and he can have them this year.

Sister: But they are bad for his blood sugar, I can't believe you're giving him junk food like that!

Me: Well he's going to be good and not eat the whole batch in one go, sister! He can have them as long as he's monitoring carefully.

Sister: Well he's never monitored in the past! You're not helping him by giving him cookies! You might make his health worse, and then he'll have problems in and after surgery! I can't believe you're so selfish to make him things you know he's not supposed to have!

Me: Well that's an interesting assumption...I'm trying to kill Dad via cookies....

Sister: Well it's not good for him to have that with his diabetes!

Me: Well, Sister, the doctors have okayed it, so I'll rely on their expertise considering they are the ones examining and treating him directly....and honestly, isn't his diabetes a little further down on the "list of things to be concerned about" with regards to Dad's health at the moment? I mean, he is fighting cancer....

Sister: incoherent mumbling


Sister is bringing nieces to FL to see their Pop Pop in December....I might have to make some more when I come over to see them, so Pop Pop can share cookies with his granddaughters. Sister's head might explode, but hey, it's a week before Christmas, it's one cookie each, and Pop Pop is supposed to spoil his granddaughters.  >:D

ladyknight1

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2014, 01:58:02 PM »
My middle sister is very similar to your sister. She has quite a bit of knowledge about health and related issues such as diet, but she is very much her way or the highway. With one or two chronic health conditions, I understand the importance of a strict diet/lifestyle. But with cancer? And something the person can still enjoy? I don't understand the mindset that only one way works.

Hugs and prayers for your father and family.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

MrTango

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2014, 02:59:47 PM »
My response would be "His doctors, who have access to his medical history & lab results, and who have recently examined him, have indicated that it is okay."

(i.e. without directly saying it, which I've been told is rude, I'd remind her that she is not his doctor, even if she is a doctor.)

I would also refuse to engage or comment any further in the conversation.  Any further messages/comments from her on the topic would be deleted without response.

Luci

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2014, 03:56:22 PM »
My response would be "His doctors, who have access to his medical history & lab results, and who have recently examined him, have indicated that it is okay."

(i.e. without directly saying it, which I've been told is rude, I'd remind her that she is not his doctor, even if she is a doctor.)

I would also refuse to engage or comment any further in the conversation. Any further messages/comments from her on the topic would be deleted without response.

Exactly.

I probably wouldn't have mentioned it at all, but it sounds like the whole family chats a lot, so it would come out anyway. "Guess what Chipmunky did for me!" Now it's done! I do hate the "don't tell so-and-so" thing that goes on in Lucas's family a lot.

JeanLouiseFinch

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 08:54:51 PM »
"Sister: But the diabetes! He shouldn't have ANY sweet stuff!"
When I read that, I was truly horrified. I am an insulin dependent diabetic and I take sweet stuff everywhere with me, so that when (not if), my blood sugar gets too low, I have something I can eat to bring me back. I hate to say this, but your sister, for a doctor, has no clue about diabetics and how to manage type 1 diabetes.

Please, please be sure that she does NOT go through his house removing caches of candy. He definitely needs these and needs to know exactly where they are without him needing to think about it. When one's sugar is really low, it is sometimes difficult to think at all. It's more like being in a trance or sleepwalking. If he has cancer of anything internal and digestive, his capacity to absorb sugar will certainly fluctuate. During this time, I would expect his doctors to keep his blood sugar on the high side, particularly since he lives alone, and there is nobody to pull him out of a really bad low, so if she is insisting on restrictions in his diet, she should speak to his doctors herself. You might want to remind her that an adult male diabetic's blood sugar control does not need to be as tight as a pregnant woman's, who must maintain a BGS level of 60-100. By contrast, normal BGS in adults is 80-120 and a few trips up to 180-200 are not terrible. 

BeagleMommy

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2014, 02:47:33 PM »
Chipmunky, I have been type I diabetic for 48 of my 49 years.  I'm not perfect, but I do pretty well.  Your sister needs to butt out!  She may be a physician, but she is not his physician.

The endocrinologist I've seen since I was 15 always told me that I need to use my own judgment on what I eat.  I will pay for it by how I feel if I do badly.  He's also fond of telling me "I don't want to know what you do on holidays or vacations.  It's a special occasion and a little overindulgence won't hurt you.".

Best of luck to your dad in his treatment.  Make the cookies.

Chipmunky

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2014, 12:11:19 PM »
UPDATE!!!

I made the cookies for Thanksgiving. Dad was super excited, and was very good about monitoring his sugars the whole weekend.

Sister, her husband, nieces, and brothers were in town last week. I came over (live 2 hours away, they're all a minimum of a 3 hour plane ride and 2 hour drive away), and of course, I brought more cookies.

Sister seems to have realized she may have been out of line.  Nieces were allowed to share cookies with their Pop Pop. Pop Pop was otherwise good the whole weekend regarding food- his cancer treatments have resulted in him having to be on a very bland, healthy diet. Sister kept her mouth shut. >:D

Today's the last radiation treatment. Chemo was stopped last week because he's doing so well he didn't need the extra week. Surgery in February. I'm bringing a last few cookies at Christmas this week (apparently Nieces had more than a few of Pop Pop's cookies) along with a very small sampling of something else Dad hasn't had a chance to enjoy in years- homemade fudge. As Christmas dinner will be turkey, some mashed potatoes, and three kinds of steamed veggies, Dad can savor a little fudgey goodness.

I may be on Sister's naughty list, but I'm definitely on Dad's nice list with these goodies!

jayhawk

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2014, 01:12:12 PM »
i've been following this thread and I just want to say what a good update, Chipmunky.  Merry Christmas to you and your dad.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2014, 01:28:24 PM »
Glad to hear your sister might have realized crow might be on her menu. :)  I remember as a kid reading a lot of the Babysitter's Club Books which have a character with diabetes who was always having to find reasons to avoid sugar without giving away her condition.  And other books written around that time that focused on type 1 diabetics having to totally avoid sugar.

So when my kid brother was diagnosed I was surprised to learn it's okay for them to have some sugar so long as they compensate for it with insulin and don't go overboard.  I knew one guy who would eat tons of sugar (ie a cupcake, a rice krispie treat, several cookies and some candy) and then give himself a large dose of insulin and then crash later with bs levels way too low.

As long as your dad's responsible, which it sounds like he is, he ought to be alright.  Your sister however, sounds like she needs to update herself on diabetes type 1 management.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

whatsanenigma

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2014, 03:07:51 PM »
Glad to hear your sister might have realized crow might be on her menu. :)  I remember as a kid reading a lot of the Babysitter's Club Books which have a character with diabetes who was always having to find reasons to avoid sugar without giving away her condition.  And other books written around that time that focused on type 1 diabetics having to totally avoid sugar.

So when my kid brother was diagnosed I was surprised to learn it's okay for them to have some sugar so long as they compensate for it with insulin and don't go overboard.  I knew one guy who would eat tons of sugar (ie a cupcake, a rice krispie treat, several cookies and some candy) and then give himself a large dose of insulin and then crash later with bs levels way too low.

As long as your dad's responsible, which it sounds like he is, he ought to be alright.  Your sister however, sounds like she needs to update herself on diabetes type 1 management.

I have been a type one diabetic for almost 29 years now.  You might find it interesting to know that a big part of the "no sugar ever" thing was because of the way insulin worked.  In the morning, you injected some that would peak in an hour, and some that would peak about 4-5 hours later.  In the evening, you injected them again, to cover your evening meal and through the night.

Because you had already injected the insulin you would use for lunch, you had to be especially careful at that meal to eat it at exactly the right time and in exactly the right amounts, because on one hand you could go low, and on the other hand, if you ate too much actual sugar, you would be high-and at that time, the concept of being able to correct such a thing was basically unknown.  You just stayed high until your evening insulin.

To a lesser extent, this was true for breakfast and dinner.  You were supposed to take the insulin an hour before you ate (though I have yet to meet anyone who strictly followed this!) and so you were locked in by that also.  If you ate too much sugar at meals or any other time, you would just be high because you couldn't correct.

Nowadays, insulin is available that peaks within 15 minutes, so if you decide to eat even something very sugary at a random time of the day, you can deal with it, in a way that you really couldn't back then.  And also, the standard for checking blood sugar was just twice a day.  That was for people who had actual meters-some people back then were still doing the urine testing.  So, obviously it was harder back then to know what your blood sugar actually was at any given time.

Anyway, I just thought you and other people in that situation would like to know something about why it is that way.  Another factor is that doctors seemed to want to be in much more control of someone's diabetes but nowadays, the trend is more to empower the diabetic to take care of themselves.  But IMHO, that was not as large of an influence on the "sugar is poison" thing as was the type of insulin available.

Hope that was interesting!  Or at least, not boring!

Elisabunny

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2014, 10:33:07 PM »
Thank you, whatsanenigma!  Your explanation was very helpful.
You must remember this: a ghoti is still a fish...

FoxPaws

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2014, 05:49:14 AM »
whatsanenigma, I found your post informative and enlightening. Medical technology improves and changes so rapidly that it's impossible for people not directly involved with a particular illness or condition to keep up with the latest trends in its treatment.

I'm wondering if this might be the reason Sis settled down. Maybe she vented to one of her medical colleagues about how, "Chipmunky is trying to kill our Dad," and got set straight on how outdated her information was.

Anyway, I'm glad it all worked out. Best wishes to the Chipmunky family for a happy holiday and your Dad's speedy recovery.
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

Piratelvr1121

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2014, 06:18:34 AM »
Very interesting!
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Chipmunky

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2014, 07:01:43 AM »
Just to clarify, I was told my dad was a Type 2 diabetic? But he is insulin dependent... if I understand correctly, Type 1s produce too much insulin while Type 2s do not produce enough?

In any case, at Christmas I told Dad I'd brought him more cookies, and he grinned. Told him I'd also made him something he hadn't had in years. He immediately said "I can't have fudge." I responded "well drat, guess I will have to take this plate home then." His smile got bigger, and he said he could have a little, he supposed. Would not try my cookie butter fudge (sinfully decadent) but was thrilled with the chocolate fudge, telling me I make fudge almost as well as I make cookies (huge compliment, since that was from my 4th ever attempted batch of fudge).

Even with the junky food, Dad was good and his sugars were well controlled.

On a side note, Sis and her husband fell in love with my mom's walnut roll pastry recipe. BIL ate about half a roll by himself. If they had ANY idea of the amount of sugar in those things (the dough is even rolled out in powdered sugar, plus granulated is in the nut mixture), they'd be choking on hypocrisy in their anti sugar campaign.  >:D

Piratelvr1121

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Re: What an interesting assumption...because of course, I'm trying to kill Dad
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2014, 07:37:26 AM »
Just to clarify, I was told my dad was a Type 2 diabetic? But he is insulin dependent... if I understand correctly, Type 1s produce too much insulin while Type 2s do not produce enough?

In any case, at Christmas I told Dad I'd brought him more cookies, and he grinned. Told him I'd also made him something he hadn't had in years. He immediately said "I can't have fudge." I responded "well drat, guess I will have to take this plate home then." His smile got bigger, and he said he could have a little, he supposed. Would not try my cookie butter fudge (sinfully decadent) but was thrilled with the chocolate fudge, telling me I make fudge almost as well as I make cookies (huge compliment, since that was from my 4th ever attempted batch of fudge).

Even with the junky food, Dad was good and his sugars were well controlled.

On a side note, Sis and her husband fell in love with my mom's walnut roll pastry recipe. BIL ate about half a roll by himself. If they had ANY idea of the amount of sugar in those things (the dough is even rolled out in powdered sugar, plus granulated is in the nut mixture), they'd be choking on hypocrisy in their anti sugar campaign.  >:D

I'm not sure about type 2, but I do know that with type one the body cannot produce any insulin
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata