When I was in the hospital being treated for DKA at diagnosis, I wasn’t exactly in a learning mood, nor was I feeling very social.
On day two in the hospital (after a night of poor sleep and throwing up from IV potassium pain) my husband, mother-in-law, brother-in-law and aunt were visiting me. The hospital sent a dietician up to talk to me about how I needed to start eating as a diabetic.
I should pause here and preface: She had some good information for me. But I’m fairly certain she is not used to talking to diabetics or young females. She talked to me more like I was an anorexic rather than a diabetic patient, on top of talking to my mother-in-law and aunt more than to my husband and me.
I know that moms connect with other moms, but I needed her to connect with me. And speak to me. Instead she said things like:
“You need to eat three meals a day and at least a snack. You can’t skip meals. It’s ok, you won’t gain weight.” I know my bones were showing but it was from diabetes not skipping meals!
“You’re done with candy.” Really? How do you think I treat low blood sugar?
And when Brad asked about how to fix meals for the both of us (him needing more carbs and calories than me) she basically told him to fix his own separate meals. Which is completely not necessary, he and I have some separate food, but in general we can eat similar meals. She also instructed me to make sure I was eating 4-5 servings of carbohydrates per meal, that’s about 60-75 grams and made no mention of carbohydrate counting. I tried it for a couple of days before getting frustrated because I was eating too much food.
She didn’t ask any questions and couldn’t quite comprehend that we were eating dinner at 7:30 at night because we both commuted an hour and a half to and from work.
This dietician was not a certified diabetic educator, and while I appreciated a little nutrition coaching, her approach was not
good what I needed. When I sat down with my wonderful CDE, who is also a registered dietician and a type 1 diabetic, everything was much easier. We talked about what I usually ate, what I missed eating and how I can still have the things I enjoy if I’m smart about it.
I’m sometimes surprised by the night and day of my original diabetes care and my current diabetes care. But I am thankful to have few horror stories as I have read some from other diabetics.