Have you ever walked into a supermarket and realised you didn’t have your purse because your mind was on so many other things?
Not so innocent when you see that this small bottle of healthy-looking smoothie contains 10g of sugar. Dad and I looked up the average recommended daily intake of ‘extra sugar’ a healthy female should ideally not go beyond.
It’s 20-25g… or six teaspoons.
Now add the diabetes just-back-from-the-brink and we agreed it should probably be more like 15g for mother. Her doctors (as at Friday when they last came round) said drink lots more liquid .. meaning water and un-sugared tea and coffee… yet she is asking neighbouring patients in beds nearby for a sneaky cup of their family-delivered Tropicana “just for some flavour.. everything here is so bland”.
Least you’re still alive…
As son eats another dippy egg and soldiers, I recall some of the glass half empty illustrations which mother is once more displaying now her strength is returning.
“Thank you for the colouring pencils and book, you’ll see I’ve done one, but I can’t get the depth of colour I need with those. I need my (expensive) water colour pencils from home if you wouldn’t mind. Add that to the list.”
Dad – “did you like the Jacobs crackers and cheese I brought you yesterday that you asked for?” (bless him, lovingly wrapped in clingfilm and delivered during one of two visits a day he is making.
“Well, it was a bit bland, must have been cheap biscuits. Can you buy Jacobs?” Dad catches my eye briefly across the bed, “oh and can you bring in some cigarettes for when I can go out into the garden?”
Dad – “Er, you can no longer smoke outside the hospital. Rules have changed.”
“Don’t argue with me… I’ve seen people outside the front doors.”
She’s in the renal ward which speaks for itself, no longer on oxygen or a saline drip. I take my hat off to her for one milestone; she’s been receiving insulin injections in the belly for four days now, administered by the nurses, while dad sits worrying whether the instructions will come with a step-by-step manual.
A little while later, dad and I shared a lunch half hour in the hospital Costa and found ourselves studying all the labels on EVERYTHING! It’s astonishing how much sugar is in pre-packed foods and drinks. I’ve probably been getting my 20g per day by 11:30am for the last twenty years 🙈.
Last time I bought her a pot of specialist diabetic spread, about six years ago (typify thinking I was being helpful) she said “Don’t waste your money on that… I’ll keep eating my normal jam. I’ll just have less of it.”
The part I’m struggling with is interweaving the Duty of Care, with the empathetic side of me which genuinely wants to make her happy, with the knowledge that she is her own person and has a right to make her own decisions.
PS .. the purse WAS with me all the time, I didn’t stop long enough to look under the bag of bags 🙈