Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I love food. I should rephrase that. I love meals. There is nothing that can cheer me up more than going out for  dinner. You can always tell how much fast food I've been eating lately by how depressed I am. Not that it's not great to have junky food every so often, but it's the experience of it all, the good food. Sitting down, relaxing and talking while someone else brings you things.

In high school, I can remember every meal out with my friends. I can remember milestones of John's and my dating relationship by the restaurants we were in when they happened. First date? Red Lobster. second date where I heard embarassing childhood stories? Rally's, on the trunk of my convertible. First time meeting his family? A frightening Chinese joint. Late night breakfasts after work? IHOP, of course. I could eat a lot...I had the appetite of a high school boy, as my mom always said.

We were in college, and I had discretionary income, as I was a manager of a retail store in the mall. I didn't cook, and I was never home anyway, so whenever John was in town, we went out to eat. For the record, I always paid, because I'm the one who had money. John was in college on a scholarship and he never had extra money. I didn't mind paying because I would have rather paid for the both of us than sit in his dorm and eat Ramen Noodles with him.

After we got married, we were still so into food. Good food! Finding the best restaurants, the best crabcakes. The best pasta. When we moved to Florida and there was no Texas Roadhouse in the area, I literally cried and we started sampling all the steak houses in the city, trying to find a substitute. When we couldn't we drove to Orlando just to eat there. In Las Vegas, we made a trip specifically to eat at my favorite taco place, Del Taco. I am almost never happier than when I am eating out. Restaurants are a happy place to me. I have no idea why I am this way, but I am.

So you can imagine the shock I went through when I was pregnant with Eli and I found out at 26 weeks I had gestational diabetes.

There was almost nothing in a restaurant I could eat. Every single time we went out to eat my blood sugar sky rocketed! It was depressing. Even when it was a food choice that should have been fine, many times just the way it was cooked would affect the meals carb counts.

It was one of the most depressing times ever. I was on bedrest, diabetic, and I couldn't go out to eat or even get CARRY OUT? I love dessert. It almost killed me. I still remember the day I was admitted to the hospital at 30 weeks for pre term labor. As they were hooking up the magnesium sulfate, they ordered me lunch and someone forgot to use the diabetic menu. The chicken strips and fries that showed up in front of me may have been the best meal I'd ever had.

I made it through that pregnancy and controlled the GD completely with diet. It severely limited what I could eat. I remember when we were in NYC a few days after Eli died, I kept forgetting I could eat what I wanted. It was one of the most bittersweet moments...I could eat whatever carbs, sugar, fats I felt like eating. I wasn't pregnant, and I wasn't nursing. Finally, I could eat, but I didn't want to. I lived on the roasted almonds they sold on every street corner. They were literally all I could eat.

It was months before I had an appetite again. So long, that if you ask my friends who live in Florida, they'll tell you I don't eat much. They can't remember a time when I did. If you ask my friends from high school and college, they'll tell you I never stopped eating. Truthfully, it was probably not until I was pregnant with Seth that food started to sound appealing again. Then, from the very beginning, I wanted steak. All the time, with tons of seasoning.

This time, I was only 18 weeks along when I found out I had Gestational Diabetes. But this time, no matter how much I limited my choices, no matter how closely I followed the nutritionists guidelines, I could not get my blood sugars to be low enough. I went on insulin, and gave myself a shot 2 or 3 times a day. I tested my blood sugar 7 times a day. I went in for deep muscle injections for pre term labor once a week. I was a pin cushion. I had to carry smarties (Thanks Windy!) in my bag all the time because if I didn't eat enough, my blood sugar would plummet thanks to the insulin. I sometimes woke up sweating, my blood sugar in the 40's.
I was consumed by food, because I could never keep track of what I was eating. I was distracted by my kids, by my worries, by my confidence that Seth would die, too. Food was at the bottom of the list, but I could not stop thinking about it.

My doctor was convinced that since I had GD repeatedly and with such an early onset that I would probably not "snap out of it." after my pregnancy. Thank God I did, and my A1C's are back to normal! But still, my appetite has been off since Seth was born, very similarly to the way it was after Eli's death. It is a struggle to me to eat what I know that I need to eat to continue taking care of myself and Seth. What used to be one of my favorite things is now something I forget to do and avoid if possible. I would feel hungry, but as soon as I began to eat I would forget why I wanted what I had made/ordered. The food, no matter what it was, tasted sickening to me.

The other night when we went out to eat with our neighbor, I was starving. I ordered a meal and an extra side. I finished every bite, and we ordered dessert. It was amazing.

It sounds so silly, but I hope that this means things are getting better.


Mandy Hornbuckle said...

Awww! I feel for you reading this post - I love food too! I can't imagine if it got taken away! I hope that's what that means too! :)

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great sign that things are getting better! You almost have to train yourself to love food again. After I got out of the hospital in December, I was in constant worry over what I was eating. Imagine ME going through the holidays without an appetite! Things have regulated now though, and I hope they are for you, too. Otherwise, how are we going to spend our time when I come to visit? Usually all we do is eat!

BTW, do you have the date for Seth's first surgery? I want to start looking into airfare and the work schedule. Love you, girl!

Julie said...

Oh El! I didn't know all that. I hope that things are getting better for you. It's hard to eat when nothing sounds good. Hopefully things are settling down and your appetite comes back!

Susan said...

I hope that means things are getting better, too!
(I love going out to eat, too something about the "not having to cook or clean the kitchen" that is so appealing!) :)

Kameron said...

I have the opposite problem. I am a very emotional eater. When I'm stressed or unhappy food always makes me feel better. I guess both things are a constant struggle. I hope you are getting back in to yuor groove sweetie!!

4 Lettre Words said...

Ahhhh...what a great post. I so love to go out to eat, too. And, like you, I totally associate times in my life (happy or sad) with the restaurants we visited or the meal I ordered.

I'm praying that things are, in deed, getting better for you!

Madison Sanders said...

You're welcome!

I'm so glad that you could eat good that night. I was sick for a good while, and never felt like eating(the medicines I was on made me sick.) I'm finally getting my appetite back.

Anonymous said...

Come to think of it...we were at Red Robin when you told me you asked me to be Ava's godmother and then at a restaurant down there when you told me you were preggers with Jace! LOL Oh yeah...and we officially MET at a restaurant...Summit Club before our Junior Prom! ha ha! I sure hope things are getting better for you. Love and miss you!!

Anonymous said...

ok..take out the "told me" in the first line. I forgot to delete that. LOL

Les said...

I too had gest. diabetes with Sophia so I know your pain! The only thing good about it was that I only gained 23 lbs. during my pregnancy b/c I was scarred to eat for fear I would have a 10 lb. baby haha. I stop eating when I am emotionally stressed also... glad you had a good meal :) Please go to Roy's and have the waiter do a great menu for you and think of me!!! No Roy's in VA :(

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