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The DIEt

Cartoon about low-sodium, diabetic diet

The DIEt has been big news around here lately. I’ve been reluctant to talk about it because I wanted to respect Payam’s privacy but lately, it’s become our way of life. It’s a lot.

Then my mom ended up in the hospital and now it looks like she might need to go on THE DIEt too so it’s super relevant.  So, I got everyone’s permission and now I’m sharing.

I’ll talk about my mom first because that is top of mind. My mom had shoulder replacement surgery last Thursday, the 20th of February. She was supposed to have this surgery in December but was hospitalized for an intestinal blockage in November so they put it off until she improved.  It turns out her kidneys have been compromised because of the diabetes medication she takes, which leads to her having complications after her surgery. We are in the thick of those complications. Right now things are looking up but it’s been a sketchy few days and she is far from out of the woods.

She came home from the hospital Friday. She seemed fine but on Sunday she started acting a bit loopy. Bug and I were hanging out with her and she was lost in dreams. We played music for her and she was playing the piano in the air and talking about dead bugs in the towels. She had no pain and started to make less and less sense but then she’d snap back to normal and we would think everything was fine.

Well, it turns out she wasn’t fine. Her kidneys were not processing the pain medication she was on and she was having renal failure. Super scary. I feel partly at fault for this because at one point on Sunday she fell (into her chair, thankfully) and got out of breath. We panicked and called 911 thinking she was having trouble breathing (a side effect of the powerful narcotics the hospital warned us about). The paramedics came out and checked her vitals. Her vitals seemed normal. We all collectively decided it would be more traumatic to take her to the ER than to stay home. This was a mistake. And I should add, my flying-high-as-a-kite mom did not want to go back to the hospital. The last thing she wanted was to go back to that place where they serve her gross disgusting turkey meatloaf. She was so funny, calling the paramedic a cowboy and making nonsensical conversation. But anyway, she stayed home. My dad called the nurse hotline the next day, worried. She still hadn’t urinated in three days.

They told her she needed to go to the ER and now we find out her kidneys have been failing. Her numbers are right at the level where she might have to have dialysis if they don’t improve. But the experts expect her to improve so we wait. We should know by tomorrow and if she is good then she gets to go home. I will keep you posted.


I don’t even feel like talking about the DIEt now which is sad because I had a lot of funny stories to share. Maybe they will come later.  It’s just been a lot, worrying about my mom. I think she is going to be okay. We gifted my parents a cruise to Alaska in May for their 50th (!!) Wedding anniversary (which is actually in October) so we are all hoping and praying that she gets better in time. Of course, her health is the most important thing. Trip Schmip. I’m just thankful that I bought trip insurance so it’s no big deal to cancel the trip if we have to.

I wish my mom lived next door like she used to that one short year I lived in my Grandpa’s mobile home. That was so nice. It would be so great to be able to help my parents with the DIEt and maybe I could even work-out with my dad. Now that my mom has been going through these health problems, I am even more motivated to keep myself healthy. I even took a run this morning which I haven’t done in 10 years. I think I just needed to clear my head like the real runners always say. It’s just too much sometimes when you feel like you can’t control anything.

So if there is anyone else out there trying to control diabetes or has relatives with diabetes and is fighting the good fight with me, I tip my hat to you. This is not for sissies.  We eat to live now.


  • Sharon Clarke

    Oh wow, Brenda. This is a lot for sure. I already commented on your FB, but I just called Tim at home to start praying for your mom. She has a lot of health challenges for sure and the older we get, sometimes the harder it gets. I hope you are able to encourage her.

  • Nina

    Oh Brenda, I am so sorry about your poor mom. Mine is going slowly into kidney failure, my brother went into kidney failure last month when he had meningitis.

    But what happened to your mom is so frightening. I pray she does improve. So much of our health we take for granted until something suddenly goes wrong.

    The diet stuff is hard, too. I was assigned one with a bunch of “no” foods and I’m sure you did this too- you stare at that list, not really comprehending that this is it, this is your new life. Ugh! And I learned this- food is such a social thing- going out to eat is a now a challenge, making recipes that call to mind loved ones but now you can’t cook that, or you end up frustrated, trying to have a party while dealing with decidedly non-festive food.

    It’s an adjustment, to be sure.

    But please keep us posted about your mom- what an awful thing to happen to her.

  • Jennifer

    Ugh, that’s a lot to happen! I hope everything starts to improve (continues to improve?) and everyone is soon feeling better. Also your parents have been together for 50 years! That’s very impressive!

  • Elizabeth

    Thinking of you and your family – sending lots of positive thoughts your way.

    Please check out the Diabetic Cookbook and Meal Plan for the Newly Diagnosed: A 4-Week Introductory Guide to Manage Type 2 Diabetes ( if you haven’t already.

    My mom has cooked through all of the recipes and pretty much every one is delicious! The meal plan was helpful as well for planning and taking away some of the “what can I eat” stress. We liked the recipes so much that I got a copy for Christmas.

    I don’t have any affiliation with the author/get nothing from the link – just wanted to share this with you. As someone who loves food, dieting is tough – and enjoying and being satisfied by “diet” food makes the diet so much easier. Best wishes to you all!

  • Cathy

    Aw, really sad to her this about your mama and hope she’s been improving since you posted this. So scary when things happen to our parents. I listen a lot to functional med docs (now, just to implement lol) -maybe this will give you another view for controlling (or maybe even curing, they claim) diabetes – more of a lifestyle change then a diet: – some of it might be too much for your Mom but things to work towards. Hang in there and remember to take care of you – hugs from SF!

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