I may have mentioned the V was not overweight when he discovered he was diabetic.
His blood sugar had been high for the last several years, and he was being careful.
But it went from 'high, but not to worry' to 'high, you should be in a coma' very rapidly.
The doctors were not content to get his blood sugar under control; they wanted to know what happened.
They tested and scanned and probed and asked questions.
He was frustratingly healthy in all other ways.
Finally, the second MRI revealed the problem.
There was a tumor, benign, that had grown to the point that it had taken over the pancreas, totally blocking insulin production.
Problems with the pancreas are not easy to detect. The organ is well hidden behind the stomach and intestines.
The fact that it's so hard to get at is one of the reasons pancreatic cancer is almost impossible to treat. By the time it's discovered, it's too late.
Fortunately, for us, he had an ingrown toenail….
That wouldn't heal….
Because he was diabetic….
Which they couldn't get under control the normal way….
Because of the problem with the pancreas….
The doc said the tumor had probably been slowly growing for years, until it hit the magic spot and stopped producing insulin – and letting us know it was there.
He also said it probably wouldn't be 'benign' if left to continue on it's merry way for another 5 years.
Well, it's gone now.
V had his pancreas removed on Wednesday.
It was a long and complicated surgery; recovery will be long and slow; he'll always need insulin injections.
He was groggy on Thursday.
He thanked me for coming to visit.
He was better but not real talkative on Friday – still had the tube down his throat and trusty morphine pump in hand.
He said he was glad to see me.
Today he was as grouchy as a Grizzly Bear with a sore paw!
I was greeted with "Finally!!!!! You're here!!!! (It was a full 2 minutes after the start of visiting hours).
I like to think of that as a positive sign….
Now, we're learning about Type 1 Diabetes.
For those who don't know:
Type 1 is characterized by the lack of insulin production. It was formerly known as 'Juvenile', although it can affect children and adults, equally. It must be controlled by insulin injections. As V no longer has a pancreas to produce insulin, he has Type 1.
Type 2 is characterized by insulin resistance or reduced sensitivity. Type 2 can be controlled (but not cured) in most cases by diet, exercise and oral medication; in some cases by diet and exercise alone.
The treatment is different; the diet is the same.
Sausage, Rice and Bean Salad
1/3 cup Basmati rice
2/3 cups chicken stock
4 – 6 sausages, 10 oz total weight, (300gr)
1/2 green bell pepper
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup (4.5oz, 135 gr) flageolet (green or small lima) beans
3/4 cup (4.5oz, 135gr) white beans
2 tbs snipped fresh chives
Salad greens for 2 large salads
2 Tbs ketchup
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbs red wine vinegar
3 tbs oil
Cook rice according to package directions.
When done, remove from heat, fluff with fork and put into large serving bowl.
Cook sausages on barbecue grill for 10 – 15 minutes or until done or in nonstick skillet for same amount of time (until done).
Open beans, drain, rinse. Cut tomatoes in half. Cut pepper into matchsticks. Snip chives. Slice sausages into 1 1/2" (4cm) pieces.
Prepare salad greens.
Make vinaigrette: Put vinegar, ketchup, Worcestershire, garlic in small bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly.
To finish: Toss salad greens with a bit of vinaigrette. Arrange on 2 plates. Layer rice, beans, pepper, tomatoes and sausage on top. Drizzle with a bit more vinaigrette and serve, remaining dressing on the side.
This salad is meant to provide 30 – 35 gr of carbohydrate per person, as recommended by V's dietitian.