Friday, September 01, 2006

Blood Sugar Death Magic

As a nursing student, I like to think I bring a little more to the table while I'm working as a clinical assistant at the psych facility. For instance, I'm constantly trying to educate patients on good food choices. When it comes to the diabetic patients, I'm quite stern. "No, you cannot have ice cream. You have diabetes. Let's think of something that will be a more appropriate snack for you."

I do this work only to see it disastrously undone by patient's families. A patient will have already eaten their facility-provided meal which is physician order for an 1800 or 2100 calorie per day diet, and then patients' families come in for visiting hours with pizza and non-diet soft drinks or big bags of Taco Bell. A meal like that can easily top their ordered calorie intake for an entire day. It's not true in every case, but I've seen it plenty of times and it mystifies me. It's not like the patient was just diagnosed with diabetes. Diagnosing doctors and nurses usually do a comprehensive job of educating patients and their families on food intake, blood glucose monitoring, etc.

"Are you trying to kill your [loved one]?" I'm tempted to say, "Why not just roll a stick of butter in sugar and batter, freeze it, then deep fry it?" Usually I just pull them aside and point out that we're trying to encourage good eating habits and that while food often plays a part in comfort and they of course want to help their loved one feel better, an entire medium pizza or eight tacos will make them feel worse in the long run.

I'm generally not a fan of scare tactics, but sometimes I just want to hand them a photo of diabetic foot ulcers.


  1. Mmm...foot ulcers.

    Taco Bell isn't even that tasty; why would you risk it?

  2. Deep-fried sugarbutter will be a staple at the state fair soon, I'm sure.

    This year, I heard they'll be offering fried pecan pralines and fried Coke. Apparently, those taste sensations won some sort of Big Tex contest, but I wasn't really paying attention when it was on the news last night.

  3. Foodways are powerful cultural movers.

    But actually I just came to chime in about the fried butter.

    Glad to see you are posting more often.

  4. good god....maybe a little more warning when linking to photos of diabetic foot ulcers. that would be some scare tactic though. especially if said patient were a foot model.

  5. As for what Jen said, I Googled fried coke and came up with this. Probably not what they'll have at the fair.

  6. deep-fried Coke -- Coke batter nuggets (?!) topped with cola syrup (!!). There's a reason I don't buy food at the fair....

    My favorite line in that article: "Give a person a good wiener, and you've got them."