This is not precisely a surprise at this point in my life. As a Diabetic, I am at a higher risk for tooth and gum infections. Oh never mind I get cleanings often and take care of my mouth. If I did not, likely I would have lost my teeth, or perhaps died. I am not being over-dramatic here.
Why? It has to do with changes in the microcirculation. It is the same reason behind eye issues, kidney damage, and nerve damage. This is why diabetes is a systemic disease.
As I woke in the middle of the night with pain and had to make my way to get the Tylenol, I knew I had to call the dentist. Oh, what joy, another end of the year with a dental emergency!
Last year’s dental adventure led to three weeks of antibiotics, and what I suspect was a full change in my gut biome. That also led to weight loss, about ten percent of my body mass, or a tad more. This is good, and it has helped to control my diabetes far better.
However, here I am. Once again facing a week of pain, Tylenol and soft foods for longer than that. Here is the thing. For many people in this situation, this is permission to eat things like ice cream, mashed potatoes, gravy and other high carb and fat foods. There is nothing wrong with some comfort food, however, if you are a diabetic your body is already running higher blood sugars. This is not good for your recovery. High blood sugars will slow your recovery. This is extremely well known. Also, doing that is a recipe for weight gain.
I have had pain, but nothing like last year, knock on wood. So dinner today was salmon, which is fairly soft. We had a little pasta with tomato sauce. For me, the pasta was about one hundred calories of my dinner, and I kept the carbs low.
Exercise will not happen for at least a few days. I am more sleepy than anything. It’s part of the infection. However, I know how critical it is to keep my carbs low. This means lunch was a tomato soup, with some cheese and a small GF bread. (And now I notice that bread is too high in carbs, as I checked the food log, so off the list, it goes. You need to be more strict on that.)
Now, I know what antibiotics do to the gut biome. So I have my yogurt, and probiotic drink ready to go. Why? As I wrote, I know what this does to the biome, but as long as it kills the bacteria in my mouth, I am fine with this.
But here is the deal. If you are in the same situation, reaching for that high carb comfort food will do you no good. If need be, and I did last year, reach for protein shakes. I am not a fan, but the protein will keep you full. They are calories but will help you keep those blood sugars down. And protein will help you recover.
Yes, am aware that the GF pasta has carbs. It is pasta, after all, so I watched my portion like a hawk. And we have leftovers for tomorrow. The point is, I am not “rewarding” myself with comfort food. I know that would be a mistake. I am sticking to what works for me. This is a varied diet, with protein, plenty of veggies, some fruit. However, this is soft food. So soups, soft gluten-free bread, some fruit, fish is in order. Yes, I can do some chicken in very small pieces. If need be, I have a blender and know how to use it.
Will I have ice cream? Only if my sugars are under good control. Right now they are not. I am aware of this since I keep a glucose log. Why I knew I had an infection. In fact, it probably started a few days ago, maybe a week, it was just a-symptomatic, well except for higher glucose than usual. And once I feel better, I should be soon, I will be hitting the gym again. It is essential to keeping my blood sugars under control. I am sure I will miss it.
There is a difference from Last year. With Connie, I was able to sleep all day. The parrot needed fresh food, water, and she just watched from her cage. And I mean the top of the cage, she was free to roam the house as long as a human was in the house. Dexter is a dog, and he needs walking. So there is that. He also needs feeding, and his meds. So I cannot just sleep through the day. It is what it is. He lost eleven teeth the other day, so he is also on soft foods. However, his dental adventure is almost over. I hope we can soon play fetch with the wee one. It means we both feel better.
Oh, and one last note…as a diabetic I know I need to check my blood sugars even more. Why? As the infection recedes…I am sure my glucose levels will normalize. So finger sticks are in my future; more of them.