© Newsday






First on my agenda as a food blogger I want to give my take on this ‘Paula Deen’ kerfuffle happening on the Food Network. Yes, Paula Deen is a type 2 Diabetic and some think it happened years ago and some think it happened recently and we all think it is going to be another way to Market herself and Reposition herself in the Food World since the Obama’s are now promoting Healthy Children with good eating habits.

As a diabetic myself, also Type 2, I hope she takes the serious side of Diabetes and is able to educate from her platform,  because when all is said and done it is still a Disease and no matter who comes down with it; it is life threatening if not treated with respect and resolute eating habits.

Some Diabetics say that worse than losing their life are the other serious and more common side effects if your Diabetes is not kept under control-tight control. Of these side effects my fear is Neuropathy – death of nerve endings which result in loss of feeling particularly in feet which could result in infections that one doesn’t realize they have and then loss of limb because of. Gangrene is the more common infections that arise with Diabetics who have the onset or complete Necrosis.


Not to mention the horrible pain for the amount of time it takes for all your nerve endings to die. Pain absolute and horrible.

Your eyesight can be horribly affected as well. Diabetes is one of the worst diseases to develop later in life; but it is not as bad as those with Type 1. Unfortunately most affected with Type 1 are affected as Children and grow into Adulthood with it. I have never had to deal with a child who has Type 1 but I know many a parent who have had to: birthday parties; outings; camp; all the things kids do that revolve around food become a nightmare. So too, is the child who rebels and at some point they all do.

It isn’t enough just to let it go; these rebellions can become life threatening and children just don’t understand. I know Type 1 Diabetics who can have their sugar at normal levels when 1 pm hits and at 1:30 they can literally pass out because their sugars go to 1 or 2 on the meters (Canadians and Americans use different scales to measure their sugars and most glucometers can be adjusted.) I multiply by 18 to get the American numbers which is what I knew before the metric system came and all measurements were changed. I am used to them now.


To keep tight control over your Glucose levels it is imperative and paramount that you test your glucose levels before each meal and their numbers should read in the 90’s on the old system Canada used to use and that still exists in the States, I believe, and 5-7 on the Canadian system. To convert just multiply by 18.


I certainly did not want to take my time and berate her but as a food blogger I do wonder how she can, for all these years, tell us and aide and guide us into her world of food which is considered big on sugar and fat; and not taste-test the recipes herself.  What was she selling us?


If she did not taste test the hundreds of books and recipes she has sold the public, then I say good for her (to consider her disease) and what a terrible thing the Food Network did to all of us by scamming us into thinking she is an icon.


If she did actually eat and taste and lead us to believe this is what her eating habits are like; then I would think not only did she do a disservice to her own health and those around her; but I hope whatever damage done is not irreversible.


To her sons: Diabetes is hereditary.  Comes by way of weight mostly if you are a Type 2.  Beware and take stock of your own health boys.


Whatever happened behind the scenes in the Paula Deen Industry – she has given way, now, to a whole new way to continue to fit into the food world via Diabetes.  She is now a new marketing tool to continue into the age where the push for Healthy Eating is coming quick.

Food is an industry like it or not.  It is business.  The more you are seen and the more you are vocal the more you risk.  The more ‘celebrity’ you are: the more you owe your public and fans that keep you on a pedestal; albeit for Paula in recent days – a shaky pedestal.

What I find hard to comprehend is how these faces who choose to be in the forefront of their professions believe that it is easier or wiser to hide major secrets when there is always such a high risk to the public finding out.  To your fans – to your Editors- who tells you this can remain a secret, or should remain a secret.  The biggest blunders come from secrets and when your domain is so public; these blunders can be very costly ones.

Just a quick story that will back up Michael Moore’s beliefs in the Canadian Medical System: a girlfriend’s niece born a Diabetic had the ability in her 20’s to have a Pancreas Transplant. She did – she was a bad diabetic: the kind that would pass out in a second and be sky high levels 15 minutes earlier…


She was put on a list; notified a Pancreas was available at 2 in the morning; went down to the hospital; the doctors went to retrieve the Pancreas in Quebec City be Air Ambulance; landed back at the hospital; had it placed inside her; stayed her allotted time in the hospital and went home being able for the first time in her life to have a piece of cake without her sugars being affected at all.


Should I tell you what it cost her? Okay I will tell you ….0 dollars. Yes, not one damn cent. This is where Medicare is a lifesaver and a Godsend. These are the life threatening conditions that make Medicare the most miraculous way to live in this world of ours.


Had she been living in the United States, with the best medical insurance (if she could get it) even at 20% would have Bankrupted her; she probably would never have been able to have such a transplant she was told.


Medicare saved her life and millions like her all over Canada so when we get pissed off that the Emergency room is filled and it will take 8 hours to have a broken arm set or stitches had – we should remember that if we needed real medical emergency surgery it is ours for the asking. And doesn’t cost us out of pocket any other sums than we already give.


I would love to know what the cost of a Pancreas Transplant in the United States.


Several years ago, having won the Green Card Lottery we began to make plans to move across the border – with one major problem which dashed all our plans.  I could not get Medical Insurance because I was Diabetic.  Didn’t matter my age; my current health; that I was in top physical shape and weight – nope none of it mattered.  There wasn’t an insurance company who would sell me Medical Insurance because I was Diabetic.


I wanted to talk about Canadian Chocolate Bars native to us and suddenly I lost my appetite for such talk.


Next week I will take it up again and in the interim should Paula Deen need any help from me I would be totally willing to help her.


I am proud to be able to say the following: When I go to a Doctor I HAVE to tell him I am a Diabetic because they cannot see it in my eyes; where it usually shows up in the whites; they cannot see it in my feet; my sugars are so under control that I have a body of a person who is healthy, that is how under control and how seriously I take my Disease.


Not to say I don’t indulge in sugars or bad eating habits and I am not on insulin, although I used to be. Now I take Glucophage and a secret.


A long long time ago I had a Metabolic Doctor who worked out of the Metabolic Day Center at the Royal Victoria Hospital who gave me a life-saving hint which he did to patients he could count on to be wise with it. He told me that it would be okay, very rarely, that if I had digested too much glucose I can take an extra small dose of insulin to soak up the high sugars.


To this day; I do that but not with insulin. In my 30’s I was able to get off insulin and go onto a diet controlled monitoring system which was good until I hit menopause and with the hormones out of whack it meant going onto medication.


I do have one medication that I use in such small doses it wouldn’t even be considered anything more than a pinhead sized piece but it would be enough to make sure my sugars would stabilize quickly.


It is not a secret my current doctor agrees with, but Dr. Waddell (if he is still alive) trusted me and I, him.


It is this trick that has allowed me to be a Diabetic without one single symptom.


My sister, my mother could not say the same and sadly their early deaths were related to their disease: we all shared Diabetes which is hereditary in families.


My other saving grace is that I am so in tune with my body that I can literally feel the very moment my sugar drops, and as many Diabetics do not, I can feel both high and low sugars at the instant they happen.


Sadly this is more uncommon than common and I am grateful for that. Yet I never take my Disease as anything but a Disease that I must keep under control.


So Paula, any information I can give I will gladly. That goes for anyone who reads this.


Good luck and for now I think I close off and submit this to Frank Bruni of the New York Times who has chosen to write an article on this comment on what the NY Times has to say particularly Frank Bruni on my proposed post until next week.


It was supposed to be on chocolate bars we have in Canada that are not sold across the border to our neighbours.

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2 Responses to “Paula Deen: It’s Made in Canada Chocolate”

  1. That is interesting, you went to the metabolic center at the Royal Victoria? I am going there for my first day on Tuesday. I have an appointment with Dr. Morris – and it should be an intensive day. I don’t know what to expect, I have a lot of time with dietitians and the like. Should be interesting.

    As for Paula, a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon with her. They make it out like she is diabetic because of all the krispy kernes she was eating. It’s funny, it’s like they don’t understand they are watching a character. I’m sure he really doesn’t eat that way.

    I am a little dissapointed that she has jumped on the Pharma train, but I’m not really surprised. Again, we’re talking about a brand, a money making machine.

    Finally, the pancreatic transplant sounds awesome. Does she have to take immuno suppressing medicine though? We ate truly lucky to live in Canada. Say what you want about our system, but the fact that you aren’t bankrupt because you have pneumonia is testament to our system.

  2. Hi Jason,

    I totally agree with you. As for the Metabolic Day Center – you are in the absolute best place to monitor Diabetes and you will find a lot of people. Go early as they check you in by weighing, urine sample and bloods. Bring a BIG book. In my ‘day’ they served everyone lunch and snacks mid morning and pm before seeing the doctor.

    Sadly, the girl who was in her 20;s came down with a cold and strep that wasn’t diagnosed. 20′s being 20′s she figured it would go away instead she got so bad that she developed the flesh eating disease in her esophagus and was on death’s doorway with one last antibiotic to try before they would be nothing they could do for her and it worked. Doctors say she is a walking miracle and suspect that the anti-rejection drugs she was on for the transplant is actually what saved her. Unfortunately it killed the new pancreas and she is back to being a bad Diabetic. Last I heard the doctors wanted to do it again.