Book offers hope, insights for diabetics
Last updated 10/27/2021 at Noon
Nancy Schupp lives quietly at home with her dog, Gizmo. In her late 70s, she’s been a caterer and a dental technician. Both jobs kept her busy, working seven days a week. Sometimes she grabbed fast food when she was tired, but always gave her catering clients the best quality foods she could afford. Now she realizes that she should have treated herself as thoughtfully — and she hopes her missteps can be lessons to save others from the pain she’s suffered from diabetes.
In her 40s Schupp was hospitalized and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The disease became another example of the challenges, burdens, and blessings she’s known. With over seven decades facing and overcoming life’s obstacles, she learned the importance of seeing food as medicine and fuel to keep the body running smoothly.
“When I got home from the hospital, I cleaned out my refrigerator and cupboards,” said Schupp.
“There was nothing left to eat, because it all had too much salt in it. I was in shock. When I went to the grocery store, I was so frustrated, I wanted to cry. But in time, I came up with my own solutions.”
After she was diagnosed, there was little guidance from medical professionals. Giving herself an insulin shot the first time was a challenge.
“It took me three days to get up the nerve to give myself insulin,” she said. “Buying insulin was incredibly expensive. Back then
test strips were a dollar
apiece and I didn’t have insurance.”
Sometimes Schupp couldn’t afford the medicine she needed. Having to forgo or choose cheap and often less effective insulin took a toll on her health.
Schupp slowly learned how to live with the disease. She tested her blood sugar when she could afford test strips and paid for insulin from her wages.
“The thing that saved my life was I loved vegetables,” she said with a chuckle.
Ten years ago, Schupp met former Sisters physician Dr. Eden Miller after hearing her presentation about diabetes.
“I asked her if I could become her patient. She saved my life. I’m a type 2, insulin-dependent diabetic. Eden told me that parents need to get their children in the kitchen at an early age and start teaching them about nutrition. The idea to write a book took off from there,” said Schupp.
Schupp was so grateful for the knowledge and care Dr. Miller provided her, she wanted to give back by writing a book where all the information about diabetes could be in one place.
“Dr. Miller wrote the forward for my book. She also did consulting on the book and has them in her office for her patients,” said Schupp.
The book is being published through XPress Printing.
“Laura Callahan helped me with edits for the book. She had so many brilliant ideas. The first thing I say in the book is that I am not a dietician, a nutritionist, or a writer. I wrote this book not for me but for our kids. The number of children becoming diabetic is scary. One out of three children born will become a diabetic as an adult,” she said.
The book offers important aspects of eating healthy, including information on fats, salt, sugar, carbohydrates, protein, and controlling blood sugar. “I wanted to give people whose life is more of a challenge a book that has information about diabetes right here.”
Although there are all kinds of recipes, she stresses the book is not about the
recipes, but about gaining knowledge about how to eat and live healthier. Schupp suggests that parents get children into the kitchen early and involve them in preparing and even growing the food they eat.
“Let them stir things, taste things, take them to the grocery store and pick out a few things they like. If they’re more involved they’re more likely to try things. I know it’s hard with both parents working, or raising children as single parents. But it’s worth the effort because children who know about nutrition tend to be healthier as adults,” she said.
She also asks everyone reading her book to not start a new eating regime without checking with their doctor first.
“Everyone’s body and chemistry is different,” she said.
Readers will find advice and ideas for preparing and enjoying all kinds of foods. There’s a section on herbs and salt-free options to season dishes. Schupp explains and guides readers to healthier eating habits that can help avoid diabetes and other diseases that affect people with poor eating habits. She stresses that there’s much to learn and often the first step is reading labels on packaging to see fat, sugar, fiber, and sodium content.
The book is for sale at Paulina Springs in the local author section. To purchase directly from Nancy Schupp, she invites people to call her at 541-420-3435.
“I’m so proud of this book,” Schupp said. “If I haven’t done anything else in my life, I want to give this to people because I have suffered. My doctors encouraged me to write the book using my experiences. I tried so hard to get everything into one book.”
Schupp says if she helps one person, she’ll be happy.
“I don’t have the money to publish the book. The more I sell, the more I can print. It’s more about getting the message out. It’s not about money for me,” said Schupp.
A percentage of the profits from book sales will go to type 1 diabetic summer camps. Books are $20 each. Schupp’s friend Laura Gulick created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to get more published. (www.gofundme.com/f/diabetes-and-our-children).