It has been more than five weeks of having to stare sadly through bakery windows, walking past fast food joints where people polish off burgers and fried chicken, feeling angry that I can’t have a proper cup of Coffee, not being able to drink any soft drink I like, hanging my head each time I walk past a Ramen shop, wishing I could have a cup of bubble tea, forlornly looking at the ice-cream carts along the roads, and politely explaining to people why I have to reject their offer of potato chips…the list goes on. I’ve had many emotional moments, when I asked God, “Why me?”, when I feel like throwing a fit because I don’t have a good answer to “what do you want to eat?” when the reality is to only care about “what CAN I eat?”.
The only part I’m grateful about in this whole episode is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for me. I’m hopeful that I’m one of the “most people” who will not be diabetic anymore after giving birth. Compared to the many out there who carry the ailment permanently, some born with it, some diagnosed in mid-life with it, I should still count my blessings.
Having to go through this phase in my life, it has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective, and experience what some go through their entire lives.
After enduring three weeks of eating the same food with the diet plan (including attempting to cook for myself food that tastes like cardboard and soups that tastes like plain water) I have scoured the Internet to make the remaining weeks of my 3rd trimester bearable… diabetic patients surely have a way out somehow!
Sadly, I have to say, Singapore seems slow in becoming a diabetic-friendly place. There isn’t a dedicated sugar-free section in our supermarkets. There are no signs either that say “suitable for diabetics”. In fact, most do not carry sugar-free products beyond sweets like Ricola. It is a sad state of affairs.
There are however some who are on a quest like me and had decided to do something about it… bringing in and/or producing foods that will light up a deprived soul’s eyes and warm the heart.
Approaching these shops, I had the feeling of a kid approaching M&Ms land… so over the moon, I wanted to grab everything within reach! (That was probably how Hansel and Gretel felt at the candy house).
To the people behind these shops and brands, thank you for making a difference… and I hope Singapore food importers and producers will finally awaken to this market. It is niche, but don’t neglect this group… since a Report in the Straits Times in 2012 reported that there would likely be 1 million diabetics in Singapore by 2050. That’s not even counting the mummies like me who go through Gestational Diabetes during pregnancy.
This whole experience was a chance for me to be more aware of the feelings of those who can’t eat as they wished. I no longer have to imagine how one felt whenever friends posted photos of their cafe hopping sessions and dining delicacies on Facebook and Instagram, food that are forbidden. I know how they feel now. And let’s just put it simply – it sucks.
Anyway to share the list I’ve found so far, here goes:
SHOPS/BRANDS WITH A HEART FOR DIABETIC PATIENTS
I will try to continue to add on to this list, even after my recovery. Hopefully, it will provide a rainbow of hope to all pregnant ladies in Singapore who are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes.