Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Continuing Adventures With Diabetes: Week #1 "Choices"

"My own prescription for health is less paperwork, and more running barefoot through the grass."

-Leslie Grimutter

The title of this entry is a bit misleading, actually it was 7 weeks ago today, that I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, but I want to start writing about my adventures with diabetes because I am learning new things every day, about myself, and about my condition. I hope by sharing I can help and inspire others with it to feel a little less alone, so, I have made a decision to update my blog with an entry devoted to what I learn, as I continue on, looking for knowledge and skills for living well with diabetes.

IHOP Garden Scramble Under 600 calories and 15g Fat

A dear friend asked me the other day, "How have you been doing... with your diabetes?" I had to think for a moment, and consider, what to respond. It was a perfectly legitimate question, and it felt good to have my friend ask about me, but the thing is, I am really, really OK most of the time. If it wasn't for checking my glucose readings several times a day, I wouldn't know anything was amiss. There are NO symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, especially early on in the disease. I was even told, by my health education leader, that she once worked at a health fair, in a booth devoted to educating the public on diabetes. One of the ways they did this, was to offer free finger tip testing.

On one of the days she worked the booth, a gentleman approached the booth to learn more about the disease. It seemed a friend at work had been recently diagnosed and he was interesting in finding out some statistics. She gave him some pamphlets and then offered to check his blood. Well, the man scoffed, "I am in my late 30's," he said, "and I am not overweight, and I feel fine." "Then why not see, what your random reading is?" said the health educator. He laughed, but finally said, "sure, okay." His reading was 410 mg/dl. Sigh. He found out that day, that he was also, a diabetic, and had more then likely been for quite sometime.

There are a lot of myths about diabetes that are mistaken for truths. Diabetes is an equal opportunity intruder. Skinny people get diabetes, fat people get diabetes, elderly people get diabetes, children get diabetes, and people who feel just fine, get diabetes. There are high risk lifestyles that may increase your chances, but it doesn't guarantee you will be afflicted. I am not sure why more isn't being done to educated the public about diabetes, but I know one thing, I didn't bother to educate myself on it, until I was diagnosed with it. Sigh. Why would I? I felt fine. Sigh. Truth is, even if I would have done extensive research into risk factors, and statistics, I wouldn't have been able to have stopped myself for contracting diabetes. It's just a fact. What I could have accomplished, however, was that I would have known right away that blaming myself, or trying to figure out just exactly how I had failed, would have been a waste of time, energy and emotion.

Mixed Fruit Approx 250 Calories, 0 Fat, 14 Carbs

I have good days, and some not so good days. I feel good when I get to tell someone, that the old myth about sugar being evil, simply isn't true. I don't have to give up anything, with diabetes, I just have to account for what I put into my body, and plan for certain things. I am eating pretty much what I always did, only in more reasonable. I haven't give up my love of fast food, I simply figure it into my daily intake for maintaining my weight maintenance.

So far, I am finding it to be challenging at times, but far from impossible. I am more hungry for knowledge, then a taco. LOL. It's OK, if I blow it once in a while. I keep track of what foods to do my blood, and act accordingly. As an example, if I want to go and have a meal, which might not be so good for my readings, I have it at lunch, and then take a long, moderately paced walk to help regulate my glucose numbers. Exercising after meals is good for bringing those numbers down. So far, the highest number I have had, 2 hours after a meal is 148 mg/dl. My before meal average is 117 mg/dl, After Meal is, 128 and Overall is, 121. My doctor says I am off to a good start, but there is always room to improve. I try to keep my stress level down, so Alan no longer allows me to watch the news during dinner. LOL. Yep, we are a George Bush free house during meal times. LOL. What can I say, he brings me stress. Sheesh. :)

One of the nice things about taking a long walk after a meal, is that you can discover the most amazing things. For instance, yesterday, I discovered autumn, sneaking into the woods of Tilden Park. :) I will speak more about my visit to the Botanic Garden up here in the hills of Berkeley, this weekend, for now enjoy the lovely leaves I found yesterday, and just think, we are only about a week away from autumn, the most beautiful time of the year, the season that brings every part of me to life. I would rather have a bouquet of autumn leaves, then roses any day, and yesterday, I was treated to just that, and diabetes didn't stop me, one little bit. :)

Website of the Week: Diabetes Mine

"Autumn Prelude"
Botanic Garden
Tilden Park
Berkeley, California
September 12, 2007


MyMaracas said...

You make healthy food look so good. Sounds like you're doing everything right, m'dear. I really admire your ability to dive right in and adapt. Keep up the good work!


fdtate said...

I was very sorry to hear about your diagnosis. On top of all your other ailments, it seems like a very raw deal. But you seem to be coping very well and have hit upon the positive -- becoming much more aware about what you're putting into your body. Kudos.