Sunday, June 19, 2016

Doubt

There are some things that I’m sure of:
  • Snow is cold.
  • Carbs are addictive.
  • My husband’s love.
  • The hospital is not the best place to spend your vacation.

There are some things of which I’m less sure:
  • The price of tea in China.
  • Selecting the best paint color.
  • What my dishes do when I’m not looking.
  • That I know what I’m doing when it comes to healthy dietary choices.

Ray and I had planned a summer vacation that would begin with a weekend camping trip with all my kids and grandsons in Utah, then north to Boise Idaho and east to South Dakota via Billings Montana. Instead we spent time in the hospital so Ray could have open-heart surgery. You know, like you do. In fact, I’m writing this on my tablet in his hospital room. This is day 12 here with a couple more to go if we’re lucky.

He’s doing amazingly well.

Ray was first diagnosed with coronary artery disease in July of 2008. He immediately quit smoking and has, over the ensuing years, added regular exercise, cut WAY back on beer consumption and made dramatic changes to his diet. He basically began doing everything he should to lead a healthy life and keep additional health issues at bay, and yet, here we are. The fact that we were doing everything right and his health still declined to scary-ass levels was shocking and confusing. Maybe all that research we’d done about healthy diets lead us down the wrong path! Maybe we don’t know what we’re doing after all! Did I just cook my husband into the hospital?

The answers: No, we do and hell no.

The body is an amazingly complex thing. There are no cut and dried answers or ways to ensure health. All we can do is our best, and we have been. When confronted with this situation, Ray and I experienced doubt. We wondered if our lower carb, no fear of fat ways had caused him to become sicker. Thankfully there was a doctor who explained it to us. Ray has heart disease and even though he had immediately changed his lifestyle, his disease didn’t just stop progressing. In fact, this great doctor told us that if he hadn’t made those changes he would have most likely become sicker long before this. In other words, his new lifestyle had prolonged a good life. Not only that, but his healthier body will most likely heal more quickly. Those changes were a good thing. Not one person, including the nutritionist, has had to tell us that we need to make changes because we already have! My husband is a rock star.

Dealing with any disease is scary, diabetes included. We are forced to make decisions about how we live, what we eat and the medications we take. Educating yourself on the best course of action for your life with diabetes is imperative. Make a plan and follow it. Don’t let doubt cloud your thoughts. Do what feels right to you and stick with it. If you feel stronger and healthier most of the time then you’re most likely on the right track.

Ray has a long road to recovery ahead of him but we’re hopeful that he will come out the other side able to continue doing the things he loves. There will be other chances for the family to camp together and Mount Rushmore isn’t going anywhere. Our summer “vacation” may not have ended up as we’d planned but we’re making the best of it and looking ahead to more years together. Self-doubt is a liar and I no longer believe it. We will make a few minor tweaks to our diet and forge ahead together. I hope that our story will prompt you to make some needed changes to your life too, whatever they may be.


Oh, and love your people like there’s no tomorrow. You never know.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fighting the Good Fight, even when it’s hard

Yesterday was a bad day. It was the third day in a row that my fibro was causing me to feel horrid but I wanted/needed to go and see my mom, 40 miles away. I decided to suck it up and go, but then something was wrong with the car so I turned around and went home, disappointing my mom. Later, I had one of those moments where I felt I could make a difference in the world of diabetes by responding to comments on Facebook that were untrue and hurtful to people with diabetes, you know: myth busting. It didn’t go well. People are mean and hateful; so quick to poke fun at someone else. Yesterday I felt defeated and wondered why I even try.

There are so many things wrong with our world today, starting with the fact that people find it so easy to spew hate and anger instead of acceptance and kindness. Why is it ok to make jokes about someone’s disease? I recently lost a dear friend to cancer and my nephew is currently going through a bone marrow transplant. Would it be ok for me to make jokes about cancer? Should I sit back and ignore it when someone else makes fun? Hardly. Regardless of what the disease is or how it is contracted, there is no reason to laugh at someone else’s misfortune.

I’ve been told to lighten up. I’ve been accused of not having a sense of humor. I’ve been told that I’m wrong when I say that eating sugar doesn’t cause diabetes of any type. “But eating crap and being fat causes diabetes.” “Diabetes will go away if you’d just eat better.” “It’s ok to say “here comes diabetes” when someone orders a sugary drink. It’s funny!” “People who aren’t willing to take better care of their health deserve what they get.” Over and over I hear these types of remarks. Over and over again I do what I can to right the wrongs and inform the uneducated. Here’s the thing: They don’t care! They don’t want to be educated, they just want to laugh and go about their day.

Why do I do this? Why do I put myself into situations that often cause me grief? My sweet daughter reminded me that I’m not supposed to read the comments. Do not engage. She’s right in that sometimes I need to protect myself and just not go there. But on the other hand, how is this horrible situation ever going to change if no one speaks up? Is it ok to let the bullies win? Is it right that hurtful comments are affecting people and causing them unnecessary pain? I think not. Type 2 diabetes has often been referred to as an epidemic and the medical and scientific communities are clamoring to figure out what to do about it. The more they talk about excess weight and sedentary lifestyles, the more they feed the misinformation and trolls. Yes, a lifestyle of too much of the wrong foods and not enough exercise are risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. Has anyone every stopped to think that the way people with type 2 diabetes eat isn’t much different than anyone else’s diet? Nope, they assume that we’ve spent our lives eating Twinkies and dozens of donuts… all the time. They just point fingers and laugh.


I know that I’ve covered this very subject many, many times, but yesterday it felt personal. Yesterday I could feel the knife in my back in a way that took my breath away. It’s fucking NOT ok to make jokes about diabetes and even though some days it will be difficult, I will not stop speaking up. I will not cease correcting the uneducated. I will not stop until my last breath because my tribe deserves better. I may not be able to affect much in the way of change but I cannot sit by quietly and let the bullies win. Thanks for “listening” to my rant. I feel better today.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Importance of Education

Early on in my blog I wrote about what it was like to be diagnosed and how I was shoved out the door without any information or offer of education. I still recall all the range of emotions I went through over the years as I tried to figure out how to live with this disease. I was lucky in that I took the time to educate myself, often taking wrong paths but eventually getting back to the basics and shunning the snake oil. I was lucky, but many are not.

There are too many people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who remain clueless to the seriousness of this disease, either through ignorance or the desire to hide their heads in the sand. Diabetes is scary but it’s even scarier if we ignore it or fail to adequately understand how important it is to do all we can within our power to tame the beast. Besides the millions of people who have type 2, there are many, many millions who are walking around with elevated blood sugars, often called pre-diabetes. They don’t know they have an issue. They haven’t been tested. Some have received the news but are made to feel that it’s “no big deal. Just watch your sugar.” These people go on their merry way thinking they are “ok” because they are going to cut back on their sugar intake. They continue to eat in an unhealthy manner and probably don’t add exercise to their lives. Who wants to if they don’t “have” to?

Education in relation to type 2 diabetes has been my passion, for lack of a better word. It is something which I feel is sorely lacking and desperately needed. I am often frustrated because I’m just one person and I don’t know what it is I can do to stem the tide of misinformation and apathy. It has always felt like the “powers that be” weren’t doing enough to stress the importance of self-care and were too often hammering home the idea that we just need to lose a bit of weight and it will make ALL the difference in the world! Right. As someone who has been attempting to lose weight since my early 20s after my first son was born, I know that “just lose some weight” is never as easy as it sounds. Diabetes and controlling weight are very complex issues and I’m pleased to see more and more studies being done that say just that.

A couple of things have happened recently that have given me renewed hope; hope that people who CAN make a difference are speaking up. Unfortunately, those people happen to be celebrities, but hear me out. Two celebrities have recently spoken up about their lives with type 2 diabetes. Both have had the disease for decades and both are working with pharmaceutical companies to help educate people about living with type 2 diabetes. I’ve never been a fan of celebrity spokesmen. It gets under my skin when people feel that just because someone is “famous” they know more than Joe Shmoe about any subject, be it illness, religion or politics. However, the reality is that people DO listen to celebrities and if their message is clear and helpful then YAY!

“Dr.” Phil McGraw has teamed up with Astra Zeneca to present a plan to help people live well with type 2 diabetes. It’s called the “On it Movement”. I’m not usually a fan of “rules” and this program has “rules”. However, the rules are worthy. The list includes things like educating yourself, making a plan and finding support. I can get behind that. More recently, actor James Earl Jones has teamed up with Janssen in their type 2 campaign called “I can Imagine”.

Let’s be honest: both of these programs are designed to sell you a drug to possibly help you control your diabetes. You may decide that their medication sounds good and you might discuss it with your doctor. I’m not posting about these to encourage you to do that or to even support these medications. I’m not a doctor. There should be ongoing conversation between you and your HCP to determine what medication/lifestyle changes will work best for you and your diabetes. I think it’s important to cut the pharma companies some slack. If they don’t make money, then there won’t be any further innovations in our care. (I’m not going to discuss how often it seems as if they make TOO much money. That’s not my point here.)

Earlier I mentioned that I was more hopeful and here’s why: Lots of people watch the Dr. Phil show and if he’s talking about type 2 diabetes and how difficult it can be to live with it, discussing the emotional/mental side of our battle, then that’s an opportunity to encourage people to step up and do something about their health. James Earl Jones is a beloved actor who just happens to be the voice of Darth Vadar. That dude is serious! We’d better listen! Regardless of how you or I may feel about celebrity spokesmen, these men have a distinct opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions of people. If their message stays clear and they don’t push the medication too forcefully, people may just learn something. That gives me hope.

One more thing: The Diabetes Prevention Program. A study was done that eventually teamed up with the YMCA that went about teaching people how to make lifestyle changes to keep type 2 diabetes at bay. These people had been identified as having pre-diabetes. The program includes dietary changes and added exercise and it worked.  People were able to have some control over their rising blood sugar levels and stave off full-blown type 2 diabetes. The federal government took notice and now Medicare has said that they will pay for people to participate in the Diabetes Prevention Program. I think that’s pretty huge.

Let me say right here that I do not agree with a lot of the dietary changes that the DPP pushes. There are way too much carbohydrates suggested, IMHO. I have learned, and many people with diabetes would agree, that lowering our carbohydrate level is imperative to attempt to control blood sugar. However, as I’ve said ad-naseum, I’m not a doctor nor a nutritionist nor a CDE. I’m just a patient who has learned what works for me. It’s going to take a long, long time for the “establishment” to get on board with what science has shown to be the best way to eat. In the meantime, think about this: dietary changes aren’t made overnight. People often do better when they ooze into them. Here is a quote from a previous post I did on this very subject:

The reality is that some people who are newly diagnosed have been used to eating upwards of 200 grams of carbohydrates per meal and the idea that they can miraculously reduce that carb intake to 35 grams is ludicrous at best. 

Let’s look at a typical trip to McDonald’s.  Big Mac – 46 gr carbs, large fries – 63 gr of carbs and a large Coke – 86 = 195 grams of carbs.  (information from their website) Wow.  (We aren’t even going to discuss fat and sodium.)  This meal is consumed by an awful lot of people in this country on a regular basis.  Now, compare that to a recommended meal for someone with diabetes.  3 oz. 90%-lean hamburger patty, 1 cup 1% milk – 12.2 gr carbs, 1 whole-wheat roll – 21 gr carbs , 1 cup prepared coleslaw – 15 gr carbs = 48.2 grams of carbs. (approximations by Kate) 195 vs 48.  Enlightening no?  I wouldn’t eat that recommended diabetes meal now.  I’d lose the roll and (add a lot more fat).  But that’s me and I didn’t get here overnight!

The DPP may not be perfect, but it’s a start. I applaud the “powers that be” for trying to get the message out there that poor diet and being sedentary are causing us to become unhealthy. A scenario of fast food and couch surfing can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. They don’t cause it, but they increase your risk. That’s an important message that this program can deliver to millions of older Americans; those people who are at greater risk of developing type 2 due to their age.


Do I wish that people would listen to Joe Shmoe instead of celebrities? Yes. Do I wish that the idea of low(er) carb would find its way into the minds of those who are teaching people with diabetes? Yup. But in the meantime, I have hope that these types of programs will cause the masses to pay better attention and bring the severity of type 2 diabetes to the forefront and, hopefully, remove some of the stigma. Heck, if James Earl Jones and Tom Hanks have type 2 and they’re cool dudes, then maybe people will think twice before condemning the rest of us for just being normal folks who happen to have type 2 diabetes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sticking Like Glue

An article appeared in my Facebook feed yesterday, several times. The article caused some uproar among the DOC due to the fact that it showed type 2 diabetes patients in a negative light. We don’t like that. My initial reaction was one of disbelief and anger and I commented that I felt a blog post coming on. I was right; here it is. However, as I let myself calm down and think about this situation, my attitude shifted a little bit and I re-read the article with different glasses.

The article (which I won’t link to here because, well just because I don’t want to) was written for healthcare professionals as a guide to help them help their diabetes patients “adhere to treatment protocols”.

The article, upon my second reading, actually contained some good stuff. There were quotes from doctors with good advice to help patients with the difficult task of accepting and learning to live with type 2 diabetes. There were suggestions that showed that these doctors understand how difficult it can be to make the necessary changes we face. They encourage better communication between the doctors and patients; essentially helping people along instead of shoving them out the door to figure it out for themselves. The use of technology was mentioned and even *gasp* the idea of reaching out to other diabetes patients through support groups!

It’s been nearly 11 years since I was diagnosed and these ideas were non-existent when I found myself floating in a sea of WTF as I left that first appointment. I find it encouraging that there may be a swing toward more understanding of the shit-storm that living with diabetes is.

Now let’s talk about what’s horribly wrong with this article.

Failure.

The article lists 5 ways that patients don’t adhere to suggested protocols in their lives with diabetes, despite the fact that these protocols have been proven to show the best results down the road. Each and every one of the 5 areas was addressed as a failure on the part of the patient. The patient fails to make necessary lifestyle changes. The patient fails to adequately monitor their blood glucose. The patient fails to show up for appoints, etc. GAH! Just typing these things has raised my blood pressure yet again and made me feel like reaching through the computer screen and throttling the author of this article. The nerve! The unmitigated gall! The cheek!

Under each of these 5 horrible headings were some really good ideas about how HCPs can assist their patients, but who can get past the freaking headings! When depression, exhaustion or burnout cause me to slip up and eat things that I know aren’t the best choices, I’ve FAILED? Really? When someone can’t afford to buy extra test strips because their insurance only allows them 1 per day, they’ve FAILED to correctly monitor their blood glucose? The lack of adequate patient education on the importance of their medication regimen is a FAILURE on the patient’s part? THIS is what got our collective panties in a twist. Blaming the patient for the myriad ways the system fails us.

Words matter. Regardless of the fact that this article contains some good advice for doctors, it falsely blames the patient. Even an amazing HCP who treats their patients with kindness and compassion is seeing the word failure in conjunction with patients.  If you see a correlation often enough you can begin to buy into it; you can begin to believe that patients are failing without considering that the system might be failing us. It’s bad enough that doctors might look upon us as failures, but it’s even worse when we begin to believe it too; and we do too often.

Living with diabetes is hard; it’s unbefrickenlievably hard. We need to be uplifted and admired for the changes we do make. We need recognition for the mental anguish we experience and help to overcome it. We need better education. We need help, not labels.


People with diabetes work hard, every day, to do the best they can with a sucky disease. As a community we will never “adhere” to protocols 100% of the time but those words like failure will stick, like glue.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Reconnecting with my tribe

Although it’s been a while since I’ve written in this space, I’ve been here thinking about things to write and diabetes campaigns to promote. I candidly wrote previously about my struggles over the winter and they continued into January and part of February. I’m ok but it’s not been easy to climb out of the funk.

Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the 2nd annual Diabetes UnConference. Not only did I attend for the second time, but I was honored to be one of the facilitators! It was an amazing experience. Last year I wrote about experiencing the first UnConference and, honestly, I could cut and paste that post here and it would remain just as relevant. If you want to know what the UnConference is like, please go and read that post. Go ahead, seriously.

You may think that having the same experience would make the UnConference a one-shot deal. If you’ve been once, you don’t need to go again sort of thing. Nuh uh. Not even close. You see, what makes the UnConference so special is that it’s people with diabetes coming together to talk about things that affect our lives; things that are meaningful to us. It isn’t “how do I insert this CGM sensor” or “what is the best diet to follow” (although those discussions do happen), it’s discussions about the emotions that we feel when living with diabetes. It’s talking about difficult subjects in a place where you feel safe to do that. It really is a large support group meeting that takes place over 1 ½ days. Powerful stuff.

This year there were familiar faces but the majority of the attendees were new to the event. How cool is that? There was over 2,500 years of diabetes experience in that room. Let that sink in for a minute. Two thousand five hundred years! And yet, we didn’t have all the answers because diabetes changes; diabetes doesn’t play fair. I think one of the things that stands out for me is that, regardless of how many years you’ve been living with diabetes, you still need your peeps. You still need the connection to others who “get it”. You still need someone to understand. The Diabetes UnConference is simply a room full of people who get it and are ready, willing and able to support each other.

So back to me (it is my blog, after all). I was apprehensive about going to the conference this year because I would be facilitating and I was worried that my fibromyalgia would cause me issues. It didn’t, at least not until it was all over. That’s when I hit what I call my “fibro wall” and I spent the last night in my room resembling a rung out dishrag, but a dishrag that felt content and happy. I reconnected with my tribe. I came home filled with renewed determination to start living my life again. What I’m feeling now isn’t just a desire to get back in the saddle with my diabetes but I feel more able to begin living my life now that my responsibilities for my mom’s care have diminished. I want to go camping! I’m looking forward to our “big trip” this summer! Walking. Writing. Hiking. Crafting. LIVING! I may have eventually gotten to this point on my own, but my current feeling of STOKED! comes directly from my experiences at the Diabetes UnConference and all the people who attended alongside me. A weekend spent with my tribe; the people who get what this part of my life is like. It. Was. Amazing.

What happens at the UnConference, stays at the UnConference (and not just because it was Vegas). We pledge to not discuss other people’s stories outside of the event and that allows the attendees to feel safe talking about their fears and issues. If you want to experience this weekend of awesomeness, there is a way. There will be a 2nd UnConference this year in Atlantic City. Check it out here. If you live in the east or are free to travel about, I highly recommend that you register and attend. You won’t regret it (and I’ll be there too!). And, there is always next year! The UnConference will be back in Vegas next spring and I’m sure there will be another one later in the year in the east. So many opportunities are out there for you to experience this phenomenon. Do something good for yourself. You deserve it.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Focus: Taking Care

I remember a time when I had young children, a full time job and took night classes in business. There was rarely a day when I wasn’t busy doing something: cooking dinner, laundry and dishes, making lunches, helping with and doing homework, reading with my kids and putting in my 8 hours at work. Busy times. There was stress, of course, but most of my activities were positive and forward-looking. Raising great kids and furthering my career usually felt good and the stress was short-lived or minimal.

In hindsight, I didn’t always take the best care of myself. I ate too many processed foods and everyone else always came first. These days I rarely eat processed foods but one thing hasn’t changed: everyone else comes first and this has become a big problem for me.

I’ve mentioned my 97 year old mother in the past. I have been caring for her and my father in some capacity for at least 13 years. My father died in December of 2008 and Mom has needed increased care over the past 7 years. We hired caregivers to come into her apartment to care for her but they weren’t able to completely fill her schedule due to our remote location. That has meant that I have needed to step in and be her caregiver. On a good day I’m there once. Other days I’m there as much as 4 times per day. This means that Ray and I are pretty much glued to home. Mom fell a few weeks ago and has had other minor catastrophes that made it obvious that she could no longer stay in her apartment. We found a group assisted living home and we will be moving her there this week. It’s a nice place with nice people. She will have 6 roommates in the house but have her own room with her own furniture. She will be fine but this has been the most difficult decision I have ever made in my life. Worse even than the time I chose to cut my hair in a shag back in the 70s! (I had to lighten the mood a bit.)

During this time my diabetes has taken a back seat. Actually I think it’s been in the trunk under a blanket next to the tire iron. I just haven’t cared much. Ray and I started having a date night once per week just so we could have something to look forward to. I would order whatever sounded good and didn’t worry too much about carbs. Not the best choice but I needed to have something to enjoy! My fasting numbers have been anywhere from the low 130s to the mid 160s. Not grand. Apparently I’m still able to have some decent numbers through the middle of the day. I had an appointment with my PCP. It had been 6 months since I’d seen her because I had been “doing so well!!”. My previously rock-steady A1c had creeped up .3%. Big surprise. It’s close to my all-time high from years ago. I asked her about basal insulin to possibly help with my high morning numbers. Instead she recommended another injectable. I said I’d wait, thank you very much, to see if I can’t swing things back around. She just won’t consider insulin for me. I’m still “well controlled”. Sigh.

So here I sit after Christmas with some truly awful numbers due to stress and too many carby foods. (Interestingly, sweets are not in the least appealing, but those tamales…) I’m at a crossroads and it’s up to me to choose the best path.

I know that January is going to be a tough month for me. I’ll be dealing with guilt about Mom and trying to visit her (35 miles away) as often as I can. I will have to redefine my life and figure out what it will look like from now on. It might sound easy to just start living and doing all those things I’ve been unable to do but I know that there will be some emotional baggage that I will have to deal with. (Oh, and my son and his family just left yesterday to move 3 hours away. They, including my 4 grandsons, have always lived just down the block. I will miss them so much.) So how will I deal with this emotional baggage? Will I sit in the recliner, reading and eating stuff I shouldn’t? Will I tackle that bathroom spruce-up we’ve been putting off? Will I eat everything in sight or go back to watching my carb intake and actually caring about my own health? In reality, it will probably be a little bit of everything. I’m hopeful that my own self-care will take the lead. Once I get used to having some freedom to do whatever the hell I want, I am hopeful that my health will allow me to enjoy that freedom. Trips to see my grandsons! Hanging out with Laddie in Phoenix! Reading to Mom in her new home! Road trip with Ray in the late spring!


My Mom will be fine. My grandsons will thrive. I have much to look forward to and I need to take care of myself in order to make these things happen. I hope that writing this post will help me to take the correct path.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

People with type 2 diabetes can eat anything in moderation, or can they?

This subject, when discussed, can quickly turn into a heated argument. Many people with type 2 diabetes can currently control their blood glucose by adjusting their diet and adding exercise. Others do that and also take oral medications. Still others are using injected insulin to help control their blood glucose. Nearly all of the advice you can find online (or from a physician’s office) tells patients that they can continue to eat pretty much whatever they want, with some adjustments like whole grains vs white foods, etc. Moderation is the key. Well, as someone who can’t eat just anything she wants, I often take issue with this advice. I feel it leads patients to think that they’re ok if they just moderate and they often don’t test before and after a meal or snack to see what’s really going on inside their bodies.

Today, I did something incredibly stupid. Instead of just being mad at myself, I decided to use a bunch of test strips and do an experiment. I had a theory and I wanted to test that theory. You know… science stuff.

So what stupid thing did I do? Let me tell you.

I went to the grocery store at about 10 AM in the hopes of beating the crowd. I hadn’t eaten a thing (which, lately, isn’t all that unusual. I know, don’t judge me.) I had taken my meds with my daily concoction of psyllium husk (fiber) and warm water (homemade Metamucil without all the junk they add). I wasn’t hungry and my shopping list consisted of good things like veggies and stuff.  I needed to buy a loaf of bread for my mom so I found myself near the bakery and goodies. No worries, I had self-control. And then I saw it: a Hostess Lemon Pie. They never have lemon but today they did. Before you go “ewwww, why would you want that?” I need to explain that I am a whore for lemon. Lemon pie, lemon loaf from Starbucks, lemon cookies, lemon E V E R Y T H I N G!!!!! I used to eat these horrid things and I had a wave of nostalgia come over me. “Surely, one wouldn’t hurt me! ‘They’ say I can eat anything in moderation!” (Even though I know better.) I bought it. I inhaled it in the car. It was horrible. As I’m licking the disgusting sugar glaze off my fingers I realized what I had done and was ashamed. I felt like a drug addict in a back alley shooting up my Precious. Gawd, what an idiot.

After I got home with the groceries (and Ray helped me put them away. He’s a gem) I decided to check my blood glucose to see what damage I had done. It had been about 20 minutes since I had gorged. 124. What? I had started out with a 130 fasting reading. This can’t be right! Instead of gloating and thinking I had gotten away with something, I decided to continue to check at one hour intervals. Here are the results:

1 hour:  193
2 hours: 243 (began consuming mass quantities of water.)
3 hours: 201 (it’s coming down!!)
4 hours: 157 (I have a stomach ache.)
5 hours: 108 (YAY! Still have a stomach ache but I will eat dinner.)

I decided to stop checking after 5 hours, mostly because I saw such a great number on my meter. I had eaten nothing else all day other than a couple of spoon licks and cups of green tea. Someone out there is thinking, “Well your liver probably dumped because you didn’t eat, moron.” I beg to differ. Although I’m not a doctor or scientist I’m pretty sure my liver would realize that I was already dealing with way too much glucose in my system. Maybe not, but it really doesn’t matter. There is no way I felt like eating anything. Stomach ache, fuzzy head, guilt, remorse and I wanted to see what would happen.

So my theory was that the horrible, no-good, very bad thing I ate would eff up my blood sugar for hours and hours. My testing shows that my theory was pretty darned accurate. So why in the world am I confessing this STOOPID mistake to you? To educate.

When someone has diabetes and they don’t use insulin to control their blood glucose, they can’t necessarily eat whatever they want if they desire a longer and healthier life. One of the problems with type 2 is that we don’t always see immediate ramifications for our actions like our type 1 friends do. If we splurge or continue to eat in an unhealthy way, we don’t go into DKA or throw up or any of those other unpleasant results. We don’t realize that high blood glucose is coursing through our arteries, toasting our kidneys and eyes; ruining our nerves, unless we check. Unless we use our meters to learn what different foods do to our blood glucose. We can’t/shouldn’t wait 3 months to see what our A1c shows. It won’t show this awful high I had today because I will attempt to get back on track tomorrow and my lower readings will negate this high.

I was an idiot: a very human idiot who just impulsively ate something she shouldn’t. Will I eat a Hostess Lemon Pie again? HELL NO! (it was truly horrid) Will I ever eat something I “shouldn’t”? You bet I will. Will I do it all the time? Nope. I care enough about my future to attempt to control what I eat and whip the beast called diabetes into submission to the best of my ability.

I’m pleading with you now. Please, please, please think about what you’re eating on a daily basis and make adjustments as you can in order to try to control your blood glucose. I don’t care if you eat low carb, high fat, low fat, Vegan, vegetarian, Paleo or cinnamon-okra water. Just pay attention. Use your meter. Care enough about yourself to pay attention and learn. I was an idiot and, because of that, maybe you won’t be.