I’ve been moving down a path
with my diabetes.This path has had a
few bumps and curves but the course was mostly straight.The goal: see improved blood glucose,
maintain a healthy weight and basically kick diabetes’ butt.I’ve done fairly well in the 8+ years that I’ve
been dealing with diabetes but now I find myself at a crossroads, of sorts.It seems that my path has taken a sharp turn
and I’ve lost my bearings.
It’s been a rough winter, for a
lot of reasons.Last autumn I began to
see my glucose numbers rise, especially in the morning. My sensitivity to carbs
has increased, meaning that I can no longer eat most carbs without seeing big spikes.I realized that over the course of a year I
had gained 15 pounds (which has now crept up toward 20) all at a time when I’ve
been exercising most days and eating less than I have in years.Frustration abounds.Depression makes itself known much too
often.I have felt defeated.
Today I had an appointment with
my healthcare provider to discuss how things are going.I was sad to sit there and list all my woes
when I can remember my past appointments being more about “I’m doing just fine.”My doctor came to the same conclusion I had:
my diabetes is progressing and I need more help.
I’ve written before about my
desire to use insulin.I had actually
hoped that she would give me a small dose of basal insulin to get things under
control.Nope. Not gonna happen.You see, according to her, my diabetes isn’t
at a point where insulin would be a good move.Had I been in a better frame of mind, I might have argued with her, but
she had a good point: I often have nearly normal glucose numbers (except in the
morning).My numbers are all over the
place, but she said that she’s afraid that insulin would put me in danger of
severe lows, not to mention it might cause me to gain even more weight.I decided to be ok with letting that go for
Next we talked about
Victoza.Her thinking was that it would
help with my glucose and hopefully help me with the weight issue.There’s just one problem: I have thyroid
cancer which means I’m not a candidate for Victoza.
The final answer ended up being an increase of my
Metformin to 2000mg per day and adding Januvia.I’m afraid that headaches and stomach distress are in my future,
hopefully only for a short time.I admit
to being a bit bummed about adding yet another drug.It helps that I read an article just today (thanks for posting
that Bea) that says they are backing away from saying that Januvia is causing
pancreatic cancer.I am aware that there
are possible serious side effects with this drug but I’m willing to give it a
It was a good appointment.She listened to me.She told me that I know more about diabetes
than all her other patients combined and that I had even taught her a few
things (and she’s a CDE! That's a good example of how we, as patients, need to speak up about what life with diabetes is like.).She
encouraged me to give myself a break now and then.Those are words I needed to hear.
The word progression means “forward
or onward movement”.Sounds like a good
thing until you pair it with diabetes.My diabetes is progressing.Progress, on the other hand, is “a movement toward a goal.”I can still work to make progress
despite the progression of my diabetes.It’s interesting to me that both words are derived from the same origin
but can have such different effects on my life.I have a choice to make.I can
wallow in the suckiness that is diabetes progression or I can choose to move
forward; make progress toward better control.I can do this.I WILL do
this.The alternative just isn’t
something I’m willing to accept.
We’re nearing the end of
February and I’m certain that some of you who are reading this made a
commitment in January to do something about weight loss or blood sugar
control.I’m betting that some of you
have already given up.January is the
month when gyms see the highest rise in memberships and sale of exercise
equipment is also higher.March is most
likely the month when you can find said exercise equipment in yard sales…cheap,
and if you were to run into the trainer from your new gym, they wouldn’t
recognize you at all.Not because you’re
all buff, but because you rarely go to the gym. Am I right?That is SO normal.
I’ve read a lot about different
diets and ideas for what’s the best way to lose weight. I’ve also read a lot about the “best food to
eat for weight loss” or what to eat to control your blood sugar.I’ve noticed a trend and I thought I’d share
that with you.I’m not going to discuss
the weight loss plans that sell you their food.(I personally don’t feel that they are a good idea.)I’m here to talk with you about low-carb,
low-fat, high-protein, vegetarian, vegan, fruitarian etc.Every one of these food plans push the idea
of eating whole foods.They may suggest
that you shun carbs or meat.They may
encourage you to eat bacon at every meal (mmmm bacon).They all have a different idea on what types
of foods you should be eating, but they all encourage the consumption of whole
foods…and tell you to avoid all processed foods.That’s the key,
regardless of the plan, they are all promoting the same idea that we need to get
back to the basics and shun processed foods.
This idea of avoiding processed
foods isn’t easy.In fact, it requires
lots of dedication and time.It may
require more money but I’m not necessarily convinced of that.I feel that a healthy diet doesn’t always mean a more expensive diet.Let’s face it: processed foods are easy.They’re quick and convenient.In our busy, hectic lives it’s so much easier
to open a box or nuke a meal.I get
that.I’m that person too, but we’re
doing ourselves a huge injustice.It
takes longer to cook something from scratch but it is so worth the effort.Planning meals in advance and spending one
day a week cooking meals ahead is a great idea, one that takes dedication.
We have a chronic disease; one
that requires us to pay attention daily to what we’re eating and how much we’re
moving.Heck, we’re already spending so
much time thinking about this, why not spend some of that time preparing fresh,
whole foods?It’s not that hard.Aren’t you worth it?
What I am promoting here is not
a certain diet; that’s your decision.Pick something that works for you, one that has foods you enjoy
eating.Follow the food plan that helps
you control your blood glucose and, hopefully, allows you to shed some pounds,
but remember to pick one that is sustainable!Don’t try to become this other person overnight; that never works.There isn’t “one food” that will make you
healthier.It requires a variety of
whole foods to do the trick.Whether you
choose to eat low carb, or only veggies or bacon-wrapped everything, it doesn’t
matter.What matters is that you are
taking the time to cook good foods that nourish your body.Oh…and go for a walk!In the immortal works of Adrian Monk, “You’ll
thank me later”.
Lately, I have found myself saying and
thinking lots of things that begin with, I used to…
I used to be able to eat bread
now and then without spiking too terribly.Now I can’t.
I used to be able to take a
higher-than-it-should-be glucose reading down to normal just by walking on my treadmill.Exercise still does great things for my blood
glucose but it never takes me down to normal any more.
I used to be able to bounce back
from over-eating and get back on track without issue.Not so much these days.
I used to be able to shake off
the blues and get over it within a day or so.Now?Meh.
I need to get passed this
ridiculous habit of wishing for what used to be and grasp the reality that my
diabetes has progressed.I also need to
I used to be able to touch my
I used to be able to stay up
half the night and still function the next day.
I used to be able to get up off
the floor without grunting.(I can’t
believe that I just admitted that I grunt/groan when getting off the
floor.Hey, at least I can still do it
on my own!)
I used to eat a waaaaay too much
pizza at one sitting.That’s not
something to brag about.
My point is that things
change.My diabetes has changed and I
need to get a grip and deal with that fact instead of wishing for things that
used to be.I’m still struggling more
than I’d like but, dammit, I don’t intend to give up the good fight.I have tools.I have skillz.I intend to keep
using them and I will, again, kick diabetes’s butt.(You have no idea how much better I feel
since I wrote this.Score!)