Saturday, April 26, 2014

Chasing Better Blood Sugars

I thought I would share an update on my quest for better blood glucose control.  I wrote before about starting a new medication: Januvia.  As predicted, I began experiencing stomach issues which at first weren’t so bad.  I could put up with mild cramping and trips to the bathroom in order to see the improvement to my fasting blood glucose.  Those fasting readings started hanging out in the 120s and sometimes the 1teens.  I even saw a 109!!!!  Cue the happy dance.  But then, at 3 weeks into the new medication regimen, all hell broke loose.  Ho-lee CRAP! (every pun intended…sorry.)  I was miserably sick to the point that I had to leave work on my one and only scheduled day.  Stomach cramps and bathroom camping became my new, miserable, kill-me-now norm.  It didn’t take me long to come to the conclusion that this was NO WAY to live my life.  I couldn’t wait it out to see if things would calm down.  I was miserable so I stopped taking the Januvia on day 32 (right after I spent $50 on the refill, of course).  It took about 5 days for things to calm down and I was so relieved.  Then the fasting numbers began to creep back up.  Now I’m back to the mid-130s most mornings with a couple of 160s thrown in for good measure.

Obviously the Januvia was working and the increase to my metformin can’t cut it alone, but I simply can’t live that way.  What can I do?  Well, I’ve decided to just wait and see.  I don’t really feel comfortable with these too-high fasting readings but I’m trying out my new attitude, as explained in my last post.  I’m doing my best to eat sensibly while allowing myself to splurge now and then.  (I’m honestly not splurging much at all.)  I know what I need to do to keep from seeing big spikes and I know that even when I’ve “been good” I may still see high fasting numbers.  I’m choosing to let it slide for a bit and not stress.

I truly don’t like the idea of more and more meds.  My A1c has been good, despite the morning highs.  I see my doctor in June so I’m going to wait and see what my numbers look like at that point.  I’ve always been a “do everything I can to keep my numbers low” kinda gal but I’m worn out.  I’m going to try being a “do the best I can and try not to panic” gal for a bit.  Meanwhile, life goes on and it’s good!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Putting food in its place

Food; it has played many roles in my life.  Nourishment, entertainment, social enabler, necessity, devil, counselor, reward, sneaky little git, movie companion, medicinal, friend and, most decidedly, foe.  Food is all of those things to me.  How in the world does something grow to hold so much sway over my life?  Well, first of all, we have to eat.  The alternative isn’t pretty.  Secondly, we’ve been told all our lives that it’s important that we eat a healthy diet, and yet, folks who mass produce processed foods spend a lot of time and money making that food taste as good as possible which makes it difficult to avoid. (They actually call it the “bliss point”, jerks.) Not only that, but they add lots of fat, salt and sugar trying to reach that bliss point which can make it addictive.  I grew up eating processed foods and fast foods, as many, many other people have.  It’s just not easy to break that habit!  I don’t care what anyone says, it’s NOT easy!  I wish I was one of those people who can live their lives never eating unhealthy foods with seeming ease.  I wish I could indulge now and then without fear of binging.  I wish.  I’m not one of those people.  Regardless of the fact that I KNOW that it’s important for me to eat in a healthier manner, I don’t always succeed.  Cue the guilt.  Cue the self-loathing.  Cue the feelings of defeat.  Is that any way to live a life?  I’ve decided that it isn’t but what can I do?
Ok, we’ve established the fact that I have to eat.  My T2 diagnosis puts a greater pressure on me to make significant changes to the way I was used to eating, and I have.  I’ve made HUGE changes to my diet.  I’ve added regular exercise.  Despite all those things, my diabetes continues to progress.  That fact has caused me to put even more pressure on myself to eat properly…which has only made me rebel even more and occasionally eat stupid stuff…which brings on the guilt etc.  Rinse, repeat.  I’ve decided that my focus has been wrong for quite some time:  diabetes is not the enemy; food is.  Let me explain.

We all know that diabetes is a bad thing.  We know that it requires diligence and patience and should NEVER be ignored.  I get that.  I respect my disease but I’ve decided that it’s time to stop fearing it so much.  It ain’t going away.  It’s here in my life and I’m just going to accept that and move on.  Food, however, is another story.  Food seems like this innocuous entity that we needn’t fear.  If I turn my back on that cupcake it won’t attack me.  I have been fearing the “bad stuff” all the while craving it.  I know what types of foods I should eat and those that I need to avoid but that doesn’t mean I automatically do what I’m supposed to do.  I don’t, and I know very few people who do.  We’re human and vulnerable and sometimes weak.  It’s time for me to accept that fact and quit giving food so much power over me.

There was a post on Facebook recently that made me giggle.  It revolved around the idea that we can all find ourselves inhaling a whole sleeve of Ritz crackers or Thin Mint cookies.  It’s so easy to do!  What happens when I overdo the snacking?  I immediately feel guilty and stupid and angry with myself.  Sometimes, depending on my mood, it actually causes me to continue with the poor food choices.  Talk about stupid.  But I’m not stupid, I’m vulnerable.  When those things happen I’m probably using food to comfort me or mask something else.  I’m not facing up to the triggers that are so obviously part of my life.

Dang, but I’m rambling.  Sorry.  Here’s the deal.  I’m tired of giving food so much power over my life.  I’m tired of cowering when poor food choices are presented to me and then feeling like crap because I gave in.  I need to figure out how to eat like a real person.  I need to follow my food plan, the one that works for me, as best as I can while allowing myself to veer from the path now and then without recriminations.  I truly feel that if I can manage to do this it will make it easier.  If I remove the remorse and guilt I’m thinking that the binges or “mistakes” might diminish.  Here’s hoping.

Diabetes is in my life to stay and so are poor food choices.  Educating oneself about T2 is imperative.  I have spent years determining what I can and cannot eat in order to control my blood glucose.  It’s time to give myself a break.  I need to focus on the times when I rock my diet, feeling good and healthy and thumbing my nose at diabetes.  I also need to go easy on myself when mood or weather or celebrations tempt me to indulge.  It’s life and I plan to live mine as guilt-free as possible from now on.  I can’t avoid the progression of my disease.  I also can’t panic and deny myself even more food choices in the hopes that my diabetes will behave. I need to eat sensibly and work with my doctor when rising glucose numbers indicate that my medication needs adjustments.  I’m not a bad person because I am addicted to crappy food.  I’m just me; mostly normal me.  I plan to focus on life, not food or diabetes and see how that works out.