I have struggled with my weight my whole life. I have struggled with my emotions my entire life. Food was the one thing that was constant in my life. Especially bread! The fresher the bread, the better instant gratification of enjoyment. Warm homemade Italian bread with melted butter was as close to ecstasy you can get without taking drugs. It was easy for me to eat 1-2 loaves of bread a day.
With all this eating came the reality of constant monitoring of cholesterol levels since my early 20’s. There is family history, and recently, I have discovered that diet played a massive part. At my worst, I was 270 lb and averaged 245 lb. High Cholesterol has now become a chronic genetic problem that requires medication.
Last summer, I noticed I was losing weight. I convinced myself that it was because I was eating less even though I wasn’t exercising more. Later, I noticed I had a chocolate bar almost every day. Practically a need to have a chocolate bar. That was odd because I don’t crave sugar as a rule – bread was the rule.
Then I observed that I was always thirsty. I mean 3 to 4 glasses of water at a time thirsty! Which, of course, results with constant peeing. I Giggled (Googled) diabetes, and I remember thinking DAMN! Then it was forgotten.
January 18th, 2019 is a day I will never forget. I was sitting in Room 17 of my doctor’s office for the results of my cholesterol blood work. My doctor walked in and said, “Hi.” I told him I lost some weight, and he interrupted. “Yes, you lost weight. Not because of you. Diabetes. You have Diabetes.” There it was the D-Word.
As shock set in, I listened to him as he issued orders. I need to see him every three months. I need a glucometer. I need to change my diet. I need to see a dietician. I need to take medication.
He started to explain the harmful effects of unmanaged diabetes. I perceived it as being talked down to like a child. That is when I woke up, I snapped out of it and said STOP. Don’t explain to me the adverse effects. I have seen it personally by close people who refused to do anything to manage it effectively.
What I need to know NOW is WHAT do I have to DO?
As per protocol, he told me that he should be putting me on insulin because my A1C was 11%. We will start with medication and see what happens.
Still, in a daze, I filled out my prescription and learned how to prick my finger and measure my blood glucose (BG) levels. Believe me, that first trigger took 20 minutes to push – I can’t do the sight of my blood. I started to take the medication and started to log my BG levels.
I was baffled, surprised, confused and unsure of the future. The diagnosis was a very surprising non-surprise. The shock wore off with time. It turned into denial and feelings of being a victim — thoughts of giving up because there is no point trying. I will still have diabetes.
The denial and victim feeling turned into anger. The anger was not because I am forced to make a change it was because I was forced to decide now and quick. I had to determine what change I will pursue; change not to stay healthy and get sicker OR change to get healthy and control diabetes. It was decision time and what the hell do I do?
I will share my experience with diabetes, my change of mindset and share what I have learned about the disease and controlling diabetes. Some of you will not like what I say or point out. If you feel that way, please allow yourself to see past your reaction and think about what is written. Diabetes is a mindset and a lifestyle disease that requires a mindset and lifestyle change.
I plan to live to 120 years old. Uncontrolled diabetes will prevent me from achieving that goal. I decided to control diabetes, and it does not control me. Right now, diabetes is not hurting me. In the first three months, my A1C levels dropped down to 5.5%, and I don’t need insulin. With that A1C drop came a drop of 80 lb in my weight. The first 30 lb was diabetes kicking in, and the final 50 lb was all me. I am a non-diabetic on diabetic pills. I have support at home, but ultimately, I supported myself.
If you don’t support yourself, others can’t support and help you. Join me and take a seat. Let’s control this together.