Monday, December 14, 2009

Diagnosis: Diabetes

It all started out so innocently - that day in May of 2009. I thought I was doing the right thing and I was. I really, really was. I just didn't realize how it would impact my life.

At my yearly ladies exam, I mentioned to my doctor that I should probably get my sugar tested. I was 40 now and after giving birth to my 2nd child, a 10 pound 9 ounce baby girl (yes, that's what I said), my gynecologist treated me as a gestational diabetic when I had my 3rd child even though my sugar levels never got out of whack. So, while I was never diagnosed as truly gestational diabetic, I was treated as such.

I knew this day would come. It's not a surprise. Diabetes runs very strongly through my mom's genes. My mom was diabetic. Her mom was diabetic. Grandma's dad was diabetic. I guess I always knew it would come. I just wanted it to come later rather than sooner.

I set up my fasting test for a Friday morning in May. The nurse told me not to eat after midnight. I was so paranoid about messing up my numbers I barely drank water that morning. I arrived at the doctors office relaxed and ready to get this over with so I could move on with my life with the assurance that I had a few more years to wait before worrying about diabetes.

The nurse took my fasting finger prick. She came back and asked, "You are fasting, aren't you?" UH-OH. That's not a good sign. She shouldn't be asking me that first thing. "Yes" I answered, "but I did drink some water." See? I really was paranoid. "Well, your fasting glucose is 140. Maybe we should take it again to make sure the machine is working ok." Uh. Ok. Not very re-assuring. The nurse pricked another finger. "OK. Well, it's right. You probably just need to exercise more."

Listen lady! I exercise 5-6 days a week. I am training for a triathlon in just over a month. I DO NOT NEED TO EXERCISE MORE!


crap, crap, crap, crap, crap!


I drank my nasty glucose drink and then went out to the waiting room to sit for an hour....and think. An hour to realize that one of my worst nightmares had just come true. The tears pricked at my eyes. All rational thought went out the window. I felt as if I'd just chopped 20 years off of my life. My mom died at 68 due to NASH disease. My grandma died at 69. My brother died directly of diabetes at 54. I am 40 and could feel the mortician preparing his tools to embalm my body.

After an hour of deep breathing to stall the tears (because I didn't want the entire office to stare at me - I was in a gyne office after all!), I went into the examination room to get my 3rd finger prick.

"271", the nurse said as tears pricked at my eyes again. "Well, look at it this way, honey {Editorial comment: the nurse is about my age. Not a blue haired nurse by any means.} when we see you next you will have lost some weight." (awkward pause) "Not that you need to lose a lot."

No, I don't need to lose a lot of weight. I'm not obese. I exercise regularly. I don't generally eat fried foods. I eat....ummm....average. I'm not a disciplined eater. I know I need to lose 20 pounds or so. I know my BMI is a little high. But diabetes? Really? The tears started flowing again.

Another hour later and I was told my glucose was still at 260. Wow! You can't deny the numbers. The proof is in the pudding. The doctor would call me next week to discuss my numbers, but I knew what it all meant. You don't get the nurse asking you two or three times if you are fasting and not have a problem.

I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on my couch staring at the TV, crying for myself. Yes, I had a pity party and at that time, it was just what I needed. I sat and cried. I googled diabetes and glucose tests to find out just how bad my numbers were. My husband, God bless his sweet heart, tried to tell me I was overreacting and that I needed to wait and talk to the doctor, but I knew the writing was on the wall.

Once I was in a better frame of mind, I could actually think and come up with a game plan. I love a plan. My biggest gripe is that 95% of the materials I could get my hands on talked about diabetes and obesity or diabetes and a sedentary lifestyle. I didn't fit into either of those categories. I needed to lose 20 pounds. I exercised 5-6 days a week. So, what did that tell me?


It all came down to food. I knew what I needed to do. I had all of the materials in my head. I've been to Weight Watchers meetings before. I even joined Jenny Craig after I had my first child. I knew what to do. JUST DO IT.

So, I did. By July I had lost 15 pounds. Unfortunately, it's December and I've still only lost 15 pounds. I am still running at least 12 miles per week. I do weights and yoga 2-3 days per week. So once again. It comes down to FOOD. I'm trying to get back into journaling, but last week I got sidelined with a cold and laryngitis...and I'm still struggling with it.

My goal for the month of December is simply to maintain my weight. Between GoldieLocks' birthday and Christmas parties, I am sure my sugars are not nearly as stable as they should be. BUT I have a plan and I will follow after day....until my goal is achieved...and beyond.

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