Friday, July 24, 2015

Today's Update - 25 Jul 2015

Hello.  My name is Kathy.  And I am a diabetic.

No, this isn't some joke but I admit I really wish it were.  Life throws the worst curveballs exactly when you don't need them.  Last month my husband and I were applying for some additional life insurance and it required a medical exam including an EKG and blood work.  Then came the letter a couple of weeks later.  "I'm sorry but you are uninsurable.  Your diabetes is not under control."  Excuse me?!  I don't have diabetes and I'll prove it ... or at least so I thought.

I immediately scheduled a doctor's appointment and explained that something had to be wonky, someone made a mistake, that I had no symptoms of diabetes, none.  So ok, it appears to run in my family but my dad's was triggered by exposure to Agent Orange, my maternal grandfather's was triggered by being a farmer and eating a diet high in fats and sugars his entire life, my paternal grandfather supposedly developed his as a reaction to some TB complication back in the 1940s and he died in the 1950s so nobody to this day can really confirm for sure that he had diabetes.  And there are definitely no women in my family with diabetes.  Well, they did send me each time I was pregnant for blood but the results always came back negative.  And sure, occasionally my cholesterol registers a little high but ... but ... but ...

The doctor was really kind I suppose, but also matter of fact.  It's genetic.  For some people you can do everything to almost everything right and your number still comes up.  Looks like that's me.  My A1c was 10.2 and my fasting glucose was 288.  Talk about being shocked.  I hadn't had any soda at all for almost two months except for one cheat and on the advice of a dentist I hadn't had any fruit juice for over two weeks either.  I shudder to think what those numbers would have looked like if I had still be doing either one.

I was in denial for a bit.  It took me a week to accept reality without throwing a mental hissy fit.  I'm still very uncomfortable with the diagnosis.  This changes things, it changes things a lot.  In a lot of areas.  And has raised questions that could cause even more things to change ... cost of insurance, life expectancy, complications as I age, burdens on my family, a lot of things.  I'm trying to minimize the accommodations that my family will have to make but my husband says to stop worrying it to death, that we'll deal with it like we've dealt with everything else that has come my way.  That isn't exactly taking away my concerns but at least I know he isn't blaming me or anything like that.  Both of his parents had Type 2 and he always thought it would be him but his numbers are almost perfect. Go figure.

I'm still fighting the idea that food is the enemy; because in reality it isn't food that is the enemy.  In reality there is no "enemy" to fight.  In reality there is nothing I can do to change the fact that I have diabetes.  I can manage it but it isn't something that is simply going to go away.  That is a bitter pill to swallow, especially as I have spent the last year really getting myself in shape and healthier so I could head into my 50s with a clean bill of health.  Yeah right. 

And yes, I'm still a little angry about it.  My ability to be thoughtless and carefree is gone, over with, never coming back.  I have to look at everything differently.  I'm not saying that it sucks to be me, but it is going to be a while before I can just casually shrug my shoulders at things ... especially diet and exercise.

It is how I was eating food that apparently is the problem for me personally.  Not that I was eating poorly; I kept my carbs under 200 grams per day which is what a normal, healthy adult female should be able to consume.  Well not if you are a diabetic.  As a Type 2 diabetic I shouldn't be having any more than 125 grams of carbs at most and that's if my numbers were "under control."  Well they aren't right now though they are better and I have to have as few grams of carbs as possible which is extremely challenging.  No bread, no pasta, no rice, no carrots, no corn, no potatoes, no peas, no winter squash varieties, very limited dried beans, and very limited fruits.  All of which were staples in our menu previously, especially the rice and beans. 

There are things I can have and I'm trying to make the most of it.  I can have hard cheeses in reasonable amounts.  I can eat lean cuts of meat in reasonable amounts.  I can eat greens, I can have minute amounts of dressing to choke all of those greens down with but none of the other stuff that I used to make it palatable ... carrots, croutons, bacon bits, etc.  The only thing I'm drinking is water.  I can't drink any tea (herbal or otherwise) until I can find out if they set me off or react with my meds.  Oh that reminds me, no honey either, at least for now.

As I said, this changes a lot of things in my pantry plans as well as my health plans for possible future scenarios.  The one truly bright spot that I've found is that a brisk thirty to forty minute walk after every meal will drop my blood glucose quite a bit ... but I don't always have the time or ability to walk after every meal and snack.  I walk between 10 and 20 thousand steps a day on a normal day according to my pedometer.  Adding more exercise in is a challenge, but it is one that I am going to have to come to terms with and conquer.

Yes I am now on meds.  I'm not completely comfortable with the new routine and I'm aware that some people don't care for metformin (glucose), lisinpril (kidneys), and the statins (cholesterol).  I'm aware that people have reason to have some concern.  But for me this is what there is for now.  I do not ever want to get to the point that I need to be on insulin so it is either fight now or suffer later.  My goal is to be off medication eventually but that is going to take time.  For now medication is the tool I have so medication is what I'm going to use to start with ... but it isn't the only tool.  Diet and finding more time to exercise is at the top of the "gotta do" list.

So that, in part, in addition to working to meet the needs of my parents, husband, and children is why I have been unable to post more story time.  It is possible that my father will be released to return to their home this upcoming week.  He still has a challenging time ahead of him and my mother right along with him. 

Below is what I have.  I'm sorry that there isn't more but I'm wrapping my head around a lot right now.  Sometimes life changes are challenging even at the best of times and right now isn't the best time to have to deal with something like this.  But it certainly isn't your fault, dear friends, so as always please forgive me.  I will try and have more between now and Monday.

Emi on the Caloosahatchee
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
A Girl Called Jack


  1. Kathy, as much as we all love your stories, you put yourself first. Wow, seems like everyone i know is getting hit with some major health or otherwise challenge recently!

  2. Kathy, I am sooooo sorry. I know how you feel (and I can hear you say, "how does she know how I feel!") I had gestational diabetes and was told that there was a larger chance of getting type 2 later on in life. I was 38 when I had my daughter.

    I trotted along, minding my own business, and almost 2 years ago, I was diagnosed as type 2. A1C was 7.9 and fasting sugar was 250. Doc put me on metformin. Lord, did that stuff make me sick. And I went on a diabetic diet that night. BS continued to climb.....450-500. Now, when your bs is that high, things are pretty scary. And those numbers were without eating any carbs at all.

    They finally decided that my pancreas has completely shut down and put me on long acting insulin shots twice a day, and have a short acting backup if it gets over 200. And being from South MS, its kinda hard to turn down pink eyed purple hull peas most of the time.

    And all the thought that have been running through your head has been through mine. My prayers will be with you.

  3. Wow....
    When my dad was diagnosed his numbers were pretty high.
    We ended up taking care of the and we attended Diabetes Boot Camp, a program offered by the local hospital.
    We learned portion control, and moving from three meals a day to six mini meals to level out his glucose levels.
    I will be keeping you in my prayers.

  4. My mom got diagnosed a few years ago. Once she got her diet under control she was actually able to come off of insulin and rarely takes anything else. But she is very careful both about her diet and checking her levels. On the flip side my ex MIL has had real problems with hers and has a lot of health issues. I'll pray you have my mother's blessings.

  5. Forget about us, you take care of yourself first!! Diabetes can be tough. We went through the same when my husband was diagnosed. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

  6. Sorry to hear about the new health problem. I can say I know all about it and wish you lots of luck and being able to change food habits. I am type II also, plus can't have milk products, and have fibromyalgia. Oh how I miss cheese, yogurt, etc etc. On top of it I am gluten sensitive and can have some these days but not real good for me.I am looking at Paleo and collecting recipes. Hoping I can help change mine and hubbies eating habits, he is the hardest lol.

  7. Oh I forgot, ground golden flaxseed and flax oil helps much with cholesterol problems, have that problem also.

  8. Hey Kathy... how incredibly frustrating to have this added to the list. Will pray that diet resolves the issues for you. Hope your parents get to go home too - I'm sure they are longing for it as much as you are. Take care and please know that we won't fuss if we have to wait. Some things just suck the inspiration from you...

  9. I am type 2, and in control for the first time in years. A1c is 6.1 down from 10.7 last fall. Same exact drugs as you, but I use an endocrinologist who has tailored my treatment. After over a decade with GPs who simply did not know what to do, I finally have my life back. One thing that would help anyone is knowing what a food does to them personally. A continuous glucose monitoring system reads my blood sugar every five minutes and gives me a trend graph. I discovered moderate amounts of boiled or mashed potatoes are not bad for me, but a glance at French bread and my blood sugar is north of 200!

  10. I insert the device once a week, and it is wireless to within 50 feet or so. It also has programmable alerts for high and low readings, as well as for rapid changes. Just checking every so often does not tell you if you are rising, falling, or steady. This plus a diabetic class to get the latest know how have made me feel more in control. Exercise and diet have decreased my meds and continue to do so every follow up. Good luck, and remember that your mental attitude is the most important factor to your control

    PS: I also discovered that stress raises my glucose without a bite of food...

  11. Kathy I am sorry to hear that you have diabetes, as bad as it is to know it’s better than not knowing that it killing you without you knowing it. I pray that God give you the strength and wisdom you need to deal with this, and that you will be able to control it without medication in the near future and beyond.
    As said above we love you and want what is best for you, take the time you need.

  12. Well this just stinks! I hate it when life isn't fair, and you certainly shouldn't be having to have this condition =/ Still, I know you will handle it well, I just wish you didn't have to. Years ago I was diagnosed Hypoglycemic and had the convulsions, the whole nine yards and it was hard to completely change everything about the way that I ate and always be looking for that hidden sugar or carb. I know you will do it, and I know you will do it well, but I just wish you didn't have to. God Bless and keep you well. xo

  13. Sorry to hear this sad news. Diabetes is a difficult thing to live with. Fortunately you are a creative soul and I have no doubt you will find ways around the limitations. Yes it stinks that you have to. You're in my prayers, along with all your other loyal readers.

    God bless,