Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Diagnosis Day!

I remember the day that my doctor told me that I had diabetes! I was so angry, not at him, but at my own body! How was it possible that after making the decision to join the gym and lose 40 pounds and actually reaching that goal could I possibly have become a diabetic?

I have watched "The Biggest Loser" and seen how people who were morbidly obese had gotten their diabetes so under control that they were no longer considered a diabetic. So what was going on with me? I had been 200 pounds and lost 40. I was exercising and feeling better than I had for a very long time.

The summer before I received my diagnosis I had crazy cravings for things like rice, bread and bags of jelly beans. And at the end of the summer I had lost 5 pounds. A miracle had happened! I could eat whatever I wanted and I didn't gain weight! I had a fairy godmother for sure!

But I was not feeling great and I remembered that my gynocologist had sent me every year for bloodwork just to check up on my general health. He had retired so I went to my family doctor and mentioned that it had been a while since I had had a check up.He sent me for bloodwork and at our meeting about the results, announced to me that I had a morning sugar level of 13 after fasting. I couldn't believe my ears. It was just so unfair!

My Dad has diabetes so I really shouldn't have been so shocked. But he was in his late 60s at the time and I knew that he had not been taking care of his health.

So what does a newly diagnosed diabetic do? This one used her very special power of denial! I thought, "To hell with dieting. It didn't get me anywhere!" I began to eat whatever I wanted once again. I took the medication that I was given but my sugar was always high. Denial is such a wonderful place!

This behaviour went on for about a year and then I was advised that I should begin taking insulin. That blew my mind! I was going to have to begin to take four needles a day. Surely that was an unnecessary step! I put that off for a few months. Giving myself needles was not an option that I was ready for at that time.

I was living with a constant feeling of tiredness. I had put 15 of my 40 pounds back on. Being a non -smoker, not really a drinker, my one vice was and is food. It is my comfort for stress and joy. Everywhere you go there is food to tempt you. I never realised before just how much mindless eating I had done. Candy or sweets on the table? I would have "just one" then come back later for more.

It is a scary decision to begin to take insulin. I was afraid that my sugar would go down too low and I could become very ill. But living like I was was not an option either. So I took the plunge and began taking insulin. I took one type at night and one type at each meal.

I remember my first "low". I was working in a store as a cashier. I was fine one minute and the next minute I was "scanning" articles over the top of the cash register. It was so bizarre. I looked at my customer at the time and said, "I guess I should check my sugar." She agreed.  My first low was a 9. Now typically that isn't low. I've been told that 4 -7 is optimal and I have also been told that 5-9 is optimal. But for someone who had been hanging around 13 this was a low. I went to my locker and took some Dex 4s and I felt much better. Later that week my sugar was at 5 and I did not have the same reaction. My body just needed time to adjust.

That was 5 years ago. I have learned many lessons since then. I hope to use this blog to share some of those lessons.

After reading the book "Diabetes for Dummies " Canadian issue I determined that many diabetics go through the angry phase. It assured me that I should forgive myself for bad behaviours of the past and begin to live from this day forward. Believe me, I try! Some days I am successful. Some days I really suck!  I look forward to sharing some of the good experiences with you.