Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Road to Self-care

So okay, NOW I can talk about this on my blog. I had to make sure that everyone in my household was in the know and aware. And not overreacting. Because it's no super big deal.

So here goes: I am in the process of getting diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes (late onset, or what the old-timers used to call "shugar dye-a-BEET-us") I've been monitoring my blood sugars ever since this morning, so I can show my log book to the doctor on Thursday. He'll have the results of my second A1C (blood glucose, fasting) test, which he needs to confirm the diagnosis. He and I both expect it to be around the same as the last one, so yes, unofficially it's diabetes mellitus (the medical term.)

Then we'll talk about treatment (probably pills) and he'll probably refer me to a nutritionist. I've already made adjustments in timing, portion control and content of my meals and snacks. (Been doing a LOT of reading at the Canadian Diabetes Association site and at the Mayo Clinic site).

People are going to ask me if I'm okay - that's natural. The truth is, I haven't been okay.  The last 8 months has been simply awful: no energy, lots of fatigue, thirsty all the time, and ravenously hungry ... really irritable before meals and falling asleep while studying - and elsewhere. I just thought it was stress. Well, it WAS stress in a way, because prolonged, intense stress can raise blood sugar - but there are also other contributing factors, of which I have three: a family history (my dad's mother), a personal history of gestational diabetes, and morbid obesity. I get it that people will be worried about me and wonder what this means for my health.
Photo "Bowl Of Muesli For Breakfast With Fruits"
courtesy of Serge Bertasius at
But for the most part, for me, the diagnosis of diabetes comes as a huge relief.  Finally, there's an explanation for how I've been feeling. Finally, I know what to do about it AND I am motivated to do so.  And best of all, my entire nuclear family is on board with getting more active and eating better (in fact, they are looking forward to it!) - talk about moral support! 
Having diabetes forces me to look after myself, not to skip meals, not to snack on empty calories, and not to sit in my chair and think of excuses why I should stay there.  Wow.  Not to lose weight (although if that happens - bonus!) but to keep my sugars under control so that I don't end up with heart disease and kidney problems.  
I even heard my husband say to me last week (echoing my own secret thoughts), "You know, honey, maybe this is a blessing in disguise."  It surprises me to say that I think he is right!  I can say that I have been scouring diabetes websites, looking at food lists, poring over supermarket flyers, thinking about meal planning, and getting my head around being more active and just making that part of my every-day routine.  
I have spent the last seven years trying to take care of my emotional self, and I have been growing in that respect more and more; now, it is time to take care of my physical self. I'm on the road again. Hopefully the skies will be sunny and the breeze warm.

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