Thursday, June 16, 2016

How did I miss this?

I sat in my doctor's office today and he asked me how I had been feeling the last few weeks since starting my diabetes medication.

I found myself gushing.  Literally gushing!  The words tumbled out of my mouth like a torrent.  I was feeling so good! not so exhausted all the time! more energy! not as ravenous! feeling like I was eating more even though the calories were way less than before! I almost felt like I was cheating!

His face flushed with pleasure. He was beaming.  (Note to self: this guy really CARES about me - he loves what he does and loves to see people healthy!) 

I was nearly breathless with telling him about all the positive changes.  And he asked me about my numbers.  I showed him my sugar log and noted the variations in my levels, better during the day and more in the morning than they should be. So we both agreed that he needed to up my dose of one of the medications - and he wrote the script for that.  We agreed to meet again in a couple of weeks. 

I couldn't contain myself anymore.  I caught his eye and said to him, incredulous, "How did I MISS this?"  I had always thought that eating healthy was so hard, so much work.  Yet here I was eating completely balanced meals and feeling so wonderful ... was this what normal people felt like? not getting hungry until almost mealtime? slowing down and enjoying the taste of food? 

He validated my good report and told me that it doesn't take long when adopting a healthy lifestyle to start noticing a difference.  Boy was HE right! 

Talking about it with my husband later, I started to shake my head with disbelief. Again. "I can't believe how good I feel!" I said to him.  

He grinned, and then looked pensive. "I'm so thankful.  He probably saved your life," he said. "If he hadn't made you take those blood tests, you'd still be tired and on your way to ..." his voice trailed off and his eyes misted a bit.  

"... a heart attack," I finished his sentence.


"I know.  We have a lot to be grateful for." 

"We do." 

I know that there are some people who have been trying all my adult life to guilt me into making healthier choices; guilt trips are red flags for me and I resist them. But it was the caring and concern of this stranger who sat me down and informed me of the facts ... with no "shoulds" ever coming out of his mouth ... and let me make up my own mind, who really had a big influence on my decision to live.  I chose to live. I chose to stick around. And that, my friends, is the truth.

How did I miss this?  I was ignorant.  I didn't know what was wrong - and in my arrogance, I thought that it was stress or normal reactions from being bullied or burning the candle at both ends. It turns out I was partly right; prolonged intense stress is a risk factor in the development of diabetes.  But mostly, I was caught in a web of fear ... fear of going to a doctor I didn't trust (my former physician), fear of what he might say and how he might say it, fear of how others might jump on the "jump on Judy" bandwagon, fear of something actually being wrong (and not fixable), fear of leaving the familiar and launching out into new territory, and fear that I wouldn't be able to make the changes that I would need to make. 

Photo "Young Plant" by amenic181 at

It turns out that I had all that fear for nothing.  It turns out that diabetes - as life-limiting as the diagnosis sounds - freed me to have the lifestyle I enjoy now. I can't explain it any better than that.  Whether I lose weight or not, matters not. That I feel better for putting the right fuel into my body does matter. It not only makes my body feel better, it makes my soul and spirit feel better as well, because I am looking after myself and making time for me - even if it is only a small portion out of my day to pack a lunch for myself to take to work instead of buying my lunch from the vending machine in the basement at my work. And it only takes a couple of minutes a few times a day to write down what I eat. And maybe I feel good enough to go for a stroll once in a while. 

I'm so grateful. 

And don't worry, I won't be turning my blog into a fitness diary.  I've seen too many people get turned onto this or that "healthy" practice and become people I didn't like as much anymore. But I did want to say that here is one little gray duck that is so glad someone with patience, wisdom and respect took the time to give me the facts and let me decide what to do with them. He made sure that I didn't "miss it." And that my family wouldn't miss me.

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