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The Battle Begins Tomorrow

Updated on May 1, 2015

It Starts with This

Picking and Recording
Picking and Recording

The Doctor Gives You a Diagnosis

You have diabetes. You need to take your sugars daily befire eating and two hours after eating. Then there is the prescription for meds. Ever wonder why they start you on the highest dose first? Most of them have no idea how to treat diabetics. They prescribe what is on the market. They expect you to do the rest.

Never mind you are in total shock. Yes, there is a histoy in your family, but no you weren't expecting it to hit you. Do you know you have to change the way you eat? Do you know you need more exerise? Do you know there could be serious health complications? Nope, still in shock.

What you do is poke yourself twice a day and record it in the log. You take your meds and you see your doctor regularly.

The Dilemma

You know nothing about this disease you have, except you can die from it. So, the logical start is a nutritionist. So, I paid the $75/hour out of pocket to go see this person. Biggest waste of money ever. Tells me I have to eat more salads. Um...I say I am allergic to lettuce and cabbage. No, problem just eat more salads. Then proceeds to tell me how the food pyramid works. Hello, learned this in health class, had not changed in my lifetime. I was more than frustrated. I left knowing nothing more than when I began.

I spent years and money on diets and quick fixes, but I wasn't getting better and I was gaining weight. Not to mention being put on more and more meds. The whole cycle was depressing.

Wake up Call

This is where it ends.
This is where it ends.

A Dear Friend Died

She died of complications from her diabetes. She was way too young. She had reached the age I wanted to be at when I retired. I had some decisions to make. Was I going to do the right thing for my health and live or was I going to die before I could draw social security?

I chose life. The first thing I figured I could control was my eating. I made a fist. Your fist is the size your stomach is supposed to be. Yes, we have all stretched ours out. We eat well. I then put my fist over my plate anything not in the fist area was taken off the plate and saved for a different meal. This happened in restaurants and at home. It took a year to lose 25 pounds just with portion control. No, I didn't look at what I was eating. I didn't make any changes to what I was eating. Just portion control.

Remember I didn't get overweight overnight. It took time. So 25 pounds the first year was a victory. I was also able to lose one of my meds. I thought I was onto something.

In Real Life

This is my fist. Not very big is it?
This is my fist. Not very big is it?

Year Two

I felt better and was losing, I was not happy with my blood sugar readings. There were too many too high. My next step was to add exercise. I started walking, daily. I had a pedometer to mark off my steps. (It actually played symphonies). So, I had soft music to keep me company. There was no volume control, it played softly so as not to disturb others.

Still I was using portion control. Now I was walking. I even got a colleague to walk with me at lunch time. We would walk close to a mile in 20 minutes. We were not speed walking, we could still carry on a conversation. We walked up and downhill, through the streets around the school we taught in. She was my cheering section. It was easy for me to grab a cup of yogurt or an ounce of cheese with my bottle of water for lunch. We walked in the rain if there was no thunder and lightning. We walked inside during the winter, but we walked.

The end result was I was feeling better and I had dropped another 25 pounds. People and my family were starting to notice. My blood sugars were better, but still not consistant.

Year Three

It was time to look at what I was eating. Fried foods left the menu first, fast food was a close second. I am not big on pasta or rice, but I eliminated them. I also cut down on potatoes and bread.

I was eating more vegetables, some cooked and some salads with my meals. Salad for me consists of baby spinach, cucumbers, celery, green onions, tomatoes, and meat or egg, with shredded cheese and dressing. (I was still using store bought dressings). I would make tuna my meat some days. I tried to vary between beef, pork, and chicken.

My blood sugars spent more time in the normal range with only occasional spikes. I had more energy, walking was no longer an exercise just part of my routine.

I also retired during year three two years earlier than planned. So, I looked for some place warm for winter. The first winter 2011 I spent in south Texas and while I enjoyed it, Texas is not where I want to live. I missed sandy beaches. Other than Padre Island, Texas does not have sandy beaches. They have put pilings in to prevent erosion and hurricanes.

I returned home down another 25 pounds. Energized and content. Not happy with my blood sugars, but happier. I continued all of this and found myself down a total of 100 pounds. No longer was I poured into a size 24W. I was feeling good in a size 14 misses.

Something Went Awry

Part of it was changing doctors and mine retired. The first one had a fit I needed to be on more meds for a woman my age. I'm the one trying to get off meds. To say the least we did not last long. Nor did I stay with his Nurse Practioner when he retired. If you weren't on insulin, in her mind, you were not doing the right thing.

I struggled on my own until someone recommended a Nurse Practioner. I went to see her. I liked her we were together two years working on my sugars. Which were riding a rollercoaster. It was when she left things really took a turn for the worse. The NP who took over her patients prescribed me meds, I knew I was allergic to. She told me I had to take them to cover her butt. Well, NO, I don't have to take meds just so she is covered. Especially when I know I'm allergic to them. I was on a doctor search again.

I found a naturopath. I thought this might be what I was missing. While I liked her and believed she would work with me, she wanted me to become a vegetarian. Hello, I'm allergic to vegetables. And then there is the list of ones I don't eat. Her diet was so strict my sugars dropped too low. So, I'm done starving. Time to look for a doctor. I found one. She was amazing. We tried some oral meds, and I finally had to admit, I was going to have to go on insulin.

I felt like a complete failure. She assusred me I was doing everything right and was probably as knowledgeable about diabetes as she was. It was her specialty. It took two months for me to realize I was having a reaction to the insulin. I went back in, we changed insulin products. That was a month ago, I am having issues with this one.

I am the only diabetic I know who is allergic to insulin. This is because insulins are synthetics. If it's not natural my body will reject it. My sugars soar and I get lethargic. This is back to where I was.

For me the battle begins in the morning. I will revert to what I know works. I will lose the 33 pounds I need to lose, I will get my eating back to where it needs to be. With God's help and the support of those who read this I will get through.

Watch for more to come

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    • NisseVisser profile image

      Nisse Visser 2 years ago from On the Edge

      I was much taken by this story. I had many similar experiences with a dietician and various specialists I stopped seeing a.s.a.p. when I realized their knowledge was limited and consisted mostly of the advice to use ample insulin and medication.

      I dropped 65 pounds in weight and have been insulin and med-free for a year. It's gone with ups and downs. The downs in particular were hard because some folks around me didn't really understand diabetes, after a few hypos they recommended I seek psychological care. :-(

      I feel healthier and fitter now, having followed a med-free program of my own, simply by watching my food intake (most of the time). Haven't been sick for over eight months which is good.

      Stopped seeing doctors, they keep on insisting I go back on the insulin and meds.

    • Duchessoflilac1 profile image
      Author

      Rebecka Vigus 2 years ago from Johns Island, SC

      Thanks for sharing NisseVisser. I hope I can find my way to no meds. Today has been rough.

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