Nothing Special, Really

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Being Diabetic

I guess I should fully address my thoughts on this whole diabetes thing.

It sucks. Really bad. There's few things in life that I've enjoyed more than food. I'm overweight & an overeater, and it's not that I'm proud of it, but it is who I am. I enjoy eating, and I enjoy eating stuff that's bad for me, but my diet has finally caught up with me, so now I'm paying for it.

One of the things that's reinforced to keep you positive is that you can still eat anything you want. That's complete B.S. They follow that by saying it's about controlling your portion size & making substitutions when you indulge. So if I decide that I want to go to McDonald's and get a couple of double cheeseburgers & some fries, supposedly that's ok as long I make the appropriate substitutions. But a substitution for a meal like that means that I'm eating a salad for lunch or dinner, maybe some toast for breakfast, etc. Oh, and I should really only get one double cheeseburger, and the fries should be small, and I should probably choose Diet Coke over regular. So no, I'm not really eating anything I want.

Yes, I know that I'm whining. But I have that right. I know that I'm better off by changing my diet, but I'm allowed to bitch about it at least.

The other thing that sucks about diabetes is that I really don't notice the effects of it. I've noticed the frequent urination & excessive thirst, but other than that, it's not a disease that you feel immediate effects when you're not managing it. The severe consequences, like heart disease, loss of sight, or amputation, they develop over time. So if I do something wrong, the only thing that I affect is that a little machine shows me a number that's bigger than it's supposed to be. If I go have a couple slices of pizza, and I don't adjust my meal plan, nothing really happens right away. But over time, that's when I would feel the impact. So it might seem easier to stray from my diet because of that.

But, despite how negative all of that sounds, things have been going fairly well so far. The only thing I've indulged in was some chicken wings & a couple of beers on Saturday night. But, I managed my meals earlier in the day to compensate for that by having a low carb turkey wrap for breakfast and a 6-inch sandwich from Subway for lunch (turkey, on wheat, with veggies, cheese & lite mayo). I've decided to start getting up even earlier, like 6:30am, so I have time to walk to & from work. Aside from working out on Tuesdays & Thursdays, the doctor stressed that I need to get at least 1 hr of light exercise each day, so that's how I'm doing it.

As for my diet, I'm doing ok. We went grocery shopping last night & although we spent more than I wanted to, I was happy with the choices that I made. There are a lot of great alternatives to the things I use to eat, like sugar-free ice cream, turkey bacon, reduced fat Muenster cheese, etc. I'm incorporating more vegetables into my diet, which is fine because I really like vegetables. Fruits, on the other hand, are another story. I shouldn't have as many fruits because of the sugar involved, but it's better for me to eat them rather than drink them. I really don't like eating fruits, but I'll drink just about any kind of fruit juice.

Contrary to popular belief, I don't have to complete cut out carbs. In fact, I'm allowed quite a bit of carbs each day. Of course, it's better if they're of the whole wheat or whole grain kind, which I have no problem with. I love crackers, and there's plenty of whole wheat crackers available. As I've gotten older, I've begun to enjoy & actually prefer all things wheat or grainy over the white alternative, with the exception of brown rice, but I'll eat it anyways. Again though, the key is to limit my carbs, especially those that come from sugar.

I tested my blood sugar for the first time on Sunday, and it came in at 100 points below what I tested a couple of weeks ago, so that's encouraging. It was just outside of the range for those without diabetes, so it looks like I'm making some good choices. Of course, I forgot my machine today, so I won't be able to test until after dinner.

I've also set up a series of appointments various medical personnel to help me manage this. I have two appointments in the next week to do another blood test, so we can see how close my machine matches up with a real test. I see a nutritionist on Friday, an eye doctor on Saturday, and in November, I'll take a 3-part class on everything I ever wanted to know about diabetes. Plus, I've been prescribed Metformin, which I'll start taking tonight, that helps prevent my liver from producing more sugar. The only part that sucks about that it's supposed to make my stomach & make me poop a lot the first couple of times. At least I like pooping.

So, all in all, I think my first week as a diabetic has been good but not great. The mental aspect of it has been the most difficult, but I'm getting better about it. I do know that I wouldn't be anywhere close to being good last week if it wasn't for Wacarra. She's been everything I needed & more. Thanks babe.

Now it's time to go have my lunch of a turkey sandwich, carrots, and a diet 7up. Woo hoo.


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