Sunday, July 7, 2013

Being Diabetic

I went to the appointment on Tuesday morning with lead feet that reflected my heart. I took the stairs to the second floor, on the premise that I need the exercise. Which I do. But it was mostly an instrument of any means to postpone the inevitable.

Both of my parents have late onset Type 2 diabetes. My mom kept hers under control with diet and exercise until the dementia got too much for her. Dad's solution has always been to switch from regular cookies to sugar-free ones and eat twice as many. Or just take more insulin in his shots. Sigh.

So I've seen what the daily life of a diabetic looks like, the good and the bad. I don't want either. You'd think I'd have gotten my weight under control sooner. Message received.

Having taken a nutrition class in college, I have a good understanding of how the food elements work - carbohydrates (simple and complex), proteins, fats. I knew from my mom's early diabetic days that a serving of 15 carbs for her counted as 1 of her 3-4 exchanges per meal. I knew I needed to eat protein at every meal to keep my blood sugar from spiking. Not that the dietician wasn't helpful, and she did share some interesting facts I had not been aware of before. But it's not like I was shocked when I found out what I needed to do.

Since I'd already been doing it for the last month anyway, it's not that dramatic. But adjusting my diet was just the first part. Next I met with the nurse.

She gave me my blood glucose monitor and informed me that I needed to test my blood seven times a day until my follow up appointment so they could have a baseline to work from. "SEVEN TIMES," I thought. "I only have 10 fingers! How am I going to type at work?" Not to mention, how am I going to get brave enough to intentionally make myself bleed even once, much less 98 times in the next two weeks, when I get weak at sight of blood when I cut myself shaving??

She showed me how to set it up and do the first pinprick. I thought I must not have done it right because it really didn't hurt that much. (Her suggestion to do it slightly to the side of the fingertip helped, too.) But the needle had done it's job; I just had to squeeze a little.

I'm not saying it's fun, but it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be. My fingers are a little tender, but hopefully after my follow up appointment in two weeks 8 days! - I'll be able to switch to only 3x a day.

Cinco, you're worth every bit of struggle, buddy, but you really didn't have to start being a troublemaker like your dad already!
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