I have known I was at high risk for diabetes for years. My dad is diabetic...and I had three pregnancies with gestational diabetes. I had a doctor tell me after my daughter that I was 100% guaranteed to develop diabetes based on my risk factors.
But what did that all mean? I had followed my doctor's orders during all three pregnancies but no one ever explained to me what it all meant for me or for my babies other than concern that my babies would be too big. With my first son, they didn't even tell me that until the day before they induced me. In 1991, my oldest son was 10 pounds, 14 ounces and everyone was amazed. Since then, I hear that a baby his size is common, but in the hospital I was at, he was a novelty.
I knew I had to do something about my weight. I tried on and off to lose it - I did Atkins at least twice and stalled each time after only a few weeks and then quit when I gained. I tried using CalorieKing to monitor my food and joined a gym - I was exhausted and hungry and again - stalled after only a few pounds.
So I gave up. I just ate whatever. I didn't really gain - my weight was always stable within about 10lbs. I resigned myself to being fat. I ignored the doctor's warning in 2007 that I was "prediabetic" and had high cholesterol. My life was overwhelming with three kids, a full time high stress job, and so many other things to worry about.
But the years crept in - and my feet started aching and feeling numb. I was thirsty all the time - and my already unrestful sleep became non-existent as I woke 3 or 4 times during my 5 hour rest to use bathroom. Fatigue is something I am used to - I forgot what it felt like to feel energetic and rested.
A co-worker that I had not seen in a few years called me one night last October and told me that he had been diagnosed with Type 2 several years before and that he had gotten his sugars under control with meds and diet, lost weight and never felt better. (What!? Are you kidding me!?) I confessed to him that I thought I was too, but that I was procrastinating. He called me every night for a week to tell me to get my blood tests done. I didn't listen then...I can honestly say I was terrified and overwhelmed at the thought. I needed my nice comfy cave of denial for a bit longer...
But the brain fog I experienced due to fatigue was getting worse. My feet were worse...and then my husband started experiencing his own health issues that required my full attention. Both of us were looking at reality and he said to me, when are YOU getting your blood work done?
So finally I headed to the lab. The doctor contacted me immediately when he received the results. My blood glucose was 330 after a 12 hour fast. Ugh. He told me to come in as soon as possible and told me to start a low fat low carb low cholesterol diet immediately. Well I could tell you right then and there that this was not going to work! I may have been in denial and hiding from reality but I know full well that diabetes is a life time companion and my lifestyle has to be sustainable.
So I started reading, and decided until I could figure out what I wanted to do nutritionally I could limit my carbs - that was sustainable for a couple of weeks while I figured out the next steps.
On May 23 2012, my Doc put me on metformin and a statin along with high blood pressure medication. He gave me a meter, said to test in the morning and after meals, to see a nutrionist and to see him in 6 weeks.
This is not going to work either! I am no longer going to be a passive obedient patient. As my diabetic colleague told me, Patti - you have to own your diabetes. You have to build your team and you have to be in charge of your treatment! So I am doctor hunting for an endocrinologist that will work with me - not just hand out the standard ADA treatment and say come back in 6 weeks! The rest of my team, well I guess it will come. I already have been so surprised by the support by some of my coworkers. My husband is also slowly figuring out how to be a husband of a diabetic.
So here I am. I am taking my meds but I am test test testing as I have seen so many wiser more experienced diabetics recommend. I am studying Dr. Berstein's methods and trying to follow his directions as best I can. Its been almost a month and my BG numbers are definitely sinking. My waking BG is under 140 now. What I did not expect was the awful rollercoaster - in the morning I can be feeling fantastic and energetic, and in the afternoon I just fall into bed and can't get up (I have never seen my sugar lower than 113, so I am not in medical danger but my body doesn't know what to do without sugar apparently!). Some days are great, others are awful. I have no idea what the day is going to do. I hope that as I get better at this that my numbers will even out. I can't imagine trying to function at work like this (I took some time off to focus on this).
If you have read this far, thank you! I hope others have had the same experience of what I call the high sugar DTs...and can tell me this does get better!