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I have Type 2 Diabetes, but it does not define me. Thoughts on turning 50 soon.

In May of 2000, I heard about the symptoms of a bad thyroid, so I called my doc and asked for a checkup. A few days later I received a voicemail on Saturday, and was told, "You don't have anything wrong with your thyroid, but you are diabetic. Call the office on Tuesday if you would like to discuss this."
Well, first of all, this was unprofessional and hurtful and so inappropriate. I was at a Memorial Weekend rodeo with my kids, and had no idea what to do. Until I could see a doctor, I ate what I thought would work. What I had seen my diabetic grandma eat ... And the day of my first appointment I ate oatmeal with a banana and milk. Then I went to the doc. It was two hours after my breakfast and my blood sugar was still over 160. I had no idea about carbs, glucose, lactose, or what the number 160 meant. And so it began.

I managed to keep my diabetes under control for 7 years. My A1c was always under 5, and I exercised regularly and ate a reasonably good diet.

In 2007, my husband of 23 years abandoned me. And decimated my world. Or that's what I thought at the time. Today I call it liberation.

In the last 5 years I became completely non-compliant with my diet, my exercise, and my T2 control. A year ago, I began using insulin because my A1c is at 9.4. It has not budged, and neither have I.

In October of 2011 I finally sold my marital home and am renting a small place for me and my dogs and cat. Life slowly began again.

I will be 50 in a few short weeks. But more importantly, my approval for the Omnipod came in the mail, and I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my supplies and training.

I look at this as my new beginning, and am dedicated to taking good care of myself again. It's so easy as a wife and mother to take care of everyone but yourself. It's so easy to wrap your identity around your spouse, and the material things you collect. It's so easy to allow the judgements of others to color your self-esteem and to hand over your power to those people who judge.

But rather than look back, I will look forward, and look at my insulin pump as an opportunity to reclaim my health, and to think of it as a failure. I am happier today than I have been in years, yes, even in my married years. I am back in school, have good relationships with both of my adult children, and hope to someday find love again, although that's not a big priority right now. First and foremost I am learning to love myself.

I have a big chunk of weight to lose, and a sugar craving to get under control, but I know my mindset has changed enough to make a true concerted effort at changing my thoughts and feelings to get back to the person I was pre-divorce.

I have learned so much this last month or so on TUdiabetes. When I joined last year I was too busy moving and finalizing my divorce, but now I am here and ready to be selfishly committed to making myself whole again.

If you are still reading... thanks. Gosh, I'll be 50 soon!


p.s. edited for typos... doh

Views: 93

Comment by Josephine A Ni Dhomhnaill on October 29, 2012 at 3:36am

This has set me up for the day, you are a lovely person and deserve the best. It is true that we get wrapped up in other people and forget ourselves. I believe you have a wonderful future ahead of you.

Comment by Stemwinder (Gary) on October 31, 2012 at 4:43pm

Fifty is a good age to start over. I started over at 54. At fifty-four I started insulin, at fifty-four I learned to count carbs and eat a lower carb diet, at fifty-four I learned to exercise and at fifty-four I learned to tolerate my doctors. I threw in that last one about the doc in just for the heck of it.

You can accomplish a lot of things after fifty. At fifty-five I have accomplished my ideal weight after losing 40 pounds and I have accomplished an A1c of 5.5. I have accomplished an understanding that I can no longer ignore my diabetes.

Fifty is a good time to get started, Let us know how we can help.


Comment by CS on October 31, 2012 at 7:27pm

Hi Gary,
What did you do to lose the weight? I really worried about gaining now that I will be starting the pump.


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Melissa Lee
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Manny Hernandez
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Marie B (has type 1)

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Gary (has type 2)

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