Happy New Year!

The Dirty Diabetic Speaks
“Happy New Year!”

Okay, I know I missed a bit after I was off to such a good start, but months like November and December kind of kick my butt. So, here I am in a fresh, shiny, slightly-used New Year, with a whole new view of looking at things. I managed to pass my first Thanksgiving and Christmas with diabetes, and am now looking forward to birthdays. I am still planning on getting some Food Porn put up, as I modified a recipe for Thanksgiving that came out great (not 100% diabetic friendly, just friendlier) and will be using more recipes this year. I’m hoping to update at least once a month.

This year, I have already set a new goal that will, in the end, help me with one of my goals with diabetes. This year (drumroll please) I am doing a 5K. In fact, I’m pretty much doing two of them. Sometime in September or October, my sister and I will be in some 5K event (we haven’t decided which one yet). I am also planning on walking the 3 mile Mental Health walk in May. I’ve done that one before, so I know I can do it again. As for the future unknown one with my sister, my goal is to run part of the way.

And let me tell you, that won’t be easy. I don’t run. I barely made it out of the mile at school. Always the last person because after three steps I said, “Forget this, I’m walking.” So, my challenge is to run one mile of the 3.2 miles that make up a 5K. I’m already dreading it.

Good news though, I live in an area with some really awesome trails that I can hike and/or practice running on.  And I plan on getting some cute clothes. Check out this t-shirt! I so want it.

cupcake-ladies-pinkIs this not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

I’m sure there are other funny runner’s shirts, but that one is so me. I think my sister and I will need to get some kind of matching shirt for our 5K.

So, next update will be around February. Maybe before then, if I can get off my lazy behind and update.

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Curing Diabetes

The Dirty Diabetic Speaks:

Curing Diabetes”

I bet you think I’ve either gone delusional or actually found the Holy Grail and beat this thing. Nope, neither is correct. This is actually a myth about diabetes that has pretty much always gotten under my skin. You see it everywhere. Try this diet to beat diabetes. Cure diabetes with these simple foods. Miracle fruit that will cure diabetes!

Sorry, all lies. There is no way to “cure” diabetes. You can manage it. Believe me, you can manage that sucker within an inch of its miserable existence, but you can’t cure it. It is, for those who have it, an unfortunate constant companion. Kind of like that annoying guest who just won’t get the hint to leave. You can point at the door, comment on the time, even dress in your jammies and say, “Dude, get out”, but he is still there in the morning. That, my friends, is diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease (actually, a combination of several disorders) in which primarily the pancreas either stops producing insulin, or doesn’t produce enough. While other organs in your body assist in the control of glucose, it is the pancreas that starts this party. And the sad fact is, once that happens there is no way to get your pancreas to up the production again. No miracle diet is going to kick start your pancreas.

Vast different things can cause diabetes, and there are vastly different things that diabetes can do to the body. Almost every organ in the body can be affected. Believe me, the laundry list of things I now have to do to make sure I stay healthy is daunting. Check my eyes, my feet, my food, my blood, my liver, my urine…good lord I’m never leaving the doctor’s office. Set me up a cot and I’ll move in to the lab. Your body is such a precise machine, that the tiniest thing going out of wack can ruin just about everything. The extra particles of glucose floating around your blood (pushing your blood sugar levels up) can settle in various parts of the body. I wish there was a cure. I would love to not have to think about what might happen.

At the writing of this article, I have found a few “news” articles about curing diabetes. These “cures” are either such extreme diets and exercise that the average person might not be able to keep up for long, or stupid fad diets that promise what they don’t deliver. What they don’t say is that there is no such thing as one kind of diabetes, and that is one reason why there is no cure. Diabetes affects us all differently, works in our bodies differently. Just because you have Type 2 and your neighbor has Type 2 doesn’t mean what works for you will work for him. And, again, there is no way to jump start the pancreas into producing the insulin you need when you go off your special diet. It’s a lifestyle change that will always follow you. That’s not a cure, that’s management.

As I said, you can manage it. Diet and exercise can and will help manage your body by burning up the blood sugar before it can accumulate in your blood stream and cause problems. Medicines can help control the wayward blood sugar and insulin, but never cure. The closest thing that one might suggest as a cure is a transplant of the pancreas, but even that might not be a total cure. I’ve never heard of anyone getting that done, so I have no data of whether or not it helped. If I ever hear of any scientific cure that will fix the pancreas, I will let you all know. Until then, it’s management and counting carbs for me.

Before I go, next week I plan on sharing a recipe that was one of the first I made after finding out I had diabetes. For me, it was a surprisingly good meal, one I plan on making again sometime. And, with Thanksgiving coming up, I will do an article about planning the meal with diabetes in mind. See you all then!

Finding Out I Have Diabetes

The Dirty Diabetic Speaks:

Finding out I had diabetes”

 

“Oh noes! I’m going to die of betes.” This stupid thought filtered through my head as the doctor entered my little examination room with a solemn expression on his face. With all the gravity of telling a patient they will die in the next 24 hours, he announces, “Your blood sugar is high. You have diabetes.”

To be honest, it was inevitable that I would get diabetes. It did not merely run with lawless abandon in my family. Oh, no! It leapt manically from branch to branch, cackling evilly and swirling an awesome mustache as many of my family members fell prey to this disease. With sadistic delight, Diabetes reached out and touched us: “Oh, the little Italian loves her pasta and breads? You know what those carbs helped give you? Momma Mia, it’s-a diabetes!” “This little piglet enjoys her sweets and lazy ways? Here’s your prize: diabetes!” “Think you can escape because you’re skinny? Well, maybe – Nope! Diabetes for everyone!” Genetically speaking, I was doomed.

Now, I may have held some responsibility for this. After all, I have a horrible sweet tooth, devoured all sorts of foods that weren’t good for me, my only exercise program was jumping to conclusions and dodging responsibility, and I have the world’s cutest cupcake top. I didn’t take care of myself, even after finding out I was pre-diabetic.

Nope. It was genetics. All the way. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

As I previously stated, I knew I was pre-diabetic. I had warnings that I had a very high chance of being diabetic in the future. But, that was the future. A long way off, in another time filled with flying cars, jet packs, and laser blasters. My way of thinking was, “I don’t have it now. Maybe someday, but today is not that day.”

Then, it happened. It all started with Prednisone. Now, what I didn’t know was that Prednisone causes blood sugar to spike. And spike it did! I was having symptoms of diabetes that I normally wouldn’t have, and it pains me to say, I had no clue that was what was happening. One of the more serious symptoms was my vision becoming blurry. It was so bad, I could barely see two feet in front of me. Driving became an adventure.

And then, one day, it cleared up. That was because the Prednisone was finally out of my system. I called my doctor to put a note on my record: “Can’t have Prednisone, causes eyes to go blurry”. What I got, instead, was the nurse telling me that I need to come in to get tested for diabetes.

When I heard that, I just knew I’d test positive. It was like a light going on. As much as I didn’t want diabetes, I knew what my results would come back saying. So, when the doctor came in and said that my blood sugar was high and I was diabetic, I was not surprised. As I stated, it was high in my family and I had been pre-diabetic for years.

What scared me the most was pricking my finger on a daily- to near daily-level. I’m needle-phobic, and that is a story for another day. So, blood sugar monitoring frightened me, until I realized how much of a lifestyle change I would have to input. Everything, basically, had to change. I had to eat right, exercise, watch things about me that I ignored, and take better care of myself overall. It was scary. Everything felt so big. I wasn’t sure if I could do it.

Honestly, I’m still scared. For every step I take, I feel like there is a thousand more that await me up the road. Ironically, I am starting the bulk of my journey here in November, Diabetes Awareness Month. I believe I can do this.