Everybody has a grand vision for their life: things they want to accomplish, see or do.
Usually, we develop these goals when we are young, full of energy and feeling invincible. And, sadly, sometimes life just gets in the way. It’s nobody’s fault; things happen and we are left scratching our heads and wondering about what comes next.
This blog, ultimately, is about living your best life no matter what kind of health concerns you may have.
Mine are relatively common. I am an aging weekend warrior with one of the most complicated of those health concerns: type II diabetes. My experiences learning to manage this disease (without all of the profanity) will be my primary focus, but I will touch on other health issues, as well, in hopes of helping you along your personal health journey or, if nothing else, giving you a chance to chuckle at my carbohydrate-induced foibles.
First, a little about me. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter now working in the communications department at Oakwood Healthcare. My continual frustration at my unsuccessful attempts to control my blood sugar caused me to enter into a Vitality for Life contest at Oakwood, wherein the prize was unlimited access to Oakwood health coaches, nutritionists, trainers, etc. Here is the essay I submitted, which I entitled: Apply Blood.
I dab the end of the strip and suck the remainder of the bright bead of blood from my finger tip as the countdown starts.
It is not quite noon, so this will qualify as a ‘before meal’ reading. So much depends on the result. In the short term, it will forecast how I will feel for the rest of the day: how productive I will be; how much caffeine—if any—I will need to overcome any sluggishness I feel; what I can safely eat for lunch. In the long term, it means, simply: how long will I live and what will my quality of life be?
5….I know this. I am a diabetic, having been diagnosed as Type II years ago. I have heard the lectures and the stern talks from doctors. Until a year ago, I couldn’t do anything about it because I didn’t have health insurance.
4…When I started to work at Oakwood, one of my first personal goals was to get my health in line. At my first regular trip to the doctor, he asked me: What can I do for you today? I answered his question with one of my own: “How much time do you have?”
3…We started with the blood sugar, because diabetes is a multi-system disease. It eventually affects everything. I went to the nutritionist. I got a meter. I followed the instructions. This time, I’m going to beat it, I told myself.
2…But the diet didn’t work and the sheet the doc gave me to record my Blood Sugar Readings (BSR) didn’t leave enough room for info. I graduated to a diary and essentially turned my fingers into pincushions trying to gather enough evidence to figure out what was happening inside me and how I could control it. That was several months ago.
1…It’s strange how you can do the same thing on consecutive days and get different results. I exercise—a lot compared to some people. I have cut down on the carbs, dramatically. I eat smaller meals more frequently, counting things like grams of dietary fiber. One day, this routine will get me down to 170. The next…
Well, great. I wonder what threw it off this time?
Hopefully, as I figure this out, I can help you learn to be healthier, as well. But I caution you: what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. It’s a complex carbohydrate world out there, and we have to take it one day at a time.