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It’s a complex carbohydrate world out there

This blog, ultimately, is about living your best life no matter what kind of health concerns you may have.

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…

268.

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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jennifer June 02, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Yes, there is no one-size-fits-all diet! It took me a long time to realize that. I think that if more people were gently brought to that realization we would have a healthier country. Best of luck in your health journey! It's nice to see someone blogging about health and nutrition here!
Scott Spielman June 06, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Thanks for reading, Jennifer. I hope my journey helps others start, find or make their own way. If you (or anyone else) have a question, comment, funny story to share or a topic they'd like info on, let me know!
cmg June 06, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Very interesting. You are right, what fits one doesn't necessarily work for others. I, personally, have worked out for the past 25 yrs. I get very tired of people telling me I shouldn't eat the way I do or I should do more then I do. I think the fact that I do work out is more then most do. As for watching what I eat, yes I should, however I've been lucky enough not to have any health issues so I haven't worried about it. Maybe it's because I've worked out all these years that it is that way. All of my family have high cholesterol, but why not me? Probably because of what I do. Good for you that you're taking your life into your own hands. You are the best judge to decide what works for you. My father is a diabetic also, as soon as he found out he promised himself he wouldn't need medication and for the past 10 years he hasn't. Keep up the good work!! You'll be rewarded in the end.

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