I admit it. I’ve been bad the past couple months. Bad with food that is. I kept making excuses for why it was ok to eat the chocolate chunk cookie every morning and the pound cake and other goodies they keep bringing into the work lunchroom. They tasted so good but that is so short-lived. Then the guilt sets in. And the rollercoaster of blood sugar levels doesn’t make me feel any better. So I feel down and then I eat some more. Talk about spiraling downward day after day. Living with diabetes I have found is a daily battle. It’s not just about maintaining my blood sugar. It’s also about maintaining my sanity in the process.
After all of this sugar debauchery, I put my foot down. I mean I have got to pull myself together! After my diagnosis I hardly put anything with sugar in my mouth and my A1c went from 8.3 down to 5.5! My last check up was not as good at 6.3. Where did I lose my way? So last week I made a change. For the last several days in a row I have eaten without needing to bolus. I havent had one single crash and my blood sugar hasn’t gone beyond 130! That, my friends, is the power of high-fat, low-carb eating. I am no scientist but the proof is right there. Sure there is always going to be that day when everything is totally wrong, including your blood sugar. Those just can’t be avoided sometimes, but I definitely want to be strong enough after having a bad day that I can wake up the next morning and get right back on track! How about you?
When someone is newly diagnosed with a chronic illness it is often overlooked how immediate family members and close friends are affected. I, for example, was very proactive about making the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes required to maintain my diabetes. This was no easy task but especially harder because I was married with two very young children. My life was turned upside down and in turn theirs was too. Of course, there have been bumps along the way. I suddenly went through the kitchen and tossed everything grain in the trash. Yes that includes cereal, cookies and the most beloved staple in a Korean home, white rice. I would watch my husband who is not diabetic walk into the kitchen scouring the fridge and the cupboards only to come out with a sad, defeated look on his face. I mean I had to give the guy credit. He was making the same changes I was making too but without the same reason.
It bothered me to think that I might become some sort of food nazi so I would watch him eat a hamburger on a lovely golden brown bun and eat all of the delicious panchan with soft sticky rice, while I on the other hand would eat my hamburger wrapped in iceberg lettuce and skip the rice completely. I knew that when he went to work he would eat as he liked at lunchtime and of course whenever we would meet friends outside of the house it would certainly contain a fair amount of carbs.
All the while, I have tried to stay communicative with him. Let him know what it feels like when I have a low or conversely when I am high. I keep him informed when I research something and learn something new. Sometimes I think to myself, “this is going in one ear and straight out the other.” Surprisingly, I see changes. There has been more than one occasion where he has skipped the rice not only on my behalf but because he now understands why it is not good for you. We have a better kitchen routine down too.
So now the reason for this post. I was going through the fridge today, as I usually do on the weekend. Sometimes when I am feeling uninspired I will cheat and buy some of those low carb yogurt cups from the grocery store. I know, I know, they are not ideal but I admit I cheat here and there. Last time I picked some up I mistakenly chose a couple of the regular non low-carb version (35 grams of carbs!!!!). I told my husband they were all his. But to my surprise when I looked in the fridge today there is one of the two left. It made it a whole week without being touched. I’ve even suggested for him to eat it when he goes looking for a snack but no go.
Sure I guess it could be that he just hasn’t been in the mood for it but I’d like to think that my husband has really been there with me on this health journey. And that maybe some things were not just going in one ear and out the other. It is a silent sign and one that is encouraging and reminds me that I am not going through this alone. Thank you honey for doing your best to understand and learn with me. Thank you for not eating the yogurt cup in the fridge.
For those of you who are newly diagnosed remember that it is a big change for you and also for those close to you. Just as it will take you some time to change your routine and sort things out it will be that way for others too because we are all in this together.
If someone would have asked me a year ago if I was going to use a pump I would have said say what???? Seriously I really had no idea what diabetes even was exactly. Just that it had something to do with my blood sugar and if I don’t control it I could possibly die.
Fast forward and here I am my first day using my new Medtronic insulin pump. I am definitely done with multiple injections everyday and having to be very careful about which insulin to use. (I’ve ended up in the hospital once for injecting myself with the wrong insulin. Do not want to do that ever again!) My uncle who uses and advocates the pump got me interested in checking it out but the way I understood it from him was that it would take some time to get it and that I would have to take a bunch of classes. Uggghhhh. I guessed it wasn’t going to be easy so I figured I’d get the ball rolling. But much to my surprise it has taken me just one month!
I had my “training” today. The lady who trained me felt confident that I knew my body well and said that I will be very happy with the pump. I was excited prior to training but during training my mind was blown at what this thing will do for me. I think she could sense my excitement. I felt giddy like a 12 year old girl about her first crush. I can give myself fractions of untis and it even calcualtes the amount i will need based on what my current blood sugar is and how many carbs I am going to eat.
I am sure there will be an adjustment period. Not just for my insulin rates but for getting comfortable wearing it on my body. I am woman and one who loves her clothes so I will definitely encounter some fashion challenges with this. In the end my health and sanity are worth it. I’ll keep you all posted on my progress with it.
On a side note, I am surprised at all of the support I have received regarding my tattoo. I was a little reticent to share it at first but the positive feedback I have received is all the more empowering.
Today is my one year D-Anniversary with diabetes.
What a year! When I look at where I was a year ago I’ve come a long way. Just like so many milestones happen in the first year of a babies life, I’ve experienced a lot of my own diabetes/health milestones this past year.
I actually look forward to the years ahead as this new healthful me.