Quotable Sunday 01/06/2013
A New Journey
Sometimes the start of a new year can also be the beginning of a new journey in life. Perhaps a brief history of events will help. Back in 1999 I was diagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes. I was given some brief counseling on what and how to eat according to the American Diabetes Assoc., given some medicine in the form of pills, told to monitor my blood sugars once daily, and pointed in the directions of some daunting books to read. I have to admit that I was not the best patient and since the pills somewhat worked at keeping my blood sugars in the prediabetic range initially. I began to believe that I was one of those who could control the effects of diabetes with just exercise and diet. So the doctors agreed and we stopped the medicines and agreed to periodically monitor blood sugars with lab tests.
Over the years, because of the hectic schedules of the day to day activities of running a cut flower business, my discipline in taking care of myself lapsed. You see I began to lose a lot weight which I thought was great because Tony and I were working so hard on the business. And people noticed which also flattered me even more. What I didn't realize was that my blood sugars were getting so out of control that my body was consuming itself in an out of control frenzy. Until finally in the summer of 2008 I was hospitalized for severe anemia and very high blood sugars.
This was my second wakeup call. I was put on insulin therapy but was never really told the hows and why's of the insulin world. Just take this amount before each meal, and this amount before going to bed. Directions which never made sense to me as there seemed to be no relationship to who I was or what I ate or what activities that I did. Long story short the amounts of insulin prescribed to me were industrial in dosage and were more designed for a one size fits all world and not for my personal world. High doses of these insulins over the years, although keeping my blood sugars from being astronomical high, didn't give me good control and in fact also caused weight gain and always frustrated any of my attempts to lose it. In fact constantly high blood sugars began to cause many of the long term complications associated with diabetics to begin to occur in me. By the end of this last year I knew I had to make a change and start making it fast.
Tony and I began to research some of the old books on diabetes I was first given and Tony found reference to a book by Doctor Richard Bernstein called The Total Diabetes Solution first published in the 1970's. Dr Bernstein is a Type 1 diabetic who found a way through a very radical diet and tight insulin therapy to get blood sugars to the levels of non diabetics. His book finally explained so many things about every aspect of diabetes. Although frankly as we read it I thought this theory was crazy but I said I would try it. I now have been on this regime for 6 weeks. It has been a very difficult journey so far. The diet is a permanent modified Atkins/Paleo type diet and it took several weeks to adjust to it. I was literally sick. Overall my insulin usage has begun to drop, but best of all my blood sugars have dropped 40%. I'm now starting to lose weight which will only continue to help me get my blood sugars within normal diabetic levels and continue to reduce my insulin needs.
This week I have been doing a lot of thinking about my future and about taking care of myself so I have a future. I think it is sinking in that the diet changes I have made aren't just a fad so I can get into a better pair of jeans but are due to a medical necessity and are for life. I now realize that as a diabetic I don't have an adequately functioning pancreas that a non-diabetic has. And I now understand that I have to personally manage these functions of blood sugar control 24-7 that for others are simply autonomic and for the most part ignored on a daily basis. These changes in my life must be permanent and not something to forget about when things get busy. It is my new normal.
I realize this blog entry is not about the great flowers we grow or our life on the farm, this week's entry is about uncomfortable wake-up calls and I just had my third one. I'm not certain that God gives out too many more, so this time I hear it, I know what to do and I'm going to do it. I'm on this journey sometimes by myself, sometimes with others so as you have taken the time to read this I want to thank you for indulging me on my New Years pledge.
"The truth is
that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply
uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments,
propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and
start searching for different ways or truer answers." -Unknown-