Monday, May 10, 2010

An Anniversary of Sort..........
My journey with diabetes one year later.....

Last year, on May 15th, my world was turned upside down.  It was an ordinary Sunday morning except for the fact that I had an appointment with my doctor to go over the results of the yearly blood work I had done a couple of days earlier. 

As my doctor scanned my results and he came to glucose he shook his head and said, "this must be a mistake. The reading is much to high. Maybe you have an infection." And with this he sent me to the nurse to manually check my blood sugar. My number was 410. It should never be more than 126, so he ordered more tests including the Hemoglobin A1C .

A couple of days later with all the blood work back, my doctors suspicions were confirmed. I had diabetes type 2. So started my battle with diabetes.

My primary care doctor introduced me to Yifat the dietitian and Dalia the diabetic nurse and expert. Together, they became my team. A week later, I met the diabetic doctor. He was very gentle, reassuring and non threatening to speak too.

If I tell you the shock, fear and frustration that I felt those first few weeks, it would be an understatement.  Desperately in need of information I spent hours checking out web sites of the Israel Diabetes Association, American Diabetic AssociationCanadian Diabetes Association and British Diabetes Association . I was determined to learn as much as I could about diabetes.

The main thing that I learnt was that type 2 can be controlled with exercise, diet and meds.

I decided that diabetes was my project and that I would do whatever was necessary and beat it. I printed out information that I felt was important for me to remember and made myself a diabetic journal to refer too.

Over the early weeks, I pricked my finger 4 times a day and slowly watched my blood sugar number go down.

Three weeks after my initial appointment, my diabetic doctor said to me, "I don't know what you are doing to have these great results so quickly, but obviously whatever you did was the right thing, so keep on doing it."

I faithfully followed all the instructions and advice of my team. I watched every mouthful I ate and I was losing weight. My clothes were getting big on me. I told my husband that I have to go and buy new clothes.

After 3 months, my doctor took me off my medicine. Every evening, no matter how tired I was, my husband, our dog Rocky and I religiously went for a walk. We still go walking at least 4 times a week. When we first started walking, it took us 20 minutes to go around the block. [It is a long block.] Now we can walk it in 9 minutes. It amazes me how far I can walk without getting tired. Truth be told, it is Rocky who has trouble keeping up.

At my last appointment, my doctor said to me "you are proof that type 2 diabetes can be beaten. You took the diagnosis seriously, followed instructions and today you are diabetic free."

Life with diabetes has been a major adjustment for me. I check every product that I buy for its sugar content and where the sugar is in the list of ingredients. I watch the glycemic index [G.I.] trying to eat only low and medium foods. I have given up some of my favourite foods even though I still make them for my family. I stopped noshing junk and I watch my portions because I know that if I cheat, I am only cheating myself. And pricking my finger to check my blood sugar is still no picnic.  Fortunately, I only have to do it 4 times, 1 day a week, every 2 weeks.

Sometimes, I still get nervous thinking that I ate the wrong food or that I had too much and I check my sugar after 2 hours of eating. [the waiting period]

It is now one year since that Sunday morning and I lost around 15 kilos [33 pounds] and have able to maintain my weight and keep my blood sugar number in check. Today I am B"H healthy!

Diabetes is a serious health issue. The truth is diabetes, unlike many other illnesses can be controlled. Proper nutrition, close and individualized follow-ups, physical activity and proper medication can prevent complications and offer people with diabetes a better quality of life.  I know this statement is true...I proved it!

Feel free to comment and pass my blog around.

Until next time..........