Tag Archives: diabetes

Never Been So Happy To Schedule A Doctor’s Appointment!

15 Aug

I’ve posted before about the following: 1) I hate going to the doctor 2) I have a doctor I really like that I found through ZocDoc. So, you can imagine my distress when I went to schedule my regular appointment with my doctor to see his page had disappeared all together from ZocDoc!

I, being the worrywart (with a flair for jumping to the worst-possible conclusion) decided he must have left the practice or even the left the City and I’d have to start from scratching finding a new doctor. I was immediately worried I’d get a doctor that’d make me take insulin and pills to lose weight, disregard all my wishes, and make me cry regularly. (Yes, I cry at the doctors. I can be such a baby– I’m so sensitive!)

Figuring I’d call the office first thing in the morning just to be sure– I nearly jumped out of my seat when his page was back the next morning! Phew!

Image representing Zoc Doc as depicted in Crun...

ZocDoc Website (Image via CrunchBase)

So, I’ve got my next visit scheduled: September 27th at 8am. I’m hoping to lose a few more pounds by then and that my blood pressure and lab work all come back showing significant improvements.

It’s now been two years since I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. My health is still improving, but I know I’ve made vast strides since then. In the next few days I’ll be posting about my last two years living with Diabetes so be on the lookout for that.

When’s your next Doctor’s appointment? Do you have any goals you want to reach before then?

Diabetic vs. Living with Diabetes

11 Aug

You might have noticed that I often refer to myself as a person with diabetes, or living with diabetes. But, I’ve never once referred to myself as a diabetic. Sure, by definition, I am. But– that’s not what I identify as.

It might seem like a subtle difference and just a difference in nomenclature; however, it’s a significant one.

In college, one of my majors was in Psychology. I remember in my Abnormal Psychology class they addressed the importance of this difference with regards to mental illnesses. It should be a person who suffers from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, not a schizophrenic. A person is so much more than their illness– whether mental or physical.

By saying that I am diabetic, it makes it sound like that is all of my being. It is a part of me and my life, yes, but there is so much more to me than that. I am also a daughter, sister, friend, coworker, reader, blue-eyed, and freckled. Get the idea?

It’s amazing the implications of such small differences in the way we say things. I’m working on being much more conscious of things like this… in how I think about myself and how I think about others.

That’s It! Thursdays: I Am Not Scared Of My Diabetes

9 Aug

“Our medical records indicate that you may have diabetes. And it’s up to you to manage it. If you don’t, the consequences can be serious and life threatening.

No joke. That’s the first line of the letter from my insurance company that I came home to last night. Really? Is that supposed to motivate me to get healthier? To sign up for their “Diabetes Control Program” that they say is a personal health campaign?

Maybe some people. But not me. I’ve never been very motivated by fear, or threats, for that matter. All the POSITIVE things that can come about from me becoming a stronger, healthier, and happier person are what gets me moving. By making myself a priority and understanding my current health status and future goals, I can move forward.  Fear makes me freeze in place. It paralyzes me. It makes me feel like what I have is a death sentence. But in reality, I know it isn’t. For me, my diagnosis was a second chance– a reality check if you will.

“Get Healthy” Diabetes Threat Letter from my Insurance

And really, don’t you think I already know that when not managed diabetes can have terrible consequences?  Is this really supposed to be some sort of eye-opener for me?  Not quite. Everyone knows that.

But what many people don’t know is that when managed, a person with diabetes can live a healthy, happy long life.  If this letter started with that– maybe tempting me with learning better ways to be successful instead of threatening me to be compliant, I could have potentially taken it seriously. Instead, I find it almost insulting. Don’t worry though. I’ll make today a good day– I’ll work out, eat healthy, take my medicine, and check my blood sugars. I’ll be a model of good health. Not because of you, though, insurance company. Because of me. For me. For my loved ones. So, for this That’s It! Thursday, I’m focusing on the positive results I can have by managing my diabetes well– rather than the negative things that could come about should I decide not to take care of myself.  I need to focus on my goals and how to achieve them. That’s how I’ll move forward.

Exercise: Time, Consistency, and its Effect on Blood Sugar

20 Jul

I know there’s a lot of different schools of thought about what time of day is the best for exercise. Should I go for a morning run right after waking up or should I take that aerobics class after work? If you ask me, it’s whatever time of day I can actually get my butt moving and of the couch.

But, it’s really not that simple. Especially when you take your blood sugar levels into consideration. As this article in Health magazine explains “Exercise Causes Blood Sugar to Go Down — Most of the Time.” Of course, all of our bodies respond differently to exercise and we all know that we’re supposed to be exercising. In fact, this article says “exercise can even cause a drop in blood sugar for up to 12 to 24 hours). But, our blood sugar levels reaction to exercise is also very individualized.

RUN Hills Pullover in action!

RUN Hills Pullover in action! (Photo credit: lululemon athletica)

Surprisingly, the article explains that the time of day you exercise can also have an effect on your blood sugar and what is best for you might not be best for the next person (whether they have diabetes or not!). If you’re having trouble figuring out when your body reacts best to activity, add it to your list of questions to ask your doctor.  My doctor, for example, suggested that I might do well with exercising after a meal to help with any post-meal sugar spikes. By finding this ideal time for exercise (both physically and mentally ideal, hopefully!) and making it into a routine will help with consistency. For those of us with diabetes, the consistency has added benefits. It helps us keep our blood sugar levels at a good level, without lows or extreme highs that can be caused by random bouts of activity. To put it simply, your body begins to adjust to the activity level and even to expect it.

To me, what’s important about the consistency is that it provides a regular routine. Something you can hold yourself accountable to. I’m still trying to figure out what mine is– but I was really proud that I woke up early this morning to work out since I knew I wouldn’t be able to get my TurboFire in this evening. TurboFire is giving me a scheduled workout to fit into my day (with rest days scheduled out too), and now I need to figure out the best way to make it a routine that can last. Part of that, is finding my own “ideal” workout time of day.

What time of day do you like to exercise?

Why Doctors Scare Me Silly

18 Jul

Ever since I can remember, I was scared to go to the doctor. I was always making up excuses not to go– whether it was a regular check up or because I had a cold.  The anticipatory anxiety before each visit is so intense. At times, it’d even make me actually physically ill.

I’ve gotten better. But, I’m still nauseous before my doctor’s appointments and will do anything to get out of them. At the heart of the matter, of course, is not that I think all doctors are evil and out to get me. It’s really all about accountability. (Are you noticing a theme here?)

scaled

scaled (Photo credit: wader)

For so long I really lived by the now cliche saying, “ignorance is bliss.” I somehow  believed if I just completely disregarded my weight, my health, the facts that are right in front of me on a daily basis, I would be okay. It seemed like so many people went about their lives without making their health a priority and ended up alright, so why should I be any different?

Well, maybe I am different. I need to put my health first. And, no matter why I’m in that doctor’s office, I still need to face the numbers in front of me. The blood pressure will be taken. I’ll have to step on that scale. The doctor will evaluate the current state of my health. I always hated failing.

So how have I learned to stay calm when I’m headed to the dreaded doctor’s appointment?

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The Non-Medical Costs of Diabetes

17 Jul

I recently read a study in NPR called “Diabetes Economic Toll Goes Far Beyond Medical Bills.” As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at Age 22, so this article certainly hit home.  It goes on to detail the many ways that the increasing number of people with Diabetes has a huge financial impact on this country– not only with medical expenses but also even goes on to say “young people diagnosed with the disease are [5-7%] more likely to drop out of high school and [8-13%] to forgo or fail to finish college.”

The stats they provide are definitely alarming. Though, for me, what’s jarring isn’t the focus of the article– which says that the increased number of dropouts is estimated to cost society $7 Billion to $11 Billion Dollars.

A kit used by a woman with gestational diabetes.

But instead, why are these young people dropping out at such higher rates?

I have a few theories, but would love to hear what you think.

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Why I Quit Gymnastics At Age Five

16 Jul

When I was little, I was signed up for gymnastics. I remember fondly swinging around the metal bars and liking that I got to wear my hair in pig tails.

But, I wasn’t doing gymnastics for long. My mom offered to buy me a brand new Barbie and a chocolate ice cream cone in exchange for no longer going to gymnastics class. (I guess I wasn’t very good!)

Chocolate ice cream

Barbie + Chocolate Ice cream > Gymnastics

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My Sugar Levels After Exercise/TurboFire Day 1

15 Jul

One thing I love about working out (and trust me, I don’t particularly love working out) is that it makes me much more accountable about my food intake for the rest of that day.

Why would I want to eat this giant piece of chocolate cake after I just worked so hard?

Devil's food cake with vanilla bean icecream.

Devil’s food cake with vanilla bean icecream. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I’ll tell you why. My sugar levels go crazy after I exercise.

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Sneak Eating… It Still Counts!

14 Jul

As long as I can remember, I’ve been sneaking that extra piece of candywhen no one was watching.

After all, if no one saw you eat it, then it didn’t count, right? Somehow, when left un-examined, that made sense to me.

But, the truth is, that extra goodie matters.

But why should it matter? It that moment, there’s nothing I want more than that sugar rush.

I need to be accountable to me.

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Yes, I Have Diabetes

14 Jul

I promised myself I’d be up front about this, even though I like to deny it (to myself). But, wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of this project? That’d be a shame, since it’s barely even started.

I am five feet-one inch tall (or short, would probably be more accurate. I’m okay with that. I like being little). I weigh somewhere between (too many) and (too too many) pounds. I’m a former two sport Varsity athlete. I’ve always ate somewhere in the middle, I think. Not the healthiest, but not the worst.

And I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at Age 22.

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