Diabetes One Year Later
So, it's been just a little over a year since I visited a hospital to get an abscess taken care of on my leg and ended up spending the night in the hospital. I was diagnosed, as you may remember, with diabetes and things looked grim. My blood sugar was out of control and my blood pressure was also out of control and things just looked bad.
Here it is a year later and I can proudly report to you that, while I am still listed as diabetic to my doctors, my A1Cs are normal and my blood sugar and blood pressure are also down to normal levels. What's more, I have lost about 100 pounds and am now to the point where my parents think I may be TOO skinny (parent: they just want to worry all the time).
This is me:
This was me from before:
Not too shabby, eh?
So, what have I learned? Well, it's hard to say. I am not a doctor, so don't expect medical advice to me. I do know that people are always asking me how I lost the weight, as if I have some magical secret. They always look so disappointed when I tell them: I eat right (a lot less and hardly any carbs or sugar) and I exercise. Yeah, turns out, if you follow your doctor's advice on that, it works.
It has not been easy. There is no magic pill. Medication helps, but the work is up to you. If you have been diagnosed or worry that you might be - talk to your doctor. Discuss diets. Discuss what needs to be done. Then take the meds they suggest, check your blood sugar, adjust your meals as needed and do the work.
Do I feel better? Hell yeah. Much better. I sleep better. I enjoy life in general. I walked my way to this weight and I have grown to love long walks with headphones in my ears and great music, podcasts or audiobooks to keep me company. Even in the winter here in Chicago, I found ways to get up and move.
My advice is, if you got the diagnosis and you feel that life is over, stop. It isn't. It's different, sure, but you can still eat most of the things you love. Just do so in moderation and adjust as needed. High carb breakfast? Cool, now eat low carb for lunch and dinner. Learn which foods are rich in fiber and will digest slowly. High carb, but high fiber, won't damage your blood sugar.
There is so much more life to live. I hope to keep living it. I hope to keep writing about it. I hope to keep writing and entertaining. I hope to see my niece and nephew grow up, graduate, get married and have kids of their own.
If you are diabetic and worried visit the American Diabetes Association, or look for local diabetes support groups. I got help from important friends who had gone through it and I cannot tell you how important that support was. If need be, email me and I can direct you to some websites.
You can do it. I never thought I could - and look at me a year later. Do it. Life is worth living.