Thursday, March 24, 2011

My name is Leslie and I have Type 2 Diabetes and high B/P - Chapter 1

Yesterday I alluded to a more serious issue that I was going to talk about today.  As it turns out, it's going to take a few posts, or become a novel.  Chapter 1 deals with health and denial.

On the 27th last December, following the great Christmas 2010 food frenzy and subsequent weight gain debacle that overtook my otherwise marginal attempts at healthy eating, I wrote a post about getting serious about my health and weight.  Please trust me when I say I meant it with all my heart and soul.  This was IT.   Siiiiiigh - it's easy to be earnest, honest and self-scrutinizing in the shadow of a weight that almost choked me to observe, and from within jeans that were bisecting me into 2 human sausage links, leaving me just a tad breathless when bending over.

I confessed about having Type 2 and hypertension.  I wrote about my shame over having what are thought to be (at least in my self centered and often faulty and inaccurate thinking) "fat people" diseases.  In an attempt to minimize the truth, I went on about how my Type 2 had thus far not required I even test my blood sugars at home, take medication or any other interventions other than diet control.  (Note:  that presumes one is practicing diet control.)

I discussed starting the South Beach diet, which I actually did for 2 days, but by Day 3 I was really nauseous and feeling off, and so "in the interest of health and wellness" (read: bullshit?) I backed off SB and added back in more carbs, still trying to stay low on carb intake, but not as low as SB induction.  By the middle of January I was floundering and began the new Weight Watchers, which I'm still floundering dabbling with today.  Bottom line - I've been screwing around with alternating "good" days with "bad" days, and the result is that today I've gained back 3 of the 9 pounds I've lost on WW. 

But this isn't about weight.  It isn't about dieting or dropping pounds or restricting certain food groups from passing into my temple.  It's about waking up and smelling the coffee that is my less than optimal health.  After I wrote that December 27th post and owned my Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure in front of God and everyone, I really never gave those diseases much more thought.  The God and everyone I told were all of you in Blogland - but I didn't cop it to my husband, my kids, my flesh friends (I know you all have flesh but I haven't met any of you in the flesh except for dear Tammy).  I didn't schedule the doc appointment in order to get blood work, B/P check, and have an annual physical.  To be honest, the real thing was losing weight, because THAT would take care of the health issues. 

And so they would - if I was doing it.  I haven't been consistently keeping my health in the forefront, and just recently have started experiencing a symptom that has freaked me out gotten my attention big time.  I've had infrequent intermittent numbness/tingling in my toes - mainly my left big toe but the others also.  This sounds benign and it could be from my L sciatic nerve which occasionally flares a bit and sends a shooting burn through my left butt cheek.  This nerve goes all the way down into the foot (both legs), and when it's compressed or bulging between discs can get inflamed and cause pain, numbness, tingling or a combination of any/all of those sensations all the way down the back of the leg into the foot and toes. could also be the beginning of peripheral neuropathy that can be a result of untreated diabetes.

Being a nurse, I think I know an awful lot about an awful lot (of medical stuff), but when it comes to my own body and self care, I don't know squat.  I am not in the position to make good assessments of how I'm doing and my judgement about myself is often impaired and affected by my own fear, denial and shame.  I honestly don't have any idea of where I stand with my Type 2 because I don't want to own that I have it.  I don't want to have blood work done every 6 months to keep track and make sure my numbers are where they should be and as good as they've been.  Given the dimishishing quality of my intake over the last year, my numbers could be worse than before but if I don't stay on top of them THE WAY I'M SUPPOSED TO, I don't have to deal with it can't know, nor can my physician.  Last January all was well - but I was still weighing 192-195.  I didn't get my blood work done in July as I was advised.  Now I'm weighing 208-210.  Things could have changed.  The only way to know is to touch base with my primary care doc.

Tomorrow I'll post Chapter 2, about that touching base with the doc, and how my own medical expertise gets in my way far too often.


  1. Well now, food addictions or no, sometimes life will just rear it's ugly head and slap us into reality, eh? I'm looking forward to part 2...

  2. I am Type II also. Mine is hereditary and brought on by my morbid obesity.

    I have been doing insulin shots for almost three years Leslie. I do go in and get bloodwork done quarterly and all my numbers are improving. With continued WL and exercise I will eventually be able to ditch them entirely.

    You said in your post:

    "I don't want to have blood work done every 6 months to keep track and make sure my numbers are where they should be and as good as they've been."

    To be honest, I don't either and I KNOW it sucks but YOU owe it to YOURSELF and to the people that care about you to be proactive about it, to get the tests done and to be in the "know" about your numbers.

  3. Helen is right, and I can really identify. Looking forward to Part 2.

  4. :) If it turns into a novel, I'll read it. :)

    Re: blood work. Isn't there a little glucose meter where you work? You know, one drop of blood on a little carboard tab and voila--glucose reading. :D Check it before you eat and again 2 hours afterwards. It will give you an exceelent idea of where you are control-wise.

    You know, I get kind of tired of this whole "you have diabetes because you're fat" thing. I know lots of fat people who do not have diabetes.

    Yes. When I eat correctly, my glucose numbers are closer to normal. BUT my overweight status and bad eating did not cause the diabetes. I had to be predisposed for the DM to appear. My gr-grandmother had DM2, my grandmother had DM2 and my fatehr had DM2. Interestingly, none of them were more that 40 pounds overweight. Ever.

    My other grandmother, however, did not have diabetes. She did weigh almost 300 pounds, tho.

    Tell the shame to take a hike. And then f/u on the glucose readings. You'll be glad you did.

    But you know that. :)


  5. You speak my language, friend. Make that doctor's appointment, then write about it and maybe I'll follow suit. Talk about the foot numbness, too--that was the start of my symptoms for my current situation. Not diabetes, major surgery tomorrow.

  6. I'll be waiting for Chapter 2. I know this novel will have a happy ending.

  7. I am not a fan of doctors and rarely do I go, or encourage anyone to go, unless it is important. But you know as well as I, that ignoring the lab results, isn't going to make it go away. Get the dumb lab results, see where your blood sugars are at. Denying it and ignoring it will just make you die faster. Looking forward to chapter 2.

  8. Glad you are stopping the ostrich routine. :)

    :: hugs ::

  9. Denial? Okay, I kinda want to come kick your butt a bit. In the kindest way possible.

  10. Dude...I have Type II. I know it feels like the end of the world at the did for me when I was diagnosed 9 years ago at the age of 30....but dealing with it gets easier. And getting the bloodwork done every 6 months is really no big deal. My lab appointments take like 10 mins. I used to have the high blood pressure and also had high cholesterol...was on meds for both of them, but I lost some weight and aren't on those meds anymore. You can do it really is all about what's most important. And I know you want to be around to bestow all of your wisdom on us for a long, long time to come. :) Couldn't live without my let's hop to it. Get the bloodwork, get the pills...get this show on the road...and we'll talk about the food along the way. Love you. :)

  11. I know this was hard but I'm glad you are facing it now. Looking forward to the next chapter!

  12. I'm sorry you're having a hard time. But sharing everything IS part of owning it... and there is no limit on fresh starts. I hope you are okay (emotionally) and I am praying for your health and peace.

  13. Oh,my. Seems to me this is something you should take very seriously and get into your PCP. After finishing treatment for breast cancer in 2010, my health is my #1 priority. Funny, it always was and I still got BC. I made some slight changes to my lifestyle because I am so fearful of the BC coming back. Leslie, please take care of your health. Today