Janet E
April 10, 2001

Gender: Female Ethnicity: Caucasion Height: 5ft 7in to 5ft 9in Weight: above 170 lbs Onset Age: 51-60 Age Now: 51-60 Family Diabetes: None Treatment: Diet&Oral Medication: Metformin,Glucophage Meter: LifeScan Tests: 5-6 times/day Exercise: 5+ times/week Diet: Zone (30/30/40) Supplements: None

Diagnosed 11/2000 with 10.1 HbA1c where 4.5-6 mmol/L is normal. I'm on 1500mg Glucophage/day. I lost 35 pounds thru 3/01. I expect next my HbA1c to be in normal range because my daily glucose numbers are good. I was on a leave of absence from my job when diagnosed and took a couple of months to study (Joslin book, ADA book, Bernstein book, Internet) and test test test.

I exercise daily for almost an hour. At diagnosis, that was exactly 0 minutes per day, and I slowly worked up to this. I could do 5 minutes, so I did it 5 times a day. I walked and after a while I used an exercise video, Firm Basics Fat Burning (I have nothing to compare it to, however). I couldn't keep up until I'd done it for a while. Then someone suggested Strong Women Stay Healthy by Miriam Nelson. Fantastic book. Someone else suggested that successful diabetics need to become exercise fanatics. Keep in mind, I was 55 years old, almost 270 pounds, a total couch potato, and that seemed impossible. But it has worked for me. Getting blood sugar control gave me a real boost in energy, and I used it all to get more exercise.

I have a rowing machine, a nordic trac, a bicycle and I lift weights. I'm currently using Joyce Vedral's Weight Training Made Easy. I use 5 pound dumbbells, 6 days a week, 3 upper body, 3 lower body, about 40 minutes a day, plus some walking, biking, rowing, etc. And 1 day off a week. There was some investment in equipment, but I just compare it to the cost of a really good wheelchair. I mean, I'd just be saving it for my retirement anyway - and this way I'll at least live long enough to get a retirement.

Another important element for me are my logs. I have one for food and blood glucose, one for exercise, one for random thoughts and lists. Every day, every number. When things go wrong, I have somewhere to start looking.

My main motivation is terror. I can see myself in a wheelchair at 350 pounds, feet amputated, mind slowed down, pins and needles and pain from neuropathy, blind, and waiting for dialysis for failed kidneys. Living in a nursing home, no choices in food, just medicated to the gills. I can't mess around with this disease, I have to beat it.

My food has been easy so far, but I live in fear of carb cravings. I lose weight easily, but have always rebounded and put it all back plus more. I hope low/moderate carb helps. I eat 5 small meals a day, some protein/fat with each, no starches. I have some 'dawn phenomenon' so I can't have much carb at breakfast. Mostly the key is wearing blinders in the grocery store. I only buy protein, produce, a few condiments. I avoid artificial sweeteners except some soda. I don't want to know what sugar tastes like. I designed my own food plan from my daily blood test results and from what I learned on alt.support.diabetes and misc.health.diabetes newsgroups. I haven't read the Zone books, but I suspect it's close to that.

It's only been 5 months and I know it isn't going to be easy. I have, I hope a long way to go. But taking control of it has left me feeling really strong, and my health is a whole lot better now than it was before diagnosis!

My goal is to get off medications. When I first started, exercise had no effect on my numbers because I had no muscle. I'm fixing that and already see dramatic changes after exercise. I'm willing to eat lower carb rather than take more drugs. I hear that the oral drugs don't generally work forever for a person, and I'd just as soon put off shooting insulin. I take a few vitamins, but I prefer staying away from anything so concentrated that a pill-sized amount can affect my health. Somehow it just seems like more chemicals.

I'm in relatively good health except the diabetes, and this could be my last best chance to really have control. We never know what's going to happen to slow us down. It's for sure nothing will happen to speed me up, except exactly what I'm doing. I think Type 2s only have 5-10 years of bad control before we get complications, and I expect to have problem periods beyond my control where I use up my 5-10 year allotment - illnesses, accidents, etc. I don't think I can spare any of that down time now just because I feel lazy today. So I'm going upstairs and lift my weights right now!

What an ego trip to write this! Thanks to Malcolm!