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.
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
newsgroups. I haven't read the Zone books, but I suspect it's close
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
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!