was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in March 2000. I had been stricken
with a horrible flu in October 1999 which left me bed-ridden for
over a week. I had seen my eye doctor the week before the flu and
he assured me that there was no sugar haze in my eyes so I am fairly
sure that the flu triggered something in my body. I felt just awful
right after the flu stuck. I actually diagnosed myself after noticing
a few odd things going on with my body such as incredible thirst
(I was drinking 1/2 gallon of orange juice a day), persistent yeast
infection, a boil that would not heal and so on. I purchased a bottle
of diastix at the Pharmacy and promptly went home and tested myself.
After using 10 strips and my husband as a control I was convinced
that something was wrong. I went to my GP (general practice doctor)
the next day and my fasting blood sugar was 300mg/dL (16.6mmol/L)!
So now I was scared. Really scared! I had visions of amputations
and dialysis and my 40th birthday was only 4 weeks away.
I asked my doctor
for a referral (HMO) to a dietitian. My GP started me on 500mg glucophage
a day. The following day I went in for blood and urinalysis testing.
My HbA1c came in at 15.3mmol/L (275.7mg/dL). My GP called
me and upped the medication to 2000mg of glucophage a day. This
medicine made me very sick, but I was determined to stick with the
program. My husband and I joined a six week diabetes education program
at St. Peters Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. I can't say enough
good things about this class. We had endocrinologists, CDE, nurses,
dietitians, and exercise physiologists in the class to help us learn
as much as possible about our "condition". My first HbA1c reading
after I took the class was 5.0mmol/L (90mg/dL) and no protein in
my urine. I knew that I could beat this.
My diet is based
on no more than 45g of carbohydrate per meal - as well as approx
3 ounces of protein per meal. I upped the veggies and have always
used saccharin or aspartame so this was not a huge change. I have
learned to treat myself to a cookie or small piece of cake but to
exchange it in my meal for another carbohydrate. I eat chocolate
but instead of the whole bar I now eat 1 square. I also tend to
snack between meals on sugar-free candy. Getting
diabetes was very depressing but it has forced me to eat much better
and to take care of myself.
During the next
year I watched my food intake very carefully and dropped from 237
lbs to 170 lbs (at 5' 9"). I intend to lose another 10-14 lbs before
I will be content. I walk almost every day - either at lunch or
after dinner down at the beach. My medication was lowered and as
of May 10, 2001 I was removed from all meds completely. I still
test 3 times a day and my fasting blood sugars have been between
85-95mg/dL (4.7-5.3mmol/L). My readings after meals rarely goes
above 135mg/dL (7.5mmol/L).
I hope to be able
to stay off the medicine as long as humanly possible. My husband
has also lost about 30 lbs this past year and we are both so much
healthier than before. My cholesterol level went from 240mg/dL (6.6mmol/L)
to 153mg/dL (4.2mmol/L) in one year as well. I hope to be start
diabetes educator) training in 2002. After working in the Pharmaceutical
Industry as an Associate Director in International Regulatory Affairs
(getting drugs approved in foreign countries, mainly Canada, Japan,
Australia and New Zealand), I will be made redundant in 2002. My
husband and I decided not to get stressed out about this because
that would make my sugar levels go soaring. We take one day at a
time and always take time to stop and smell the roses.