Today is World Diabetes Day.
This day, of course, is part of diabetes awareness month. I’ll be having a few extra posts this month in regard to diabetes, especially considering the fact that over the past year, I’ve actually taken it seriously – finally.
And over that past year, I’ve gotten better at a lot of things, including:
- Healthier eating
- Understanding what food does to me
- Getting more active
- Losing some weight
- Looking long-term and not just short-term
- Checking my blood much more, an understanding it
It’s often said in times like this, one needs to hit rock bottom to get back up and push forward. I had that happen. It was that day when I checked my blood sugar and I panicked like I have never done before.
April 24, 2014.
My fasting sugar that day was 328. Then, at lunch, is when I really freaked. The first reading was 398, followed by 391 about 10 minutes later, followed by 364 about 40 minutes later.
In total, I had seven readings that day – six of which were over 300.
But, before I continue, allow me to remind you that during this time my stress level was high, I was on a home IV for some serious antibiotics, and had been through foot surgery. So it was all adding up.
I, of course, e-mailed my primary and had a back-and-forth with him. Considering all I had been through, he told me to keep a close eye on it (I was scheduled for an appointment soon) and that we may have to adjust medicine or, possibly, think about insulin.
I started watching what was going in my system and over the next week, the numbers started to drop, though they were still awful high for the next couple of weeks. I then met with the diabetes educator and – shockingly – I listened. I asked questions. I was with her for a good hour and a half, learning about everything. I walked out with the goal of turning my life around.
That’s when things changed and I started settling in. I started understanding carbs and protein and what everything does to me. That was May 5.
My reading before dinner on May 8 was 175.
My post-dinner reading on May 12 (two hours after) was 204. That’s the last time I had a reading at higher than 200.
When I met the diabetes educator, she asked me to set two goals – one short term, one long term. The short term was simple – keep me off insulin. The long-term goal is something I’ve not really shared as I am working toward it. When it happens, I will share more.
I look back at April 24 and realize that was my rock bottom. It was the day I decided to take my life back and not be a statistic. I wanted to work at this and learn to live with it, not to suffer with it.
Now, nearly seven months later, I am doing 100 times better. My numbers are where the diabetes educator wants them and, in most cases, lower. Recently, I’ve been battling a bit more with fasting sugars, but I am learning what is going on, which is a good thing.
Taking diabetes seriously is important as it keeps getting worse in our country (and beyond). How about some of these numbers, from the American Diabetes Association website?
- In 2012, 29.1 million Americans (9.3 percent of the population) had diabetes, up from 25.8 million (8.3 percent) in 2010.
- The percentage in seniors is higher, at 25.9 percent (11.8 million).
- In 2012, 86 million Americans (aged 20 and older) had pre-diabetes.
- And, unfortunately, deaths have remained the seventh leading cause in the United States in 2010, with 69,071 people listed as diabetes being the main cause in death. Another 234,051 death certificates listed it as a contributing cause.
- The World Health Organization says total deaths from diabetes are projected to go up by more than 50 percent in the next 10 years, and more than 80 percent in upper-middle income countries.
So where do we go from here?
For me, personally, I am setting up some other goals. One thing I truly want to do is get my testing down to a science. I need to learn more about what foods do to me. That means I need to start tracking food and what I eat more. I am going to invest in a good pocket calendar so I can write these things down. Though I realize I have apps that do this on my phone, I have a hard time doing things like that on there. Who knows, though? Maybe I can learn one of those and start doing it that way.
The thing about this day is that I take it a bit more seriously now than I ever did before. I realize this day is about moving forward and being proactive in keeping myself in the best shape possible. I still have a long road to go, without a doubt. But I plan on being on that road for a long time and to do that, I need to keep improving with the diabetes.
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!