Summertime Reality Check

Facing the consequences of diabetes denial.

Reality CheckBy Kalimah Johnson

August 2010 — So my A1c as of last month was 7.4! I am disappointed, but motivated to attempt some new approaches to getting my numbers lower than 7. The culprit: Me, myself and I, and the quickly approaching summertime!

On occasion, or more often than not, I have a sweet treat or eat too many carbohydrates (especially during the holidays) and skip my morning workout. My downfall is a classic self-perpetuating cycle. For a time, I will eat healthy, lose weight, and feel better. Then I'll think I can "get away" with a carb or sugary snack here or there, and before you know it I'm back on the slippery slope of bad habits and type 2 diabetes denial.

Then the quarterly doctor visit and blood tests reveal that I have gone too far.

I don't want to get back on the insulin via the needle and shots again, so I'd better get on the case of managing my disease. First things first: I have to find a way to remind myself that while I may feel okay, the meter does not lie. Checking my sugar at least twice a day (morning and evening) is not an option--it's required. As a matter of fact, let me check it now. Check your blood sugar with me. Yes, I want you to stop reading, and go get your meter now. Let us partake together.

How did your meter read? My meter read 247! I walked for thirty minutes this morning, ate a banana with my morning meds and drank about 16 ounces of water, but I guess that's not enough. Especially considering that last night I ate a very rich and thick slice of carrot cake.

Reality check: Diabetes is a silent killer. Symptoms such as urinating more, feeling thirsty, exhaustion and night sweats can all be blamed on other factors. I experienced all of the above within the past 24 hours. I will not pity myself, and I will not ask for pity either. I have too much work to do.

What I can do is adhere to several new goals and develop new ways of coping with my disease…starting right now. I am pledging to go back to a Weight Watchers meeting; I will walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week; I will manage my stress by using breathing exercises and picking up a hobby I enjoy such as reading.

The summertime is here and I love riding my bike (I have only been on my bike twice) and I need to take advantage of the beautiful weather and take walks at the water. I will write out my specific goals and stick them on the bathroom mirror to ensure that I see them daily.

Am I afraid of failure? Yes, but I'd rather try something than do nothing at all. Am I afraid of taking insulin shots? Yes, but I've done it before. It did effectively my blood sugar, however, I prefer not to have take shots again. Am I thinking of my mother, my aunts, and my grandmother who succumbed to type 2 diabetes? Yes. This is why I must keep fighting, pushing, looking, and figuring out how to manage with meaning, cope with compassion and achieve with active answers that will help me get it together!

Got it Sugar?

Good.

Read more of Kalimah Johnson's columns, Get it Together, Sugar, here.

 

Disclaimer
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: June 10, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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