My Year in Review
Making your diabetes story a great one.
By Travis Grubbs
January 2011 — It happens at the end of every year. I get caught with my pants down. I don't mean literally showing my Bugs Bunny boxer shorts and getting all embarrassed, but only figuratively, when my editor sends out the call for the biggest diabetes story of the year. When I get the message, I stare at my computer monitor, or Blackberry, and nothing comes to mind.
It wasn't until after my editor's deadline, and when I received my latest issue of Diabetes News Hound, that an idea came to mind. For the uninformed, Diabetes News Hound is an Internet resource that contains links to news stories relevant to those with diabetes. You can set parameters to tailor the links to your particular type of diabetes.
As I was reading the latest headlines for type 2 diabetes, I found myself thinking about my own condition, and I was hit with a realization. For me, I am the most important diabetes story of 2010! No matter which type you have, your diabetes is your personal chronic condition. You live with it 24/7; finger pricks, blood stains, daily logs, A1C's, urine cups, doctor's visits, and all.
As I read the headlines, I asked myself if I really care that tensions are rising between type 1 and type 2 diabetics? Do I really care that women with type 2 diabetes are heading to the hospital in droves? Do I really care how Drew Carey is beating his type 2 diabetes? For the first two, not really. But Drew Carey piqued my curiosity since his methods may be beneficial to me.
I meet too many people whose only control of their type 2 diabetes is their medication, with diet and exercise not being involved. I, on the other hand, employ all three methods to manage mine. I am pleased with the results. At the end of 2009 my weight hovered around 225 pounds. In November 2010 I reached 218 pounds, but then Thanksgiving and Christmas came and I went back up to 222. My weight now hovers around 220 pounds. Overall, I am pleased with my weight management and I expect it to get even better in 2011.
Another issue I have addressed is getting my lab work done in a timely manner without severe effects on my work schedule. I live 38 miles from my job. I report to work at 7:00 a.m., my doctor's lab opens at 8:30 a.m., and my hospital's lab opens at 7:30 a.m. Over the past four years it has become a hindrance to balance my lab work with the demands of my job. In late December I contacted the lab at the small community hospital six miles from my employer and found out that not only are they covered by my health insurance, but they are open 24 hours a day! I used them at 6:30 a.m. on December 28, 2010, and everything went well. I should receive my A1C in a few days so I can then further measure my progress.
In diabetes care, you have to put yourself first and take ownership of your diabetes. You are the most important diabetes story. So get busy in monitoring your weight, your blood sugar, and your A1C, and make sure your kidney functions, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. are monitored as well. Don't forget to get off your butt and exercise. Give yourself 30 to 60 minutes at least every other day for walking, riding a bike, etc. Take the time and make the effort to make your diabetes story a great one.
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.
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Years before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, The Other Half came out of a doctor's appointment with a diagnosis of "borderline diabetes" and an ADA exchange diet sheet. His health insurance agency followed up on the diagnosis with a glucometer and test strips. After a year or so of trying to follow the diet plan and test his glucose levels, things appeared to be back in "normal" range, and stood there until a couple of years after my own diagnosis. Shortly...