The past couple of months have been a real struggle for me. I am a type 2 Diabetic & feeling hugely defeated.
Since my diagnosis in 2011, I went from denial, to acceptance with huge diet & lifestyle changes (which in hindsight was probably too drastic), to not caring and just chugging my meds and eating chocolates regardless, to getting a wake-up call that now has me freaking out. Maybe age & maturity has an influence here.
There is no other way to describe how I feel than defeated & freaked!
I can’t remember when exactly I had this huge wake-up call, if it was when my specialist for a condition completely unrelated, very kindly offered to test my HbA1c levels & then told me I am averaging 10 or if it was seeing mid teen numbers on my home glucometer. All I remember is thinking, “ok, sh!t just got real” I am so much more aware of what I’m eating or drinking now. It’s good, but it’s also exhausting.
I’ve been trying to do research on my own. Of course, Google was the first port of call. Now here you have to get super specific. Because guidelines and advice differs dramatically from USA, to UK, to SA websites. Probably the initial cause of my confusion. Interesting “fact” after 10 years as an uncontrolled Type 2 diabetic, you would need to move on to insulin shots. Oh my grief! What? So basically you’ll progress from Type 2 to Type 1? Let me not get started on how damaging I imagine this to be on my vital organs! I mean pancreas, liver, kidneys, eyes…oh yes let’s not forget about the huge possibility of amputation of a goddamn limb at some point!
Next was “what/when/how to eat” type searches. Down the rabbit hole I go!! From LCHF, to zero carb, to HPHF, to sugar is bad for you, sugar is not bad for you, stay away from rice & pasta, only have buckwheat pasta, only have wholewheat/wholegrain, drink and eat cinnamon, have apple cider vinegar, eat 3 times a day, eat 5-7 times a day, have fruit, stay away from fruit! … Oh my god make it stop!!!
Then I moved on to Podcasts. While mostly informative, these are highly influenced by the individual’s opinions. And sometimes, medical back up of said opinion, maybe a medical professional is invited to an episode of the Podcast.
Lastly, the more practical approach. Let’s seek out a specialist physician that can HELP ME. Hahaha! What a joke! The hospital where I visit my specialist for aforementioned unrelated condition, has a DIABETIC CLINIC. The specialist recommended I make an appointment at this clinic. My medical aid plan offers a great Diabetes Care Plan, however, they will only cover diabetic related Doctor visits, to certain doctors. With whom I have no relationship or history. So, from a list given to me, I have to “pick a piggy” and hope I chose well. And surprise! None of the doctors at this Diabetic Clinic are on their list. If I choose to see a specialist here, I will have to pay out of my pocket. Let me tell you… these costs add up! Oh, and I’m still waiting for “someone to get back to me”
So what do I do? Keep researching on my own and get more & more frustrated with the contradictions found everywhere? I monitor my glucose levels twice a day. But I know 100% that if I tell my GP my levels are elevated in the mornings (after not having eaten or drank anything for the past 6-8 hours), he will simply increase the dosage of my nighttime meds. What the hell am I going to do in 10 years’ time? Oh wait, then I can use insulin!
My mother passed away in a diabetic coma. (RIP MAMA) This plays very heavily on my mind when thinking about managing my diabetes – which is most of my day! Ok, that’s a lie. It scares me sh!tless! I don’t think non-diabetics (healthy folk) realize how stressful and lonely this condition is for those of us who care (or disease, do I call it that?) There are very few reliable sources of advice & support. I also find myself hugely frustrated, angry even, when in the company of another diabetic who is oblivious to what they are doing to their body by having that doughnut, or white bread sarmie. But hey, I too at one stage didn’t care, so who am I to judge. Also, it’s hard work. I totally get why some diabetics don’t care – they give up on trying to figure it out or improve their lifestyle.
Man… Some days Diabetes kicks my a$$….