It’s my story
Once upon a time, I did not worry about diabetes. There is no family history of it, as far as I know. At one point in the 2000s, I had dreams about developing diabetes. So I cut down on my sugar. But it didn’t last. Sugar crept back into my life, slowly and surely.
For most of my adult life, I’ve struggled with my weight. There have been times that I’ve been able to count calories and exercise, but again, those times were temporary.
In the last few years, I have noticed some symptoms. Like occasionally, I would have blurred vision. I went to my family doctor for a blood test. I had high levels of uric acid. According to him, I wasn’t even close to diabetes.
And now it’s 2016, the year I turned 50. The year that I hit my highest weight, as it turns out.
The path towards diagnosis
I have residual nerve damage from whiplash. The symptoms often mimic those of an impending cardiac event, but nine times out of ten, I can talk myself through the anxiety. In April, I had a feeling of being off and also a strong desire to go to Urgent Care. Where I wasn’t having a heart attack.
The doctor referred me to a cardo clinic, who referred me to an endochrine clinic.
On July 15, 2016, I sat down with a doctor from theclinic. My sister was on speaker phone from Edmonton. It was time to learn the results of my glucose tolerance test.
The nice doctor told me that I am definitely prediabetic. And that I need to be “aggressive” in turning the situation around. My fasting plasma glucose level was 6.4 mmol/L. If it had been 7 mmol/L, I would have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
I did not whine or wail or blame external forces. For the last two years, I’ve dealt with a layoff, finding a new job, and all the anxiety and depression that comes with it. I let my health slide. I used to set a yearly fitness goal, but I stopped doing that after 2014.
So – I’m 50 years old, at my highest weight, my blood pressure is rising, and now I’m at risk for type 2 diabetes.
I knew I had work to do. My immediate reaction was to focus on losing weight. A weight loss of 10 or 20% can have a major impact on whether or not I develop type 2 diabetes.
I started researching prediabetes. I bought a great book. I learned that it’s more than counting calories and avoiding sugar. This journey is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.
My family doctor is also involved. I have an appointment with him this week, where he will show me how to test my blood sugar. And we will also discuss what medications I want to try, to help with weight loss.
There is no guarantee that I can avoid type 2 diabetes. I’m going to try my best.
What’s in a name?
The Canadian Diabetes Association states that “Prediabetes refers to blood glucose (sugar) levels that are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes (i.e. a fasting plasma glucose level of 7.0 mmol/L or higher).”
I’m learning that every country has its own definitions when it comes to diabetes, and being prediabetic. I choose to use the language from the Canadian Diabetes Association.
So why create a website about preventing type 2 diabetes? For several reasons.
I think that blogging about my story keeps me accountable to myself
Since 2003, I’ve been blogging in one form or another. I only know how to be honest when writing. If I have a bad day, I’m going to tell the truth. If I hit a plateau in my weight loss, I’m not going to hide it.
So – I can only be truthful about what I am or am not doing to improve my health.
I believe that sharing my story can help others
My dream is that I inspire others in the same situation as I am. My plan is to share my journey, and share the information and resources that I will gather along the way.
I believe that sharing my story can help myself
I want to hear from other people about preventing or maintaining diabetes. There are millions of people living with type 2 diabetes. As I start to inform myself so I can make better choices, I can be inspired by the people who’ve gone on this journey before me.