Again I failed at the number one rule of posting a blog. Don’t stop posting a blog.
Alas, I am back hiding behind my keyboard as I work through a pretty crazy time in my life. Right now I am avoiding packing.
Chris and I bought an acreage a couple of months ago and we finally took possession.We are renting it to the former owners so we have a couple of weeks of break-neck speed packing. As you can tell, I’m great at avoiding it.
That’s just one of several big life changes we’ve been through over the past couple of months.
We are getting married in July.
It’s funny how fast things creep up on you, and those small things that I said I would do later are here and should have been done weeks ago. My dress is here so there’s that.
And there’s that little thing that fell into my lap in April of 2016 that has been a major pain in the ass.
For those of you who’ve followed along on my journey with Global Edmonton, I was diagnosed with diabetes, and through the smiles and stories about me staying physically and mentally fit during it all, I was drowning.
First of all, my diagnosis has changed. Slightly. They consider me a Type 1 diabetic. But it’s a little different than most. I have something called LADA, Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults. I had pancreatitis in my teen years that caused damage to my pancreas (the organ that naturally produces insulin), over the past several years, it has slowly been shutting down. After researching, I found out my first abnormal blood test showing signs of diabetes was seven years ago. That was hard to hear because I’d never been told that before.
My doctor says my poor old organ is operating like an old car that shouldn’t be on the road anymore, puttering along on the highway, the driver just praying that it makes it to its final destination. But the truth is, it won’t.
Very soon I will be like every other person with Type 1 diabetes. I still need insulin, there’s no question about that. I just have a little bit left running through my veins… for now.
Late in 2016, I had given up. I decided I didn’t want to have diabetes anymore.To make matters worse, I felt ignored by the healthcare team that was supposed to be helping me through this life changing thing.
I went back to my general practitioner for help. I remember sitting in his office in tears telling him that I didn’t want to do this anymore. I wasn’t going to test my blood sugars, I was giving up on insulin and I would just have to live with the consequences whatever they may be. Then he smacked me upside the head (in a metaphorical sense) and brought me down to earth with how scary it could be for me to not treat my chronic disease: losing a limb, going blind and death.
In December, things were out of control for me. I was temporarily taken off my insulin under a doctor’s orders, eating copious amounts of food, and not exercising nearly to the level I had been in the months before. All of it spelled disaster.
I spent Christmas Day in the emergency room at the hospital because my blood sugar levels were so out of control. The glucose monitor couldn’t read it because it was so high. I remember feeling like I had the worst flu I’ve ever had and not knowing what I should do next.I was also SUPER cranky.
That’s when I decided things would need to change. When I was put back on insulin, it was an unusually high amount and still wasn’t enough to bring me down to normal levels, so I decided to do more for myself. Take some time for me and make the changes I needed to take control of my own life.
My old skating partner said to me once, “the only person guaranteed to be there, in the end, is you, so you better like her.” Morbid… yet true, and a lesson that I need to smarten up and realize only I can change things for myself.
So I got back to the gym, five times a week and worked as hard as I could while I was there. No more watching movies while I run on the treadmill. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic cardio, it just wasn’t what my body needed.
Slowly the numbers on my monitor came down. The amount of insulin I needed did too.
Then I joined a healthy eating challenge at the gym, Spark Sport Conditioning. (No this isn’t an endorsement, I’m not allowed to do that) It was all under a dietician who I first worked with when I was first diagnosed, Emily Mardell, who was one of the first people to say I didn’t need to give up on my fitness goals, just because there was a hurdle in the way.
The results were unbelievable. I didn’t lose 45 lbs or anything or drop 15 dress sizes.
It was better.
After four weeks, I didn’t need my fast-acting insulin as much. That’s the insulin that’s taken at meal time. Most days, when I’m eating strictly on the plan, I don’t need it at all.
I do still need insulin and unless some miraculous cure for diabetes comes soon, I will always need insulin. But because of the workout and eating plan, my body better absorbs the insulin that’s there.
I look better, but most of all I feel better.
I know it won’t last long. The old pancreas is depleting as we speak. But I’m now more prepared than ever to take on life. It won’t be everything I think about soon (I hope). It will just be that annoying thing that I have to deal with once in a while.
It’s been a big year, and the best is yet to come.
I guess I should stop avoiding the whole packing thing.
Until next time… whenever that will be.
EDITOR’S NOTE: After receiving some messages, I realized I was confusing some people so I pulled down this post and made some changes. Hopefully it makes more sense now.