Very Old, Very Healthy Diabetic

...or die trying.
I was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 33 with NIDDM or Type 2 diabetes. I come from a diabetic clan. I even married a diabetic. Are you on the diabetes road, too?
This is my goal: to become a very old, very healthy diabetic by day to day choices regarding eating, exercise and medical management. Walk along with me...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Headlight analogy

I had to post to let you all know that I'm no longer impersonating an Australian. Which is to say, I have shaved my legs and my armpits. I know you all were extremely interested in that. And I have shifted my accent back to plain ole' USA.

My AM BG reading was 116.

Mom and her husband were here. They brought us a pizza for dinner. We had some cookies after dinner, but not excessive amounts. I think it's the extra fat in the pizza. It was thin crust.

Mom drove me to work, which gave me a few extra hours of sleep. I have a great mom.

Over the weekend-yes it was a church-I heard a speaker who used headlights as an analogy. Here goes: My headlights are great. They're well aimed, bright, and really useful to me as I drive along. I love them.

Your headlights are awful. They're glaring, and they blind me. Geeze, you're driving right at me with those headlights set on high-beams. What's wrong with you?

I think that this applies to diabetes control. I think my diabetes control is fine, but I see lots of problems with yours.

Since I'm in a double-diabetes household, and part of a diabetic clan, there is often discussion of the other's diabetes. I've even got co-workers with whom I discuss diabetes. I think that I'm pretty healthy, and try to remember that my diabetes is mine, and their diabetes is not mine, but it's hard to avoid that temptation to fix a problem that you might see in someone else's life or their diabetes management.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I've had it.

Enough with this bearing up under pressure gracefully. Phooey on that.

Work has been short staffed. Others have flex schedules, which means that I feel like I have to be there on certain days, to ensure that the phones are covered. I have about six weeks of sick leave on the books. I haven't taken any days off this summer to rest and recharge myself.

My feet hurt. The car issues mean that I am walking more than I perhaps should. I'm going to have to call the doctor to see if she'll renew my stronger than OTC pain pill prescription. I don't like that 'if'.

It's hard to keep up with my banking, when I cannot drive from bank #1 to bank #2 to move the money from this account to that account. Paydays seem very far off.

The car trouble means that Dr. Parts, graciously, drives me to work and then heads out to his work. This means 12 hour days for me at work. I keep a pillow and blanket at my workstation, but we don't have a dedicated nap area in this building. I'm looking for one.

I haven't gone grocery shopping in days. I'm out of razors, so my legs and armpits are hairy. I'm pretending I'm from Australia. I don't keep cow's milk in the house, since I believe it is an ideal food only for calves, but my mom & her husband will want to eat it. I think the rest of the menu will consist of olives, pickled green beans and rice. I hope we have coffee in the house, since he's a coffee drinker, too.

I want to take a mental health day, a day to rest and recharge, to de-stress, so I have enough energy to face the rest of the week. But it's hard to schedule. And no, I don't think that Labor Day is going to be enough for me. We've got interviews, since, thankfully, they are trying to hire somebody to help with the general coverage, and everybody has to be there for the interview panel. We have had Chatty Charles as a temp, but his assignment ends on Friday. Bleecchh.

My blood sugars are up slightly. AM BG was 102. I'd love to go see my doctors again, about the diabetes or my feet, or my dentist about my teeth, but I'm not ready to do what I'll have to do to ride the bus to get there.

And again, as I posted earlier, I know that this is all just a normal crisis. These things will pass. It's like being on the ocean in a boat. Sometimes you're at the top of a swell, sometimes you're down in the valley between swells.

And again, we're not injured. We're not in the hospital. We are okay.

But I don't like it. I am uncomfortable. I'm stressed and I have no more give in me.

I need a nap. Or perhaps antidepressants.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Normal Crisis

Dr. Parts and I just got through a normal crisis week.

Which is to say, a semi-relative needed us to rescue an impounded RV, Dr. Parts replaced an alternator in his vehicle, and my starter has been unreliable. Dr. Part's electrical system is still not working properly. He believes that the alternator that he installed is faulty. The good news? It comes with a lifetime warranty. (That should cover four days.) My starter has finally decided that it will start no more.

I keep reminding myself that these are normal, solvable crises. I'm annoyed that they're happening, and annoyed that they require money that I'd rather spend on yarn or earrings or the electric bill. Mechanical things break. They require maintenance. It's rarely at a convenient time.

But we're not injured. We're not in the hospital. We haven't suffered anything permanent. Our blood sugars have been about the same.

We are, I think, falling into the 'because I deserve it' trap, of eating for emotional comfort and stress relief. We've hit a couple of drive-thrus (Taco Bell, Wendy's) , had a few treats (Baskin Robbins), and I've consumed more alcohol than I normally do in any given week. It's not really safe for us to do this, due to the diabetes. And yet, we do.

Dr. Parts thinks he'll be able to do the repairs, which is miraculous in my non-mechanically-gifted world, so we'll end up paying for parts. He'll end up with some dirty cuts and scrapes on his hands, and probably say some words out loud that his wife doesn't care to hear.

This is what I would term a normal crisis. We own cars. Cars break down. Whaddya expect?

Illness is often a normal crisis. Humans get ill. I'm related to a lot of humans. I live in a human body. I'm going to experience illness and injury.

Death is even a normal crisis. Humans die. I'm probably going to attend a lot of memorial services throughout my lifetime.

It's normal to go through these cycles of events and the emotions associated with them. Stress and frustration. Joy and accomplishment. Fear and anxiety. Sorrow and loss.

My maternal grandparents, both of whom have diabetes now, are selling their home and possessions and moving into a retirement community, which has yet to be selected. They are also dealing with all the emotions of loss. Loss of possessions, loss of independence, loss of control, loss of physical ability, loss of space, loss of possibilities.

And yet, this is a normal transition of life. It happens to a lot of us, no matter how uncomfortable.

Another normal crisis.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Permission to Obsess

Once, before Dr. Parts and I found each other, I had a boyfriend who accused me of being too focused on my diabetes. If I thought about it less, he stated, it wouldn't be such a problem for me.

I knew I was in trouble when I realized that all of my traits that I thought of as strengths, he thought of as weaknesses. Not a good sign for the future of that relationship. I'm so glad I've got Dr. Parts.

When asked to list my hobbies, I've listed diabetes. I think I have to. I do think about it a lot. I read about it. I write about it. I talk about it.

I keep track of my numbers-no wait-my meter does that now. I keep track of my weight. Actually I weigh myself more than twice a day. I only write it down once a day. I love my scale. It's an older model Tanita scale that not only tells me how much I weigh, it tells me how much of that weight is fat. It is glass and round and lovely. I try to think of it as my friend, even when I don't like what it tells me.

I'd recommend David Mendosa's post today on thinking about eating. I can't wait for that book he mentions, Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. I see that all around me. I especially liked the insight David reports that the first few bites of the dessert are the most satisfying. I don't need to fill my stomach with chocolate cake. I only need to satisfy my mouth. Two or three bites are enough to satify my mouth. When I feed my body and fill my stomach, I need to pack it full of nutrition, more so than is contained in chocolate cake.

Can one focus too much on one's diabetes? Sure, I guess. But I'm not there yet.

I haven't ordered my diabetes organizer yet. I haven't loaded any diabetes or diet tracking software into my Palm device yet. I'm a little horrified that there are such products, but at the same time, relieved. My brain is full enough of little factoids and phone numbers. Writing them down in my hand-held or an organizer frees up that space in my brain. I need space in my brain for hope and love and friends.

I suppose if one worries or frets about the diabetes without it producing a change in my behavior, that would be pointless. If my thinking and focus does produce a change in my behavior, with the goal of improving my health and improving my diabetes status, I'm okay with that.

You're working hard to keep yourself alive and healthy. It's sort of like maintaining an airplane. If you don't check the bolts today, or don't use the right parts, or ignore that minor crack, everybody's at risk because you skipped a step. The aircraft could fall out of the sky.

There is a difference between an unhealthy obsession and a healthy obsession. They are separated by only a thin line. You have my permission to develop a healthy obsession with your diabetes.

So, yes, perhaps society at large will not understand if you obsess about your eating, your weight, your numbers, your doctor's visits, your feet, your skin, etc. I hope that others of us with diabetes will.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The debt we owe to dogs

I'm recommending a book for any and all diabetics to read. It's The Discovery of Insulin by Michael Bliss. (This may be the only time to ever do a search on the combined words "insulin" and "bliss". )

It is a great insight into the history of diabetes and the treatment of people with diabetes. The book does get a little dry, but if you've gotten your undergraduate degree, you've tackled worse, I'm sure. And I won't ask for a paper.

There were two main points that I took from this book.

One is that the first actual patient treated with the largely untested concoction that contained insulin was still alive in the early 1980s when this book was written. That's encouraging to me, that she could live, be relatively healthy, throughout all those years without meters, without testing, without quality control. Wowee!

Today is a very good time to be a diabetic. I'd much rather be a diabetic today, than 100 years ago, no matter what type.

The second main point is that this testing and the discovery of insulin relied so heavily on the medical experimentation on dogs. My vegan friends would be horrified at this, and, when one can test without killing dogs (and they killed dogs), I think one should test without killing dogs or other animals. But the testing on dogs allowed many, many human lives to be saved. I'm not going to offer an opinion on animal experimentation or on stem cell research. That's for others to decide.

Most dogs I know would willingly give up their lives for the people who care for them. Dogs are like that. Dogs are, in my opinion, the embodiment of the ideas of hope, service, and loyalty. Somedays, I wish I were more like my dog.

There is another story I know of, of dogs contribution to the advancement of medical knowledge, and that's the Vivien Thomas and Dr. Alfred Blalock contribution to heart surgery. Their story is told poignantly elsewhere. I would highly recommend learning more about it. There's a couple of DVD presentations I found at my library, including a movie entitled "Something The Lord Made" staring Mos Def & Alan Rickman. There is a non-fiction TV program from PBS entitled "Partners of the Heart." I would highly recommend them both.

The movie shows a scene of Mr. Viven Thomas, played so well by actor Mos Def, grieving over a dog who had had their surgical procedure, but who had died. I found it very moving. I know, I'm a softy. (We have three foster kittens from the Oregon Humane Society at home right now.)

Diabetics owe a great debt to dogs. Can you find a way to honor dogs for their service to humans, and specifically to diabetic humans? Even if you're not an animal person, if you're a diabetic, you have benefitted from the sacrifices of dogs. Could you adopt a dog from a rescue organization? Could you give a monetary gift to an organization that helps dogs? Could you open your heart more fully to dogs, even if you cannot have one in your life?

If you're able to, please do.

If you're really brave, you could even adopt a diabetic dog. Who better?

Uncle Pesky Responds

My Uncle Pesky has found the blog.

Sssshhh. We must be very quiet now.

You may know that I wrote extensively about my Uncle Pesky in an earlier post.

Pesky has responded. It's too good to miss, so here's his update on my analysis of him and his situation:

Pesky is in the BLOG!

My most elegant and intelligent Niece.Thank you for those kind words about me.I could correct a couple of simple things.

Sheriff Joe Arpayo is the Most successful lawman in the last two centuries. Including J. Edgar Hoover.

What I'd do if I were suddenly put in charge of prisons would certainly cut down on Recitivisim, and even the longevity of the prison population.

On School funding. I'd starve every prisoner to death, and use the money I saved to get low interest loans for furthering the education of every American kid that qualifies.

I was first told I had a tendency toward Hi Blood sugars in 1974.I ignored the information, same as nearly everbody I know who languishes in the warmth of the four basic food groups.Pizza, PopCorn, candy bar's n' Beer!

That's food. You get the other stuff when you go to Mom's for Christmas Dinner.

Now I'm taking pills and shots. I got some new shots, in the 'Pen' called Humalog!25/75 twice a day, and the other Humalog shots per the BG readings at the two Hr Post Prangial.I carry the stuff with me in an Ice Bag, and my Cell Phone is my alarm clock. Cool. I'm living with it.

Somehow I'm able to keep from snacking between meals now. Much better than before.We eat good though.

My wife could make a delicacy out of Road Apples.Lot's of Vegatables, and some meat at every meal. Lean meat though. Eggs in the AM.Chicken, Fish or something else at the two other meals.

I'm slowly losing weight from 245 down to 234 so far. The Doc says 175 is the target weight. Yup, when I've been in the Box about a week, I'll be down to the Target weight.

It's come to me as I write this BLOG, who the heck am I writing to?ME?

Well, dear Uncle, you weren't writing a blog. I think you were writing a comment on my blog. So it's sorta to me, and sorta to the world.

Since he's found me, he may post comments, which may be under the name Thudpucker and may be under Pesky or Uncle Pesky. Wikipedia has a good article that seems fair about Sheriff Joe Arpaio and mentions some of the controversial things that have happened under his leadership.

My uncle is a good guy if excessively opinionated. He can't help that, though. Maybe it's because he's irish. Maybe it's because God has gifted him with more insight and wisdom than others got. I can't really tell.

He is my favorite uncle. His wife may be canonized.

(Of course, the other two candidates for favorite uncle are now dead, heart disease & diabetes, the both of them. But Pesky would still be a leading candidate, even if Russ and Keith were still among the living.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Precocious Type 2s

So, first things first. Here's a link to the ADA listing for local area support groups for Oregon. There are plenty in Oregon. I will be making calls. The ADA thus may have listings for every state. Cool.

I hope some of them meet in the evening. I hope some of them include type 2 persons under the age of 65. See, there's another one of my own prejudices showing. I'm still working on me.

It was hard being in ones thirties at the time of diagnosis with type 2 diabetes. The guidelines at that time said that for type 2, the usual age of diagnosis was age 45 or older. I talked with a fellow last week who was diagnosed at the age of 40, but that was 34 years ago. There was a beautiful young woman in our February diabetes education classes who was slim (okay, average north american weight-but you wouldn't have pointed to her on the street as one who was overweight or obese by any means) and in her twenties and had a diagnosis of type 2.

And I know that there are overweight and obese children and teens who are being diagnosed as type 2 diabetics even now.

It was hard to go into the diabetes education classes, when I was first diagnosed, and realize that the classes were geared towards persons decades older than me. It was horrifying to hear the instructions "Never go barefoot and never wear open-toed shoes", when I was still enjoying fashionable shoes and my circulation was still good. My docs still agree that I do not have a "diabetic foot" yet. The CDE's suggestion of a 20 minute walk each day was far below what I knew that I had to do to stay in top physical condition, never mind lose weight. I had walked the marathon not two years before. A four-hour training walk was a regular event for me. I don't think they even brought up tai chi, yoga, pilates or strength training as good options for persons with diabetes.

Part of my annoyance was the nature of change that was being recommended, and I'm sure I'm going to explore this topic further in future posts to this blog. What is the best way to make a lifestyle change? Is it better make gradual or drastic changes? Which are more effective? Which will be more likely to have me stick with the change?

For instance, quitting smoking. Should one taper off or stop completely? Sure, eventually, one must stop completely. But isn't reducing the number of cigarettes one consumes per day a good step towards better health? I don't know-I've never smoked. So, then if you switch the addictive substance to, for instance, french fries or other fried foods, is the answer different? I'm still trying to figure it out.

I've never had anything more than the average prejudice of youth against my elders. This is a common thing, and one's sympathy for seniors can only increase as one ages towards that group. It is an unavoidable thing that every generation does towards the group ahead of it, and faces from the group behind.

I'm starting my collection of reading glasses. It's true. I have to use them for reading the DVD cases, and for some knitting.

New topic: Lost Bloggers. I've found the blogs for The Beautiful Diabetic and Type 12, and Type 3, and a couple of others, but these people haven't posted for weeks or months. They were excellent writers and I wonder what has happened to them. I hope that they've found other good ways to take good care of themselves. My wish would be that they become active bloggers again, but sometimes life takes different turns.

The Beautiful Diabetic's last post, dated June 12, 2006, has the title of "No Wonder It's So Hard". I think that's what I struggle with, the fact that having diabetes is hard, that dealing with it, day in and day out, is hard, and the underlying thought that, at some point, it ought to not be quite so hard. I ought to reach some point of mastery, some mystical insight or key. And yet, it is hard and continues to be hard. Her topic was the prevalence of pizza in Norway, but that's just incidental. I sure hope she's OK.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Support each other

Well, despite my earlier Type vs. Type post, I do believe that Type 1s have more in common with Type 2s than we have different.

We're all human. We're all facing a disease that, although the causes are different, the effects are largely similar, and the threat to our lives and our health is largely similar. I'm hoping that Type 1 gets cured, at least for north americans with health insurance, within the next twenty years. I don't think that's an unreasonable hope.

So, I'm trying to seek out a support group for Type 2 diabetics and I was considering starting one. I posted on a community board and got a few responses, but at least one was from an oddball. (I call him a that because in one email he mentioned an honorary degree and said that it was well-deserved. That seems odd to me. He was unwilling to work with me because I am a Christian.) One was from a person who resides about 1-2 hours out of town. One was from a nice gay person, but he may have been discouraged by my response that I was not planning on starting a group at this time or he may have reached the conclusion that, due to my faith, that I wouldn't be interested in meeting him or offering him support or receiving support from him. (If you're here, sweetie, that's so not true, and I would be happy to hear from you again. Email me. Let's have coffee.)

I thought that the ads on that board ran for one week and then were removed. But today, I get this:

"You can call any and ALL of the hospitals in the Portland Metro area and get information on their Type 2 Diabetes Groups. What they DONT have is a group for Type 1's. You know, the few of us that DIDNT stuff our fat asses until we gave ourselves a disease! Type 2 Diabetes ISNT taking over the world. Fat, lazy people are!"

Oh, gee, thanks. Not the type of support I was hoping for.

Babe, I would love for there to be a support group for you. I could recommend some free therapy groups , that although they don't directly deal with diabetes, may help you deal with the chronic stress and anger that is obviously eating your capacity for sympathy for your fellow humans. And I know that your response is a close to a normal one, due to the fact that your disease happened to you, the fact that you have little control over it, and the day-to-day stresses that you face. May you find health and healing on your road. I hope you find that tomorrow is a day when you would not have such an angry and judgmental response. A lot of us flare up and say foolish things like that, although it's not helpful, nor, in my opinion, healthy.

But what you believe about the prevalence of support for type 2s does not reflect the reality that I find. When I call the local hospitals, they want to sign me up for a diabetes education class, costing hundreds of dollars, and only lasting a short time. I'm hoping to live with my disease for more than 40 years. I think I need more than four classes to equip me to do that.

And I deserve to have support for my disease, and my disease process, even though it's different than yours. And there are enough of us on the diabetes road, that this kind of support should be possible, in any community of any size, without requiring us to pay a health professional to provide it for us. We can provide it for each other, if we have the will and the generosity to do so.

We are subject to depression and anger. If I'm having a bad day, can I count on you to lift me up? I'd like to know that you'll do that for me. I know that I'd like to do it for you. We can get through this, day by day, together, with each others help.

I would love for there to be support groups for every sub-group of diabetes, for both main types and all the atypical types. I'd love to see a menu of support groups for women, for men, for each decade of life, for diabetic athletes, for diabetics losing weight, for agnostic diabetics, for gay people with diabetes, for diabetic hunters, for left-handed persons with diabetes, and so on and so forth.

I hate that that person who sent me that message proved to me that there is a lot of judgment on persons with type 2 diabetes, as being fat and lazy and type 2 diabetes as being self-induced. I could have gone all week without that.

When I was diagnosed, I did weigh about 190. (I'm 5'6".) I had walked the marathon and a relay race, twice, within two years of my diagnosis. I had just turned 33. As of this morning, the scales report that I weigh 172. I wear a size 12 women's clothing. I'm working towards a weight of 160. My eating guru says a woman of my height should weigh about 117. I'll aim for it, doc, really I will. And I struggle with fat-prejudices too.

I was reading another blog, where that person said that she avoided posting about controversial topics. Isn't that what blogging is for? For posting one's own personal insight on topics that may be controversial?

But, hey, I'm not for increasing the amount of hate and judgment in the world. Even though I have my own opinions about what is right and what is not right, I respect that each human has her own road to walk, that each of us can reach our own conclusions about these things.

Flame off, friend!

Friday, August 18, 2006

People First Language

I'm okay with calling myself, and others, "a diabetic".

This is not the most correct language. More correct language is what they call people-first language.

Thus, one avoids calling a person using a wheelchair a quadriplegic. You can call him a lawyer, a baseball fan, a twin, a jerk, but don't call him a quadriplegic. One should, instead say, "he has quadriplegia" or "he uses a wheelchair".

I hate the shorthand "in a wheelchair". I'm not sure why I have such an emotional reaction to that one. It's as if the moment one's butt hits the seat, and one is "in a chair" that one ceases to matter, that you lose part of your essential humanity. I also think that I hate hearing "he's in a chair" as a stand-alone statement, as if that explains everything about it.

I ask, "So, can you tell me more about Mr. Johnson and his medical condition?"

Care center employee replies, "Well, he's in a chair."

Nothing about how long he's needed to use a wheelchair, whether it's a motorized or manual chair, about the medical conditions that have caused him to stop walking, whether he has a good prognosis for regaining his ability to ambulate, etc. So, I ask more questions.

Now, my co-worker, who does have quadriplegia and has been wheelchair dependent for 30 years, often says to callers "I'm in a chair." So I guess its not illegal language, if the person to whom one is referring uses it to refer to himself.

But then again, an iffy term, if used as a self-reference, may not be nearly as offensive as the same term used by a third party. So who's to say? It varies from case to case and person to person.

I understand the need for person-first language. And I do use it as much as I remember to. I deal with persons with disabilities every day, most often by phone, so I am often using my words to talk about disabilities and abilities and life in general. People-first language reminds us, that, whatever my diagnosis, whatever my background, whatever my employment, I am still a human being and deserving of the same respect which is due to any other child of god on the planet.

So I get the "PWD" term and people with diabetes phrasing. But I find it cumbersome, and may not remember to use it all the time.

I know that diabetes is not the only thing that defines you. I know that diabetics are voters, moms, dads, daughters, sons, uncles, artists, writers, movie fans, cooks, therapists, trumpeters, musicians, computer whizzes, comics, lovers, princesses, animal rescuers, and so on and so forth so that it would fill the world. It does fill the world. We make it a varied and interesting place. Life is good.

Please forgive me if I inadvertantly refer to you as a diabetic and you find it offensive.

I'd send you a chocolate chip cookie in apology, but then, that really would be passive-aggressive.

(Oh, and by the way, the term 'handicapped' is genuinely out. 'Disabled' is considered a more acceptable term than 'handicapped'. Handicapped is supposed to have been derived from the phrase 'cap in hand' as a shorthand for so disabled as to be unable to work and forced to beg for ones living. Many of us who have some level of disability are still able to work and be self-supporting, or partially self-supporting. Although I'd rather not tell you my own checkbook balance today.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tuesday Dinner

As you may have figured out by now, I struggle with being a diabetic. I struggle with making good eating choices. Right now, I'm struggling a lot with exercise and my stupid foot injury. And I use this blog and this writing to help motivate myself to make good choices. If anyone reads it and enjoys it, great. If not, that's OK.

So, last night, I thought Dr. Parts was going to barbeque one of the several packages of brauts that he accepted from a friend. These are packages of six large sausages each. And he usually espects me to eat as much as he does. I think a good serving size of this concoction would be 1/3 of a braut. He's probably going to eat two, when he does. But that's not how the evening worked out. He took me out for dinner. We chose a local Chinese restaurant. Now this one is not our favorite Chinese restaurant.

Our favorite Chinese restaurant is Mandarin House. It has authentic chinese food, has many healthier choices and great people. Its drawbacks? Further from home, so-so parking and they make their blood marys using strawberry daquiri mix. They're such nice people, with relatively limited English skills, that I haven't had the heart to point out to them that they have the wrong red mix for bloody marys. Of course, that was several months ago.

So we went to the local chinese restaurant. I was tired. I didn't quiz the waitress. She was tired too and seemed detached. We selected one of the pre-selected dinner suites. It turned out to consist of egg-drop soup-a fine choice, if low on fiber- fried rice, plus four meat-based items, three of which were deep-fried. To use a phrase that was popular in my youth, totally grotee. The sweet-and-sour whatever (I think it was chicken) had two small pieces of pinkish tomato, about four small pieces of bell pepper, and about the same amount of pieces of pineaple. I grabbed all the veggie pieces off the dish. It was excessively expensive for what we got.

And I sorta wish I had thrown a tantrum and had asked for something that was vegetable based. When is it OK for me to require that I get what I need? I don't always know, and I often defer to others rather than standing firm for myself.

And Dr. Parts didn't set out to create an anti-Lori dinner. He didn't know that the meat was going to be deep-fried. He didn't know that these dishes were going to be devoid of vegetables. But neither of us asked.

I meant to go home and do 20-30 minutes of exercise. But I didn't. My stomach didn't feel so good.

This morning my blood sugar was 93.

Another day. Another chance to make good choices.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Newsflash: not all vegetarians hate meat.

When I tell somebody that I'm a vegetarian, or that I eat like a vegan, or whatever phrase I'm willing to say out loud on that particular day, one common response is this: "Oh, I could never be a vegetarian. I like eating meat too much."

Well, duh. I like eating meat. Why do you assume that I dislike the taste of meat?

I also gave up (mostly) eating chocolate cake for dinner after my diagnosis as a diabetic. Do you think I dislike eating chocolate cake? Noooooo, I very much enjoy eating chocolate cake. And I very much enjoy eating meat. Especially a nice rare steak with my favorite A-1 steak sauce. That's still a great meal, although I should only eat it on a high feast day, such as Christmas.

(And when I say 'gave it up', I don't mean that strictly speaking. I am more of a lapsed vegetarian. But, at the moment, I get to blame that on my husband. He's so helpful. I'm hoping to be a stricter vegetarian/vegan in the future. I believe he's planning on grilling sausages for our dinner tonight. Oh joy. Grease, plus salt. Well, we ate broccoli and rice for dinner last night. Perhaps it will all balance out.)

I don't skip meat because I dislike its taste in my mouth. I'll skip it because I dislike its effect on my health. I'll choose something else because meat contributes few nutritional components that I can't get elsewhere. It has no fiber. It has no phytochemicals. It may contribute to the development of cancer in those who eat it. It carries lots of fat and cholesterol. And yes, even white breast chicken without skin has fat and cholesterol.

Cholesterol, something your body makes anyway. Why eat any cholesterol? Did you know that almost all animal foods contain cholesterol? And that few, if any, non-animal foods contain cholesterol? (So, when that rice & carrot side dish touts itself as 100% cholesterol free, don't think that's anything to turn cartwheels over.)

And protein? There is protein in almost everything you eat. Americans get an excessive amount of protein in their daily diet, IMHO. Diabetics have some specific risks associated with eating too much protein daily: kidney disease. When you eat all that protein, which your body cannot use that day, and cannot store, you ask your kidneys to remove it and excrete it. If you are eating enough calories, even from non-animal sources, dietary diseases from lack of dietary protein are unknown to medical science. (That's according to Dr. McDougall. He talks about it extensively in his books. Also the recent PCRM study discusses some of these issues.)

You don't even have to combine protein sources-that's a myth that arose in the 1970s. Your body will put them together for you.

Did you know that many nutritionists believe that excessive protein intake may contribute to osteoporosis and osteopenia? Your body has to remove that excess protein (in the kidneys) and uses calcium for that chemical process. But all this is explained at other sites talking about the nutritional advantages of vegetarian & vegan diets. And you can go research it for yourself. Decide for yourself what is best. (But I believe this is best.)

Now, I've been hanging out with the veg*ns for a long time.

Okay, now I feel the need to explain that word "veg*ns". That asterisks stands for missing letters, so "veg*ns" stands for "vegetarians" and "vegans". Vegetarians may still eat eggs, cheese, dairy and honey-animal foods that do not require the animal itself to die for you to eat the product. Vegans do not eat any animal source food, which includes eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. An older term for this way of eating is "strict vegetarian". It means you have to read labels: whey is in many many things and it's an animal product. They often extend the vegan philosophy to other areas of their lives, and, thus, will avoid animal products in other contexts: shampoos, make-ups, paint, clothing, wool, silk, leather, shoes, etc.

As I was saying, I've been hanging out with the veg*ns for a long time. And I am aware that many do seem to have unusual food phobias. I remember a discussion at VegSource years ago where some were discussing a particular new meat substitute, specifically an imitation chicken meat product. I forget if it was chicken nugget style or something else. People were asking whether it was any good, should I try it, that sort of thing. One person posted that she had tried the product, but could not finish eating it, because the texture was too close to the real thing for her. I thought that was pretty odd, and IMHO, an example of a food phobia. But, it was real for her and that's OK.

And I still buy the A-1 steak sauce. But I prefer eating it on a baked potato. It's two thirds of the old meal, and I still find it very satisfying. Old meal: steak, A-1, baked potato, butter, and sour cream. New meal: 2 baked potatoes and A-1. Okay, so it's about half of the old meal. It's still pretty good. And the fat content is greatly reduced.

One's taste-buds do adjust. Change is possible. Skipping meat does not mean losing out, especially if one approaches this dietary change as a creative challenge.

You can eat more healthfully today than you did last week. You might even like it!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Eating on Faith

I've thought a lot about eating and dietary habits, and for some reason, that subject keeps getting mixed up on my head with thoughts on faith and religion.

A little background here: I was raised in a conservative Christian household. I am still a Christian. I attend church regularly. I believe in God. I much prefer the term 'faith' to 'religion' or 'religious'. I am not religious, although I won't slug you if you call me that. I have a relationship with God. I am a Christian. My faith is important to me.

Now, my faith is a quiet faith. That is to say, I don't generally feel the need to inquire of my new friends whether they know whether they're going to heaven when they die, nor do I attempt to convert them once I do know their faith. Being of my own same faith is not a requirement to be my friend. I am a sinner, and it doesn't bother me to hang around with other sinners. Not that I inform them of their sin. That's God's job. My job is to show God's love. Others may show His judgement, if that is what they believe they should do. I don't talk about my faith in either of my blogs, much.

But having the background that I do, I am acutely aware of issues of legalism, and of the intersection between actions (works, if you will) and long-term hopes (salvation). And I see a lot of the same dynamics that humans bring to areas of faith brought to bear in the areas of eating.

For instance, I believe that some vegans are among the most legalistic humans on the planet. For many of them, this legalism makes them rather unpleasant to hang out with. Again, though, this is a normal thing, a station on the road that humans follow, a common error of thinking.

I don't know if this post is coming together the way I'd like it to, if I'm drawing the lines between the concepts as they exist in my mind, so let me see if I can make the point.

For diabetics, we eat the way we eat in order to have the best outcome in health. We each must choose our own dietary plan/plan of salvation, if you will (I'm going to offend all my church friends here, I know), and choose to follow the plan bite by bite, meal by meal. We follow our dietary plan with the hopes of 1) long life, 2) avoiding long-term disabilities or complications, and 3) short-term blood glucose control. There can also be other goals, such as 'feeling better' that are harder to quantify, but I think most diabetics would agree with those three main goals.

Aside from the short-term blood glucose control, one's progress towards long life and avoiding complications is tough to see. (And my dietary guru doesn't even believe in the level of short-term blood glucose control that most diabetes experts, including my physician, do. His advice, from his older books, says "Follow my diet, lose weight, and don't worry about high blood sugars, even up to 300, as they're not nearly as dangerous as lows are." In other words, follow the dietary plan, and salvation will be yours. I still test. I'm not freaked out by highs, but I'm still aiming at getting lower numbers. And I do take oral hypoglycemic agents, which he would prefer that I not do.)

But whatever dietary plan you choose, whether it be one of glycemic index, or moderate fat vegan or vegetarian diet, or standard ADA carb counting or even the older exchange style diets, you must choose to follow your plan at each moment that you eat. Choosing the brown rice and veggies as opposed to the chicken-fried steak with fries is an act of faith. When you choose the foods that are on your plan, you are hoping for long life. You are choosing to delay or avoid complications and disabilities, by choosing this meal. Salvation by knife and fork. Our lady of the smaller portions.

So here is my urging for the day: be faithful. Choose a plan and follow it. Choose a dietary plan, that, according to all that you know, will support your life in a positive and healthful manner.

And no, a perfect eating plan and a perfect eating habit will not make for an easy diabetic life. One hopes that it will make for an easier diabetic life, but crises will still occur. Unexpected events happen.

But, set a course and follow it. Eat good things today.

And, please, forgive yourself if you don't. You'll have another chance to eat well and follow your plan in a few hours.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Type vs. Type

I was at a church function some years back, when I was a still a desperate thirty-something single, and a well-meaning person introduced me to a single man. I fluttered. I smiled. The introducer mentioned that we had diabetes in common.

Single man smiled back and asked, “Are you a real diabetic?”

I wasn’t sure what to think. What an odd question. I answered, “Yes, I’ve been officially diagnosed with diabetes.”

I think now that this was his code for “Are you a type 1 diabetic like me?” But, I have to say, I don’t much care for the implication that Type 1s have real diabetes and Type 2s have some shoddy imitation. I’m working on my impersonations, daily, and they seem pretty real to me. If I’ve got a knock-off, it looks like the real thing. Needless to say, there were few additional conversations between him and me.

Now, I know that this schism between types is in part 1) an accident of naming and 2) caused by the historical development of medicine and human knowledge. If this were not such an ancient disease, or if the two diseases, caused by very different mechanisms, did not have such similar symptoms, the two diseases would have very different names. Like Castor and Pollux. Sampson and Delilah. Bubble and Squeak.

If there were more distinct names, the two types of us would not be all thrown in together in the same bucket. We’d have different national organizations. We’d not be competing for the same funding dollars.

And I know how traumatic Type 1 is. It has much more immediate life-threatening potential. Its discovery is often at a crisis point. Type 1s get hospitalized at diagnosis. Type 2s just walk out of the doctor’s office with a stunned look on their faces. Type 1 and its insulin requirements alter the entire family dynamic, especially if child is very young at diagnosis.

Type 1s are victims of an autoimmune or allergic reaction. It’s totally beyond their control. Type 2s are, according to stereotype, lazy fat old people. They just need to eat less and move more. Type 1s wear medical id tags. Type 2s smile shyly and say they have “a touch of sugar”. Type 2s can ignore their disease for years. Type 1s cannot ignore it for long, not without losing consciousness, and maybe even their lives.

And there is great hope for Type 1s, that there may be a cure for those who already have it, and perhaps soon an immunization to prevent its occurrence. May this generation of Type 1s be the last generation of Type 1s.

But both diseases are capable of killing us. They are also capable of maiming us. We must fight diabetes, whichever type, and seek as healthful a life as we are capable of living.

So, good news for Type 2s. I say, rise up, embrace your inner diabetic. We must become empowered diabetics! Type 2s deserve plenty of attention for our disease. Here are my points (finally):

1) There are many, many more of us Type 2s than there are of you Type 1s. With good military planning, we can take them.

2) For the most part, we Type 2s are older than those Type 1s are. What’s the saying I’m reaching for? Something about old age and treachery overcoming…. I’ll think of it in a minute I’m sure.

3) A Type 2 can become a Type 1, but the opposite is rarely true. We can infiltrate their ranks, learn their secrets.

4a) I think that the numbers are on our side. That is to say, the rate of Type 2 diabetes is explosive. I haven’t heard of a similar increase in the occurrence of Type 1s (thanks be to god).

4b) More and more young pups are being diagnosed with Type 2 rather than (or in addition to) Type 1. We’re edging into their demographic.

Type 2 diabetics, arise! We are everywhere.

Thursday Notes

AM BG was 76 this morning. It's been in the 70s and low 80s this whole week. This is very low for me. I keep wondering if I should call the doc and ask her if its time to adjust the oral meds. I'm still on, IMHO, a lot of metformin, 1000 in am and 1000 at night, plus actos. She wasn't eager to discuss changing the diabetes meds last time we talked.

Of course, I was teary from foot pain and begging for a pain medication prescription, so I guess I wasn't eager to discuss it either.

The foot pain continues at a dull roar. I have taken to wearing Teva sandals in the shower for the padding. I try to take less than 20 steps per day in bare feet. It hurts.

My husband is silent, but seems stymied at my abandonment of the admittedly minimal housekeeping routine. I don't feel like I can stand and work in the kitchen for 30-60 minutes each night, plus do laundry and clean cat boxes, never mind vacuuming or dusting.

I haven't done anything this week to reconstruct some sort of exercise routine. I ought to be able to do a callanetics tape, some pilates or yoga tapes, or some strength-building calisthenics (sit-ups, curls, etc), without irritating my feet. We've located a convenient water aerobics program, but have not yet attended.

I haven't been sleeping very well this week. Perhaps that's why I feel edgy and irritable.

My morning readings have been nice and low, but, when I tested after lunch this week, I had a reading of 204. Higher than I'd like. I went home early yesterday from work, feeling like I was a little feverish, but it passed in a few hours.

Well, even with the best of plans, sometimes things go awry. Life is like this. And life goes on. I am still a very lucky and blessed woman.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Diabetic Clan

My dad came over last night to pick up his cat and his plants who stayed with us for five weeks while he and his beloved were in Europe and then at a conference. I told Dad about the blog, so he'll be reading it here any minute.

As I said to him, "Since it's a blog about diabetes, I'm going to be writing about my family. A lot."

Dad tries to be very encouraging to me. He's particularly encouraging of anything to do with me writing on a regular basis. So blogging counts.

I'm sure you'll see him post a comment. I'd betcha anything he'll comment. He won't be able to resist. Go ahead, Dad. You can post the comment.

My dad's family is not "as diabetic" as my mom's is, in my mind, mostly because Mom's side outnumbers them greatly and Mom's side organizes reunions where people have a chance to talk about this. Also, perhaps, because women tend to discuss health, but men tend to shy away from health as an appropriate discussion topic.

Dad is the 2nd of three siblings. His younger sister, was, I think the first to get her diagnosis of diabetes, but maybe Pesky was first.

Their father, my grandfather, was diagnosed with diabetes a few years before his death, but at the time of his death, I think that he wasn't on any anti-diabetes meds. He died in his sleep, probably, IMHO, of a heart attack, stroke or sleep apnea, in 1984. This was before every man I know got a CPAP machine. (They all have them; they just don't talk about them.) He once told me that he didn't have diabetes anymore, so I believe that he lost weight and stopped putting honey on everything he ate. For him, that slight improvement in his health, and the higher diagnosis criteria of that era meant that he could say "I don't have diabetes anymore."

My grandmother, despite being overweight for most of her later years, was never diagnosed with diabetes. She had arthritis, lupus, and some sort of dementia. Later she had some additional diagnoses (leukemia?). She died earlier this year, 2006. Due to the dementia, she hadn't really been herself for some years. Her maiden name was O'Mara, so we all claim to be Irish, even though it's been thoroughly diluted.

I think blogging is perfectly suited to the Irish. You can tell your story and be witty and clever and the center of attention. No one interrupts you when you blog. They can add comments, even insults, but they can't really contradict you or shout you down.

The funeral was enjoyable for the chance to see all of my second cousins, although there was limited conversation. (Is it sick to say 'enjoyable' with regards to the funeral? Grandma was so sick for so long, and, due to the dementia, she wasn't the laughing, singing, cooking grandma I remember, not for many years.)

It was nice to see my Dad with his siblings all together. There was some diabetes discussion. There was also a bowl full of M & Ms out on the table "in honor of Mom".

Yes, I ate some, too. Yes, we had stopped at a coffehouse before we got there and I had already eaten a piece of cake. Stress eating. Comfort eating. You've heard of it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Uncle Pesky

I really must get Uncle Pesky to start a blog. This man is my Dad's older brother. Dad is a "dyed-in-the-wool" liberal, according to Pesky. Pesky is a "set-in-his-ways" conservative, according to my Dad. (Well, actually that's not true. If they're in conflict, my Dad doesn't want to say anything bad about his brother, so he doesn't say much at all.)

Pesky grew up in Seattle, although he spent some formative years on a grandparents farm in Missouri. In his young adulthood, he moved to Alaska. He worked and hunted and fished there, married wife #2 there, raised kids, mentored younger workers, etc. Pesky looks like a guy who could get you safely through a week or a month in the wilderness. He's the standard apple shaped diabetic and could, like the rest of us, lose some weight.

I'm not sure if he got his diagnosis as a diabetic while he was in Alaska or later, after he moved to Louisiana. Wife #2 is a kind-hearted woman with enough strength and backbone to put up with Pesky for years-I cannot tell you how much I admire her and yet find her choosing of and staying with somewhat perplexing. Auntie Perplexing has children and now grandchildren in the south. They've since moved to a different southern state. What I do know is that they were not in Louisiana during the time Hurrican Katrina hit.

Pesky is a a fellow who loves to argue and discuss. He'll express an opinion just to get the conversation started. I think that one could probably annoy him to no end simply by agreeing with everything he said and not giving him any toeholds to expand on his thoughts. He believes that every household should own guns. I think he may think that the only problem with President Bush is that the [deleted] democrats have not permitted him to implement each and every idea that has ever flitted through his head (or the heads of his advisors, perhaps). I think he's of the opinion that we should invest more public funds in prisons than in schools. I know he admires the arizona sheriff who has made prisons a much more prison-like experience. He didn't move to the south because he was a redneck, but living among rednecks did not daunt him.

When I was dating my husband, who I refer to as Dr. Parts, I mentioned to Pesky that Dr. Parts had a great big Dodge truck (heavy three-quarter-ton Ram diesel). Pesky asked if he had something that he towed with the truck, because he thought it was pretty dumb to have a big truck like that if you didn't have something big to tow with it. Dr. Parts did, but since his marriage, he's gotten rid of it. He's started mentioning boats a lot, though.

Pesky has a diagnosis of macular degeneration. Since he got that diagnosis, he has driven across the country at least four times that I know of. I know, it's a progressive thing and he probably was OK to drive when he did it. He also has heart trouble. He once wrote me that he was out for a walk and had to crawl to the porch of a neighbor's house to get assistance to get home. I'm not sure about the state of his kidneys. There are things you don't tell your niece.

He also has a tiny cute little dog, probably a silky terrier, who he loves to distraction. I love this glaring tenderness in this otherwise gruff and rough man.

Pesky can tell a joke or a story and keep you entertained for hours. He has thought about writing, and he is a talented writer, but, to the best of my knowlege has never published anything. He loves to tell stories about hunting, about being in the bush in Alaska, about encounters with bears and with people at work-sometimes those are the same stories. He has stories about serving in the military; I think he was an MP and I know he served in Korea. His dad, my grandfather, was a good storyteller, too.

On my other blog, I wrote a post, talking about my husband and me doing some target practice in the wilderness. I sent it off to Uncle Pesky, saying , you should read this in my blog today, you'd be proud of me. He wrote back, saying, what's a blog?

Come on, Pesky, blogs were made for guys like you!

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, my thought process went like this: this disease represents a radical threat to my lifestyle. I am willing to radically change my lifestyle to counteract this threat. I think that, for me, the adoption of a low-fat vegan diet is the best dietary response to diabetes.

Uncle Pesky has kinda taken this as a personal challenge. I wonder if he thinks that by eating like a vegan that I've joined the anti-hunting lobby, the radical environmentalists, the nutty animal activists who, he thinks, want to take away his guns. Not so, although I do see less and less value in killing animals just for human pleasure. And I still use animal products-leather, silk, wool. I don't think we can save the planet simply by eating vegan style. We're still doomed.

He's trapped, perhaps, by his addiction to the pleasure he associates with eating. He believes that no other pleasure can replace the pleasure he gets from eating bacon, country gravy, steaks, fried chicken, and desserts. And since he doesn't see a lot of other vices in his life, he doesn't see a clear need to give up the one he treasures. Even though, IMHO, it's contributing to his disease.

Not that I'm an always vegetarian. I am often a lapsed vegetarian. I wish that I always chose excellent and health-supporting foods. I don't. I don't believe that eating dead animal flesh is sinful; I do believe that eating dead animal flesh is self-destructive and not healthy. And I mean that it's not healthy for you and me, the humans, the eaters.

So many of us diabetics talk about what we'll eat when there's a cure, the foods we miss, as if we're stranded in a lifeboat or behind prison fences. Those foods are what got us here in the first place. Why eat them again? It's like Hansel and Gretel going back to the witches house to nibble some more. Didn't we learn anything the first time around? I guess not.

But I think if Pesky blogged, you might get a hint of a life that has been changed by diabetes and by the health challenges he faces. The many visits to the doctors, the juggling of medications, the struggle to continue to live the way he wants to live, when his body keeps saying no. You'd also hear a lot of really cool stories.

Don't get me wrong. I know that he has changed his eating habits and is doing better at his eating choices than he once was. I know that he's made progress. And I admire him for doing that.

He and my dad love to remind us that no male relative on that side of the family has lived beyond his sixties. Pesky & Dad are both in their middle sixties now. Don't give up, guys! Just because that's what happened to the others, doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to happen to you.

I hope he lives a good many years. Because he has so many stories to tell. And I love hearing his stories. And I love him.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Why so many type 1 bloggers? Why so few type 2 bloggers?

I was wandering around the web, trying to build links in this fledgling blog, and I find there are many many type 1s who are blogging, from children & teens with type 1, to parents of type 1, to adult survivors with type 1.

And yet, there are only, from what I find, about five or so type 2 bloggers, blogging about adult-onset or NIDDM, or as I like to call it, pudgy diabetes.

Gosh sakes, where all all you folks? There are roughly 15-17 million of us in the USA. One would think of these 15 million, there would be more than five who blog. With the Canadians & British, it should be even higher. (Canadians make great blogs, btw.)

Is it shame? Are we ashamed to talk about this disease? Geeze, it's not like its an STD.

Are we ashamed to talk about the difference between what we should eat/how we should exercise and what we do eat/how we do exercise? Every area of life has an hypocrisy factor. It's hard to be a human without being a hypocrite.

Are we ashamed because we believe that getting pudgy diabetes is a self-inflicted disease? Do we think that people don't care, because we wouldn't be this sick had we not been couchpotatoes eating bon-bons and pork rinds by the caseload all our lives? (Do we think this about ourselves, or do others think this about us?)

Are the bloggers missing because we're all depressed and overly focused on self-management? I doubt that.

What is going on?

It could be strictly a generational thing, that a 15-year-old is far more likely to blog than is a 55-year-old. But why not? I find 55-year-olds to be interesting, articulate, wise people with great things to say.

So, I'm on a campaign to recruit more Type 2 Bloggers. We need to talk about this disease and about our experiences with it. Get off the discussion boards and blog! Blog now! Blog often!

So many topics, what to say?

Monday AM BG = 74
Sunday eating = bad!
AM banana pancakes for breakfast, with Diet Pepsi. This was at a restaurant, and I did not finish the portion they served me.
Mid-afternoon - big garden salad with blue cheese dressing
Snack - Peanut M & Ms, movie size (probably 6-8 ounces)
(After that, I didn't eat dinner. I wasn't really hungry, and the candy so exceeded my calorie intake plan.)

I could talk about my family and diabetes. I could talk about my foot pain. I could talk at length about the controversy about which diabetes is more important and requires more focus from the community at large. I could talk about my feelings about a cure and correct eating. I could talk more about vegetarian eating. I think I'll just postpone more posting until later.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Current Issues

Summer 2006. My current HbA1c is 5.9. Not bad.

I'm on Metformin 1000 units (I forget whether it's milligrams or micrograms) both morning & evening for 2000 units per day total. Actos 15 units in the morning. Hyzaar for high blood pressure once a day. I was hoping that my MD would reduce or remove some of these meds at our July appointment, but no.

I've been dealing with foot pain, finally diagnosed earlier this year as sesamoiditis, off-and-on for about 3 years. Right now my foot pain is close to unbearable. I take Aleve/Naproxen Sodium at the maxium allowable levels as printed on the OTC label. I also have some stronger stuff for overnights, but I try not to use that every night. My little sesamoid bones, which should look like garden peas, look like crunchy gravel. Podiatrist guesses that they were broken in the past and have healed with these irregular edges that irritate the soft tissues around them. Podiatrist does not believe that my foot pain issues are caused by diabetic neuropathy. And I pray that he is right.

I also have periodontitis, a not uncommon issue in diabetics. I visit the dentist for cleanings four times per year, not just twice like the rest of you.

I've lost about 15 pounds this year. I'm currently at 170 lbs. My goal for 2006 is to get to 160 lbs. The weight charts for my height say that I should be at 125-155 lbs. But, for diabetics, any weight loss leads to better blood glucose control. And I've seen that.

How did I lose the weight? Mostly, I gave up greasy cheesy breakfast burritos. Funny, how skipping 2 cups worth of fried potatoes, bacon, sausage, eggs and cheese five to seven times per week can help the weight just drift away. I feel pretty good about my weight loss. But it hasn't made me look like a supermodel or like I was 25 rather than 41.

The foot issue is a big one in terms of exercise. I used to consider myself to be A Walker. I would happily park at the end of the parking lot and take a few extra steps. I used to do scottish highland dancing. I've walked the Portland Marathon. Twice. I used to regularly walk one to two miles across the Willamette River as part of my daily commute to downtown Portland. But now, I wonder if I have enough steps in me to enjoy the concert we're attending at the zoo this weekend. Some days, when I'm preparing dinner, I have to do some of the tasks from a seated position. That's a big change for me. I'm looking into water aerobics, as Dr. Parts, my dear husband, is willing to do that, too.

New Diabetes Blogger

Here's the basics. I'm a white 41 year old female diabetic, living in Portland Oregon. I've been a diabetic for about 8 years.

I do come from a diabetic clan. Three out of four grandparents are or were diabetics before their deaths. Only one aunt/uncle was not a diabetic at the time of her death (she was in her 40s and got lung cancer). Both of my parents are diabetics, although they each were the last of their sibling sets to get their diagnosis. My maternal grandmother is the one who has had her diagnosis the longest. I'll probably post about her at length in the future.

I was fully expecting to get my diagnosis as a diabetic sometime within my lifetime. I was not expecting to get it in my 30s. I even got my diagnosis before either of my parents got theirs. These diabetes gods, they're funny. So funny.

Standard protests: I wasn't as fat as others. Probably the most I ever weighed was around 200 lbs. I'm about five foot six inches tall. Only two years prior to my diagnosis, I had trained and walked a big northwest relay race and the Portland Marathon, so, in my own opinion, I wasn't that sedentary, either.

I realized that I needed to get my own diabetes blog because I keep ranting at Vegsource (I post at two boards there, the diabetes board and the McDougall board) and I keep ranting at my husband. It's not too good to rant in those particular settings. I'll probably post at length about eating choices and veganism/vegetarianism.

Please note: I do consider myself a relatively normal person, which means that for either the omnivore community or the veg*n community, I'm not nearly hard-line enough. I often attempt to eat like a vegan, but I often still consume animal products, including dead animal flesh. I would not be considered an animal rights activist by any definition that I've seen. Please don't hassle or flame me here. I will attempt to explain. I am aware of the hypocrisy and inconsistency issues. I have embraced them.

Each traveler's path is her own. And each of us is free to travel, more or less. Take what you want and leave the rest.

So, for today: AM fasting BG reading: 90
Eating plan: B: overnight soaked oatmeal, ricemilk, dried apricots & cinnamon,
2 12 oz cans of Pepsi One (so far)