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...

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.


  • At 7:57 PM, Anonymous thudpucker said…

    If you live long enough, you will learn that the only way to quit a Dependency is "Cold Turkey"!

    My Dad quit that way, after smoking all his life. He started Rolling his own while in the Sixth grade.
    I've watched him do it one handed while driving machinery. That is experience and expertise!

    When I quit Smoking, I theorized that easing off allows the 'bad little kid' inside of our heads too many opportunities to make his case.

    The 1st working day of Jan, 1969, I threw the whole works in the waste paper basket and never looked back.
    I had nightmares and a terrible temper for awhile.

    I think I had only one great fight in my soul. Quitting smoking was IT!
    If I could only apply those same ideas and energies to quit eating!


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