by Jim Martinez
Every morning I wake up knowing that I am a diabetic and that I have to check my blood sugar just to see if I am going to have a good day. It was not always this way. I enjoy food and my family loves my cooking and so do I.
Diabetes runs in my family but I thought that some how I was overlooked. Well my world of security came shattering down, when I was diagnosed with diabetes on my 50th birthday.
When I think back to the months before my diagnoses, I felt tired all the time. I was never one for drinking a lot of water but I was drinking it like it was going out of style. I didn't worry too much about it because I wasn't losing weight which was also one of the symptoms of diabetes.
What worried me was the 10 hour shift I was suppose to work each day at a surgery center. I would drag myself to work and then drag myself home. I can still remember the day I came home from work and couldn't get myself out of the car because I was so exhausted. I even felt like honking the horn so my husband could come out and carry me inside the house. I am a registered nurse and I still ignored all those symptoms because I did not want to believe I had diabetes.
I decided to check my blood sugar with a glucometer a few days later and what I saw on that monitor scared me. My blood sugar was 285 (normal 70-120) it was a wonder that I was still walking around.
I also checked my urine and it also showed a lot of sugar. I was always in the bathroom and I thought it was because of all the water I was drinking.
I went directly to my primary care doctor and was very quickly assessed and diagnosed with diabetes after a few simple lab tests. I walked out of the doctor's office with a prescription for a oral medication to be taken by mouth three times a day with meals and a machine called a glucometer which I used several times a day with a small amount of blood to check the level of my blood sugar.
Just the thought of turning my body into a pin cushion was not my idea of fun. Today, I still have a hard time poking myself! After all that, the doctor had the gall to tell me that if I lost weight, that would really help control the diabetes. They think losing weight is the number one cure for every disease known to man!
I was scheduled for a diabetic nutrition class and went to the class knowing that every food that I ever loved would be taken away from me. Let's say I went to this class with a chip on my shoulder and had no intention to listen to that thin instructor tell me I could no longer eat those comfort foods that I grew up with and had also taught my family to enjoy!
That first day in class just dragged because I didn't want to hear that the food I had enjoyed on a daily basis was lifting my blood sugars to a dangerous level not compatible with life. I think the words that really got my attention was "live longer."
You see, I have a four year old grandson, who is the apple of my eye and I sure want to see him grow up. I finished my class and was determined to conquer this disease that I had to live with for the rest of my life. It seems that I didn't have to give up my favorite foods but the portions were cut in half and lots of water became my friend.
Well good intentions lasted two years. I lost my oldest brother to stomach cancer. He was only 54 and my world was turned upside down. We were just getting to know each other again and I felt angry. Once again, I went to those comfort foods and I saw my blood sugars go sky high and my weight escalated as well.
I was starting to experience the effects of long term uncontrolled blood sugar. The bottom of my feet felt numb yet burned at night like fire. Falling asleep was almost impossible!
I was also experiencing blurry vision and felt dizzy all the time. I contacted my doctor and was put on insulin. I was depressed about having to poke myself all over in different places just to get my blood sugar back under control.
So here I was taking pills, using insulin, and feeling sorry for myself, and I was stuck in a situation I could not control. What was even worse was I had to teach diabetic patients of the importance of controlling their blood sugar and I was not practicing what I was teaching.
I was teaching a patient one day but the words were ringing loud and clear in my own ears. I admitted to the patient that I too was a diabetic and I had a hard time accepting lifestyle changes as well as changes in my eating habits. Every day was a struggle because I was fighting something that I let become greater than me.
I once again decided to tackle the dreaded dragon called diabetes. My sword would be my medications, knowledge, and the strength that came from my faith in god and family.
I admit I still struggle with my weight and exercise is not my cup of tea but I'm still working on that problem. I no longer feel guilty when I talk to my patients and now I share my story.
It is unbelievable how my patients open up and share their own personal struggles and victories. I can now teach them with the knowledge of a nurse and the compassion and empathy of a fellow diabetic.
I want to thank my family for helping me with my struggle with this disease. They have given me a reason for going on with life.
Here are some of the symptoms of diabetes.
1. Extreme thirst
2. Frequent urination
4. Weight loss
5. Blurry vision
6. Extreme hunger
These are only some of the symptoms. Not everyone experiences them at one time. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms call your doctor and let them know. So do not let Diabetes control you but rather you can learn to control it!
Jim Martinez is a National Sales Director with Ameriplan USA. Offering discount dental and health plans for individuals or households. Any age or prexisting conditions are accepted and plans start at only $11.95 per month. Be sure to visit the section on health articles for more quality information.
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