Category Archives: Type 2 Diabetes

Whodathunk I would be too low carb?!

I clearly don’t know everything there is to know about diabetes.  I’m not sure, given that I physically can’t experience all types of the disease, that I ever will.

For World Diabetes Day, I had my A1c checked.  I learned a couple of valuable things from this.

  1. Checking your A1c at a pharmacy in between your normal three month test time, is the eqivalent of checking your weight multiple times in a week.  Okay, it’s not identical, but I was trying to think of an analogy that would work and this is the best I could come up with.
  2. A 6.5 A1c for some would be amazing!  It’s not for me (in Canada, the Canadian Diabetes Association has determined that 6.5 is the measurement of what makes you a diabetic.  It’s the number that I had and was, therefore, diagnosed at such.  It’s a number I truly resent.) and in fact, is a little (a lot) higher than my last A1c test.  Again, I shouldn’t grumble too loudly.  I know that there are others out there that would love to have that reading, so I’m trying to count my blessings that it’s actually not higher than that.
  3. Professionals don’t know everything.  It was a little awkward for me to educate the educator, that 6.5 is the lucky number for diagnosis in Canada.  Why am I telling someone who should already know this?

I had woken up yesterday feeling horribly under the weather.  By the afternoon, I thought it was the combination of not feeling 100% and my A1c test that had me feeling worse.

There’s hitting the wall and then there was what I was feeling:  any energy I still had was to keep running into the wall.

A dietician’s appointment this morning put things a little into perspective.  I eat too low carb.

Which brings me back to the point – I don’t know everything there is to know about my version of diabetes (or any at this juncture).

I think that this may be one of the hardest points of diabetes management for me to make sense of.  Food and I haven’t always had a healthy relationship and it appears we still don’t.  I’ve gone from being terrified of fat (please think of that as me referring to healthy fats) to terrified of fats and carbs.  And the reality is, now that I’m getting more active, I need that fuel to keep the tank running instead of running on fumes.

What I really need to do is get a handle on what makes a healthy carb, how to use carbs to my advantage, and still continue on with living a healthier lifestyle which includes an active lifestyle, exercise and weight loss.

So if you’ve read this far and have some quality resources, be they on the internet or books etc., I would be most interested to hear from you.  In particular, I’d be interested to hear from people who can remember just starting out with activity/training programs that include weight training, cardio, and in particular, training for a first 5k (no wogging this time!).


Why November is rapidly becoming a month I’m not lovin’ so much.

I have a problem with the month of April.  Really crappy things have happened in the month of April and now, whenever that month rolls around, I sort of wish we could skip over those thirty days and get on with May.

November is a bit of a rough month though too.  I was born in November and, seven and a half hours after I was born, my maternal grandfather died of lung cancer.  Exactly one week later, my paternal great-grandmother died.  I’ve grown up with the memories of others in regards to these two individuals and, I must confess, I always feel a little ripped off.

But for the most part, November is a wonderful month.  I love fall and the crisp, clean(er) air it brings.  I love the colour changing and wearing berets and, yes, I even love the cold, wet weather too.

This time though, I’m not loving November quite so much.

For those of us in the diabetic community, it’s Diabetes month, except that, for those living with the disease, every month is diabetes month and we’re all painfully aware of it.

Until this year, I had no idea there was World Diabetes Day (November 14th this year, in case you’d like to “celebrate” it).  I had no idea that there was a blue circle to “brand diabetes” and “give diabetes a common identity”.  Ignorance, as they say, was bliss.

But then I got diagnosed and the last four months have been anything but easy.  And I’ve been on the internet ever since learning about my diabetes and trying to understand the other diabetes out there.

“So what’s your type?”

Mine is the suck ass kind and after reading another (much admired) blog post on World Diabetes Day, I’m not sure I will ever want to answer that question again.

It shouldn’t matter what type you are. Diabetes, all around,  supremely sucks sweaty monkey balls.  No, I can’t relate to having my tubing getting caught on a door knob (I can only imagine!).  I don’t know what it’s like to have to take insulin on a regular basis for the rest of my life in order to survive, but I can learn about it and try to empathize and not be so obtuse to that type.

So imagine my surprise, as I was reading this blog post, that I started getting the general sense that I, along with anyone else who has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, that I somehow asked for it.  That I made a lifestyle choice to get diabetes.

I am going to stop for a moment and say that the rest of this post is born out of the anger and frustration of being a diabetic and knowing I am actively doing things to improve the quality of my life and, I hope, for others.

I did not sign up to become a diabetic.

Sure.  Maybe T2D is largely preventable.  It’s much more largely preventable if it’s actually talked about.  But in my case, I wasn’t ever told that I could be running the risk of getting diabetes.

I had no idea the constant stress I was under was making me a candidate for this shitty disease.  I had no idea that my poor sleeping habits weren’t helping the situation either.  I thought I was doing good – I don’t drink any alcohol, I don’t smoke (and I miss a good cigar!), I don’t do recreational drugs.  Hell, I don’t even go to McDonald’s!

Yes, I could have been a bit more active or not had that bag of crisps or whatever, but again, I did not sign up to become a diabetic.

I absolutely resent (many things actually) that my diabetes was a lifestyle choice.  I did not knowingly ever make a lifestyle choice to become diabetic. Never once did I have a medical professional or a pharmacist or anyone say to me, “Hey, you know… you’re getting older and you’re not as active as you once were.  Did you know all that stress and being less active and not eating as healthy as you should could lead you to a path of diabetes?”  It was never in the equation.

Would it have made a difference?  I don’t know.  I’d like to think that perhaps it would have, but I’m not sure.  I am not the same person I was this time, last year.

Maybe there is a huge bias in this year’s awareness campaign towards T2D.  I’m sorry for that.  I almost feel personally responsible because, and God knows, T2D’s are taking over the world one body at a time.

This is in no way meant to diminish the severity of Type 1.  Again, I can’t imagine what it’s like to have Type 1 and I’m not going to pretend to try.  I try to understand it better than some, I try to learn things from those that are afflicted with it and I want to be someone that helps in the battle to find a cure for it.

But I want to find a cure for Type 2 as well.

Maybe that is “diet and exercise” for the masses, but for fuck’s sake, someone start saying that out loud; louder than it’s been said before.  Because while T1D’s had absolutely no control over their disease, and while a percentage of T2D’s may have a predisposition, nobody sets out to become diabetic.

I get enough guilt thrown at me from my government and health care professionals.  I would hope the diabetic community wouldn’t start throwing guilt at T2D’s too.

(As an aside, I have found far more many blogs about T1D than T2D.  I wondered why that was but… I think I get it now.)


There’s nothing like a break to throw you totally off track.

it’s been a long while since I’ve posted last, and in that time much has happened.  Or not much if you’re relating to bigger, real world issues.  But still.

I have now been successfully, well for the most part anyway, living with diabetes for close to four months.  In that time I have had some firsts – my first cold.  My first bout with the flu (which is still ongoing).  My first A1c test.

I am stupidly proud to say that my A1c is at 5.6.  I am, by all accounts, “normal”.  I’m diabetic, but I’m “normal”.  Even my triglycerides are down.  So somewhere, somehow, I’m doing this “right”.  I would like to say though, that I am far from being a perfect diabetic (there is no such thing) and I am just as prone as the next person to crave things that are on the verboten list and I’ll still eat them anyway.

So in that respect, things are going well.

I’ve also had my “Diabetes for Dummies” class.  Finally.  I celebrated my three month diaversery with that class.  No one likes a know it all though, so much of what was learned were things that I had read on the internet or through many discussions with some fantastic people on WordPress so I kept mostly to myself.  I did, however, learn that a 250ml serving of chocolate milk counts as two carb servings.  A bit of a letdown?  Totally.

Another first:  after much fighting for an appointment with a dietician, I have finally seen one!  She was well impressed that I had gone from cream to skim milk in my coffee, that red meat wasn’t present at every meal (it wasn’t before I was diagnosed either, but I reckon cutting back has helped with cholesterol and some weight issues) and that I actually was open to exploring a more plant based diet.

Which makes me somewhat sad to have forgotten it’s meatless Monday and I’ve had chicken for lunch.

As of today, I’ve lost a total of 25.4 pounds.  I’m well please with the slow, but generally steady progress in this.  I will also admit there’s a fair bit of vanity involved in that statement.  🙂

Today marks day 17 of a cough/sniffles that simply does not want to go away.  It started with a dry cough, went to full blown flu with laryngitis in less than 24 hours, and now I am left with a nasty cough that, when the mood strikes, makes me sound like an angry seal.  It probably didn’t help that, during the week I was off work, I spent my days napping and eating rubbish and totally ignored things like my supplements.

Which brings me to yesterday’s first.

I participated in my first real 5K race.  I wogged.  Well I mostly walked (I’m not going to lie!), but I did actually jog my way to almost half a kilometer.  Doesn’t sound like much, huh?  But I am amazingly proud of myself!  First of all, I am still sick.  I know others who have to be on their deathbeds before they’ll skip a race or a workout or whatever, but I’m not one of those people.  A hangnail is usually enough to stop me in my tracks.

I also didn’t have my race kit.  Lame excuse?  You betcha!  But since this was my first race, I didn’t know that they actually do have race kits near the corrals for runners/walkers/joggers to still pick up.  So even though I slept, at best, 6 hours, I only managed to get a hold of someone at the race office at 6:57 in the morning (“Get to the course!  Your start time is at 8:00!!!  There’s still time!!!”) and still had to have a shower and get in my “running” gear, I was out the door by 7:18 and en route to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.  On an empty stomach.  Without water.

Doh!

So I was over dressed (a heavy hoodie and a running jacket and yoga pants does not make for a cool run), sick, hungry, hadn’t trained, but I still did it.  And I did it in 52:09.  No, not a blazing speed… but can you imagine how much better I’ll be if I’m not sick and I actually train?!

This may have been my first but it absolutely won’t be my last.

So the moral of the story is… it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, continue to have “firsts”.  More importantly, find something that you’ll love to do and just do it.  Never, ever let diabetes be something that rules your life, you rule it.

My backwards medal!

My backwards medal!


Get to know your disease

Perhaps it’s because it’s still early days for me, or perhaps it’s because I don’t feel I have enough to do already, but I thought I’d share something with all of you.

If you haven’t heard of Coursera, it is this fantastic resource for post secondary education from some of the world’s top universities (see? Told you I was a bit of a nerd). Coming up October 28th, a five week course on Diabetes: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Opportunities.  This is being presented by the University of California San Francisco.

Whether you’re a veteran to being diabetic (both Type 1 and 2 are discussed over the course of five weeks), a newbie, such as myself, or you care about someone who has been diagnosed with the “D”, this may prove to be of interest.  And since it’s free, why not take a look?

Or if that’s too heavy of a subject, The University of Rochester is bringing back its course on the History of Rock, Part 1 starting September 2nd!  🙂


Sometimes, you’re just too tired to come up with a clever post title.

The last week and a half has been something of a holding pattern for me.

Through it, I’ve been reading other people’s blogs, making the odd comment here and there and generally have been feeling sorry for myself.

But today, something happened.  I can’t say it changed the roller coaster of emotions I’ve been feeling, but it put things to perspective, at least for the moment.

The last few days have been spent dealing with a horrific bout of lethargy and exhaustion.  I think it can be attributed to my not having done much walking lately, plus I’ve been feeling a wee bit under the weather.  I also think it’s because of this oh woe is me thing that I’ve been wallowing in.  So along with the lethargy and being totally zapped of any energy, I’m forgetting everything.  Monday, it was forgetting to leave out a back up laptop for a co-worker.  Tuesday I couldn’t remember to get half of the tasks I needed to get done a work completed.  Today though… I forgot supplements and my glucometer at home.  Doh!

I knew full well that I wasn’t getting enough food into my system.  I could sense my BS dipping.  I had that horrible light-headed feeling that comes right before the room starts to spin and the floor sways under your feet and that’s when it hit me.  All of those blogs that I read, ones that focus on a life diabetic and are predominantly Type 1, that talk about the struggles with maintaining that balance, getting that perfect reading, counting carbs and the like.  The ones that women are trying so hard to get their BG and A1c levels to a “normal” level so they can try and make perfect little babies.  Those folks?  They can’t forget their glucometers at home.  I realised that, even though I have this amazingly captacular disease, there are those that have it worse than me.

My struggles are in coming to terms with my having the ‘betes.  Others struggle with not just coming to terms with it, but also with the desire to do things that normal people do – like have babies.

My petulance can sometimes shock even me, and today was one of those days.

So while there will still be moments of petulance, moments of self pity, I truly hope this is a turning point for me.  And while there are many people to thank, there is one in particular that I feel I need to acknowledge.

Sarah Wainwright writes a beautiful blog.  She’s Type 1 and she finds the positive even in the darkest situations.  Her faith sustains her and even though I will never meet her, her kinds words soothed a very ravaged soul this week.  Wise beyond her years, through Sarah’s writing, I know I will learn much.

So Sarah, if you read this, thank you.  I hope you know you have the power to change people for the good. 🙂


Onward and upwards.

This has been a weird, difficult week for me.

It’s funny to think that, this time last week, I was in the midst of a long weekend, I was getting laundry together, doing grocery shopping, getting clothing and such together to donate.  I felt good.

Tuesday I said good bye to my little fur ball and that has had my heart repeatedly breaking.

Wednesday, a well meaning friend came over with sugar free ice cream and an attempt to distract me from my broken heart.  Problem is, my well meaning friend is a doctor (I’ll call her Dr. M) and her idea of distraction was to go on and on and on about how I am diabetic.  It was like being diagnosed all over again.  “You can’t be angry about this.”  “You need to get over this.”  “It’s just like, I know I can’t eat item X because I will put on weight.”

I may not have been diabetic for long, but gees, not eating a chocolate bar because it will make you fat is not the same thing as having diabetes.  Knowing that there are foods (bananas are one for me) that you shouldn’t eat because it sends your blood sugar doing stupid things – well it’s harder still because it’s not like a banana is junk food.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever shown Dr. M this post, but I need to articulate how she made me feel on Wednesday.

I had my friend walk in the door to offer support, but I had a doctor take over the day.

My feelings of anger and frustration, feelings of shame and fear, feelings of deprivation, were completed discredited.  My feelings were dismissed.  I was told that, while my BG readings were within the “normal” range, “People without diabetes don’t ever have readings like (mine).” Apparently the medical profession has tested the blood glucose of everyone in the world and us diabetics?  Well the range that associations like American Diabetes or Canadian Diabetes have are just to make us feel better?  Because, were I normal, my two hour post meal BG wouldn’t be that high. It’s really comforting to know that I’m not normal.

I am struggling with the emotions and I’m struggling to understand what’s going on in my body and how I can be the one in control, and not be controlled.  I’m struggling with the title diabetic  and the whole diabetic diet.

I’m feeling really lost right now, a little betrayed.  It’s bad enough my body is doing stupid stuff and depression is hanging around like an unwanted STD, but to have my friend dismissing my feelings on top of it?

I don’t recommend being angry always, but I do believe it is part of a normal grieving process, one of which, I was unaware, there is a time limit on.


The good, the bad, and the ugly.

One thing I love about Monday mornings is when they are part of a long weekend.  Today is one of those Mondays.

I woke up to one of my cats pawing at my nose (lately I seem to be wrapping myself up in my duvet as if I were a burrito) wanting me to feed her.  The day, apart from the duty of feeding my cats, was mine to do as I please.

Walking into my kitchen, there are dirty dishes everywhere, the floor needs to be mopped, the cats bowls haven’t been washed out and I’m dealing with another cat that is suffering from an ailment that will not go away.

I sigh.  The day I have no plans for, is quickly slipping from my grasp.

After feeding the cats, I opted for 45 minutes of meditation.  It didn’t quite clear my head of all the clutter, nor did it centre me completely, but it did put into clarity that there is unbalance in my home.

I am not overly fond of cooking.  I like the clean up even less.  Learning how to be creative with food because of the ‘betes is a challenge.  If I was only cooking for me, then I’d learn to suck it up and deal with the pile of dirty dishes etc., but I cook for two, and knowing that my husband is a picky eater with his own current issues, well part of me just wants to go on strike.

But the dishes will still be dirty.  Food will still not be prepared.  The floor still not mopped.

So right now I will drink my coffee, I will settle my unhappy spirit, and will buckle down to get what needs to be done today, done.  I will also pray that the dh’s eyes will be opened to the unbalance that is taking place in our home and that he’ll start lending that helping hand that he used to.

Until then, just call me Super Woman.  🙂

Battered and bruised, I always come out on top.

Battered and bruised, I always come out on top.


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