Ideas based on my personal experiences in learning how to manage type 2 diabetes. I stress that I am a diabetic, not a doctor nor a dietician. I have no medical qualifications beyond my own experience. Nothing written here is intended as medical advice, and any ideas you may decide to use should be discussed first with your doctor.
I do not control which ads are displayed by Google Ads nor do I endorse the products advertised. Ads claiming diabetes is curable or reversible should be ignored.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Occasionally I come across inspirational stories on forums. I like these stories because I am sure they help new people believe that the light at the end of the tunnel is not necessarily a train heading their way.
Tammy posted her story last month on the ADA forum. I received her permission to post it here. I hope it helps someone who has stumbled across this blog, newly diagnosed, scared and wondering what lies in their future.
I will never forget that morning. It was Tuesday, May 29th, 2013 and was
two days before my 42nd birthday. My doctor called to tell me I had
diabetes and I needed to see my endocrinologist right away. My A1C was 10.7 and
this could not wait. My heart was racing, and I really don't remember driving
home. I cried all the way home in a
complete state of panic.
My name is Tammy and I am a registered nurse, having spent most of my
career working in ICU. Two years ago I started working per diem, once I was
accepted into grad school. It is stressful! I am in my last year of the nurse
practitioner program and am so excited to be graduating next year!
At the end of last semester I started having
panic attacks with chest pain during finals and I was always tired -
always! That’s part of working and going back to school, right? Wrong!
After my finals were over, I went to the cardiologist - my exam was fine,
my EKG was fine. He wanted me to come back for an echocardiogram and sent me
for tons of blood work, including an A1C. I was diagnosed with PCOS when
I was about 20 yrs old, which is basically a hormonal imbalance (simplified),
which causes irregular periods and CAN predispose you to diabetes. I told my
doctor that my endocrinologist told me two years ago I was insulin resistant
and my fasting glucose was 114.
I was always afraid of getting diabetes but really never thought it
would happen. Diabetes doesn't run in my family. My parents are both healthy, I
exercised off and on, and although I loved carbs, I ate a lot of fruits and
vegetables and considered myself mostly healthy.
That same day I made an appointment with a nutritionist, a Certified
Diabetes Educator, and saw my endocrinologist. He started me on Metformin 500
mg two times a day and said, "You need to lose 20 or 30 pounds and then
you can come off the medication.” He gave me a prescription for another A1c to
repeat in eight weeks.
Nothing made any sense to me. The only
symptom other than the fatigue was a dry mouth. That’s it. I had such minor symptoms that it could have been
The nutritionist changed my life. I began exercising consistently and
writing down every single thing I put in my mouth. I began Googling everything
I could find on diabetes, causes, symptoms, and of course, complications. I came across the ADA Forum, this wonderful
website, where I read stories for hours, and I never imagined I would learn
this much from complete strangers. It is such a wonderful feeling to be among
others who share your story, who relate to your concerns and who understand
In eight weeks I lost 25 pounds and my A1C
went to 6.5. I am now exercising daily, four miles on the treadmill, and eating lots
of veggies. To date, my A1C is 6.0, I have lost 40 pounds, and although I am
not yet at my goal, I am close. What keeps me going is not the weight loss but
the desire to be healthy. I have never
looked or felt better!
It is a very scary diagnosis, but here I am four months later and I'm
doing what I need to do! What I have learned throughout this ordeal is that we have a lot more power than we realize when
it comes to managing this illness. I refused to take on the "poor
me" attitude at diagnosis. I said to myself "Ok, I've got this, and I
am going to learn as much as I can to stay on top of things and live a long and
healthy life." Of course there are days where you just want to give up,
but I just let those feelings pass on by and I keep on moving forward.
When I saw my endocrinologist a few weeks ago, he gave me the option of
going off the Metformin, but we agreed that since Metformin treats PCOS and
I've done so well on it, we are going to decide together when I see him in
three months if I should continue or just try to manage it with diet and
exercise. Either way, I am very proud
of what I have accomplished in a short time.
If I can do it, you
can do it too! (Believe me) Best of luck in your journey, we can all do this
Cheers, Alan, T2, Australia.
Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter