Thursday, May 25

The Day It All Made Sense

As anyone who has been following this blog knows, I have been sick an abnormal amount over the last two years. It has been a constant source of frustration for me, as I never had this problem before moving to Norway.
As you also may know, I have been somewhat of a 'Daredevil Diabetic' as well. My definition of a Daredevil Diabetic, is someone who knows they have the disease, but continues to live as though they didn't. Someone who still eats what they want, doesn't exercise much and basically refuses to make any lifestyle changes to accomodate their new found 'friend'. I have been one of those kinds of devils.
My diagnosis has never made sense to either myself or my doctors. I am not obese. I don't fit the usual demographic of those who develop Type 2 Diabetes at the age of 32. I have undergone a battery of tests, trying to rule out everything from pancreatic cancer to Type 1 Diabetes, because the diagnosis just didn't 'make sense'.
A few weeks ago, I went to the hospital to receive the results of the final round of testing. Genetic testing. My doctor just said, in a nicer way, 'Sorry, you just have bad genes when it comes to Diabetes. There is really nothing else to do or to test for. It's up to you.' My particular brand of the big D is genetic. Plain and Simple.

So my dance of denial continued. Partly because for me to acknowledge a disease, I need to SEE it. Everyday I KNOW I have LongQT Syndrome because I can FEEL the pacemaker/defibrallator implanted in my chest. I KNOW it's there. All Diabetes did was hang the POTENTIAL threat of amputation, stroke, blindness and other nasty things, over my head as something that MIGHT happen 15 years down the line. MIGHT happen. I have personally had too many other things that HAVE happened because of LongQT. I had SEEN my little sister die at the age of 24 from it. I had SEEN my other sister have to deal with losing her identical twin because of it. I had TWO heart surgeries in 4 years because of LongQT.

So forgive me Diabetes, if it was hard to take you seriously, but another more agressive disease has had me enthralled.

Until now.

May 23 was a big day for me. I was sick. AGAIN. I was talking to my husband on the phone and I said 'I wonder if it could have anything to do with Diabetes?'. So I pulled up Google and typed in the keywords that would change me: 'High Blood Sugar Immune System'.
The first thing that came up was an article about how unmanaged Diabetes destroys the immune system. Killing white bloodcells and leaving you vulnerable to sickness.
My heart sank. Suddenly I SAW what Diabetes could do. Not only what it could do, but more importantly, what I had ALLOWED it to do to me. For nearly a year, I haven't done a thing. I randomly take my medicine. I eat what ever the heck I want. I exercise sporadically. I have been a diabetic nightmare.
And now, I finally understood the consequences. I was sick. My body was sick. All because I chose to ignore something that just didn't seem real.

I am tired of diseases ruling my life. It took me years to get to a place of feeling like I could beat LongQT. To not feel threatened by it. Yet deep down, the fear remains. The fear that it will kill again. Me. My little sister. I didn't want to give Diabetes a place in my life. The disease department was full, but I knew, in that instant, that things had to change. But for the first time, I wanted to change. I want to be strong. I want to be healthy. I want to be beautiful. I want to vibrate with energy.

I want to LIVE.

I may have these diseases, but they WILL NOT have me

Monday, May 15


Have you ever wondered why it is SOOOO easy to be bad? This has been my biggest downfall since being diagnosed with Diabetes nearly a year ago. I KNOW what I should do. I KNOW how I should eat. Yet, it is so easy to make bad choices. It takes one second of failed will power for me to get my bloodsugar so high up that I feel like I am about to slip into a power nap of fairytale proportions. It’s the kind of nap that I never totally wake up from and end up walking around in a stupor for the remainder of the day. I am basically throwing minutes, hours, days, months and possibly years away, shaving off precious moments of my yet unlived life. Does that scare me? Sure, in theory.

I have learned a lot over the last 9 months. I think I have read, in some form or another, every book on Type 2 Diabetes available, or at least brief summaries of them. I think I finally understand why so many people can never get Diabetes under control.

It’s hard.

The vast majority of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight and as a result have developed the disease. So, your doctor tells you that you have it, hands you a brochure, prescribes some form of medication and just like that, you are expected to walk out of the doctor’s office a changed and enlightened human being. BUT the reality is, you walk out feeling totally overwhelmed, scared and ashamed. There is an unspoken mentality that people who are fat ‘did it to themselves’. I once read a comment on a blog that said ‘all of those type 2 fatties are making the rest of us look bad’. Apparently this person was a type 1, and judging by his comment, was also probably thin. So, my biggest struggle has been this:

How do you change a lifetime of eating habits?
How do you quit years of food addictions?
How do you go from taking comfort in food to looking at certain foods as your enemy?

And believe me, when you suddenly have restrictions where before there were none, food can become your enemy. Every book I read gave me a list of what I had to STOP immediately. Every book I read was very clear in pinpointing all of the wrong elements in my life. Is it any wonder to see why so many people fail at controlling it? Why so many people feel overwhelmed?
I felt like I was doing EVERYTHING wrong and I felt hollow inside. Really. To the point where some days, I just say ‘forget it’. I can’t take the pressure anymore. I eat what I want. I don’t take my medicine. I feel sick and tired. And frankly, I am sick and tired. I am tired of the rollercoaster. Of having a great day and then ruining it by making a bad choice at the end of the day. I suppose I could start taking insulin, but for me, it would be an enabler. And I want to get this under control. I guarantee that the majority of type 2 diabetics want to get it under control but have the same feelings of confusion, of being overwhelmed by shame when they blow it…again. It’s not fun, but a powerful thing I do have is the power of visualization.

I can SEE myself happy and healthy and strong. I can see it so clearly. I want it so badly. I don’t want that girl to just live in my mind. I want her to come out of me. To EXPLODE out of me. To be a reality and not just a dream.

And on most days, it’s that girl, the beautiful diabetic, who gives me hope.