So. I have diabetes.
I was officially diagnosed in the beginning of the year and I’ve pretty much been sitting around for the last 11 months embarrassed and ashamed. THIS IS ALL MY DOING. I COULD HAVE STOPPED IT.
I’ve been told for years, at least the last five years that I’m pre-diabetic. Did I do anything about it?
Of course not.
However this year, the routine test came back and well, pre-no-more I’m in the range. I’m diabetic.
The PA handed me a script for Metformin and said to come back again in three months for a review. I don’t need to test anything, I’m just a bit past the line. But I should take the drug.
I know what I was supposed to do, what I should be doing and what the consequences are for NOT doing all the things related to this disease. But like I said, I’m ashamed. I mean there’s a CHANCE that if I wasn’t morbidly obese I would still have it, but yeah, no. Other people maybe, me nope. I completely did this to myself, LOSER. IDIOT Enter All The Beating Up Adjectives Here.
Just handing me a script and telling me to eat better etc…lose weight and take the pill. Obviously my brain is screaming NO NO NO. No pill. You are an idiot, you should have and should be taking care of this without a pill like a NORMAL PERSON.
The scary part of this internal argument in my brain—it’s the exact EXACT same one I’ve been battling and working through with DEPRESSION since my mid-20s. Almost verbatim.
Suck it up buttercup. I called and requested an appointment with the DOCTOR DOCTOR not the PA. I loved the doctor I had when I lived in the City of Buffalo. LOVED HER but because of the situation I mentioned above and because I’m making a forever life in Springville, I chose to switch over primary care. I had not actually seen a doctor, only the one PA and I wasn’t vibing with her at all.
The doctor I was scheduled to see, turned out to be KICK ASS. Loved her. She was exactly what I needed. I explained how for some horrible reason my brain does not want me to take another pill for another disease I think I should be able to manage on my own. It’s the default setting I have. She explained to me the many benefits and well, told me basically to take the damn thing and come back in three months.
I read up on the drug and I knew the side effects. I also saw that in many cases it helped people with PCOS and infertility problems and obesity. Well, well….I’m all of the above. Miracle drug. Cheap. From the root of a lilac. Fine. I’ll try it.
And try it I did. And the side effects, yep, fast and furious. My body went wacky the first week or two. Even crazier, my period came back THREE DAYS after starting the pill. THREE DAYS and already my hormones and body was reacting to this drug. Holy crap. And yes, quite literally.
Insane right? And that was only taking ONE a day.
I’ve now been on it for almost three months. I’ve somehow managed to get my period three months in a row like clockwork (and with a vengeance) just by taking this pill. The side effects have lessened. I have no idea what my levels are yet because I need to go back for a checkup. But yeah, been taking the pill at the very minimum. Which is a start.
My biggest problem, outing myself as a diabetic. Funny I’m able to speak openly (now) about Depression but I feel great shame about diabetes. I attended a workshop about low-calorie meal cooking through the diabetic education program at the hospital and I was so excited to write a review about it and share my story and really start taking.
One thing I do know, when I share my story it helps ME (and sometimes even others.) I signed up to attend that luncheon for many reasons. 1. Because my friend Kara asked me if I wanted to come and she was in charge of planning it. 2. Because it was sort of work related (as all things in Springville are…the hospital and the senior center are both members of the chamber.) 3. I was asked to write the article about the event for the Springville Times and last but not least 4. I’M SUPPOSED TO MEET ALL THE DIABETIC EDUCATORS AND DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT I HAVE TYPE 2 DIABETES.
Ha. #4 was pretty telling, but #1 is the reason why I went.
When I was there I ran into a friend, who I was surprised to see…she told me she was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. And she’s not morbidly obese and lazy! Wait—-looking around the room, there were people of all shapes and sizes. Men and Women. Some youngish (like me) and many older. But it wasn’t just stupid people who are too lazy to do something and ended up with a disease. It was a community of people with all sorts of different backgrounds.
I KNOW all the cooking healthy techniques shared that day. I know all about the herbs to add. I know about portion sizes and all things in moderation. I know the benefits of fresh, organic food and making your own stock and bone broth. I do it all the time actually. I however also, frequent the drive-thru of Burger King and McDonalds WAY TOO OFTEN.
I also know that if someone looked at me and my massive physical presence, one would assume I have super high cholesterol and blood pressure and heart problems. But I don’t. In fact the doctor was impressed at my levels. Many times people with diabetes present these other issues at the same time and they really need to watch out for heart problems, but nope. Not me.
We are all ultimately responsible for our individual actions and inactions in life. No one is forcing me to eat poorly. No one is forcing me to barely exercise. No one is forcing me to avoid doctor visits and not want to take a pill. The only one doing that is me, myself and I.
I want to choose better. I understand that my actions have consequences but at the same time I need to forgive myself and realize, deep down, that there are obese people out there in the world who aren’t diabetic. Just like there are thin people in the world who are. It’s not only about weight. In my case, had I listened to the doctor and tried for a healthier lifestyle would I be diabetic? No, I likely wouldn’t be, but I might still be pre-diabetic.
The fact of the matter is I can’t be embarrassed or ashamed. I need to move past that. Once I started telling people about my diagnosis, I realized I have few friends who are diabetic and manage their disease without incident. I don’t have to continue avoiding and heading towards that slippery slope.
Today, sharing this story brings me one step closer to acceptance and moving forward.