By: Sandra L. Churchill
Slaying the diabetes dragon often takes many tries—and multiple ventures into the same battle scene. For me, a year of trying to eliminate nearly all carbs was disastrous and completely fruitless. Turns out my liver decided to make its own sugar so my A1C didn’t change at all after spending 12 months frustrated and starving. Enter the diabetic nutritionist nurse whose expertise gave me the reality check I needed. You cannot eliminate all carbs and expect your body to simply cooperate. You must track exercise and food, along with daily blood sugar readings.
My foray into “deny-abetes” included days without taking readings, growing frustrated when my tracking showed no improvement, and endless cravings for the occasional starch. This is way harder than I thought it would be!
This time, I got angry—not the typical “why me?” pity type of anger—but the motivated, “I can do this!” anger. It’s early, to be sure. I’ve been researching natural supplements along with traditional medication. Exercise is a daily priority. I am journaling food, blood sugar, and workouts every day. My sugars are coming down, not quickly, but steadily.
The turtle should be my new good luck charm. “Slow and steady wins the race” is my daily mantra, along with regular prayer and reaching out to others for support. My middle daughter is my workout pal, along with a good friend who walks with me several days a week. My husband is helping me chop vegetables and fruit, and serves as a sounding board for my frustration rants. My oldest daughter continues to chide me when I feel weak enough to snack on something clearly contrary to my glucose management goals, and my little guy offers love and hugs to remind me that success is possible.
I am learning patience, like it or not. I am learning stamina and commitment to a goal, like it or not. On a daily basis, I am stretching beyond my comfort zone and seeing tiny steps of progress. Drinking more water, putting health first, and taking accountability have flipped my previous priorities (which had been in place for decades), so I am now on “the list.” Truly, this is new territory. It is uncomfortable and I didn’t choose this battle. Both my parents have diabetes and I had gestational diabetes with my third pregnancy, so the deck was overwhelmingly stacked against a diabetic-free future. Sometimes it feels like I am at the bottom of a mountain and the peak is so high it’s obscured by clouds. It is hard and sometimes overwhelming when I think of “big picture” goals. But then someone in my family reminds me to breathe and I re-direct my thoughts to one step at a time, and success once again seems possible.