Sincere Determination, Humor, and Strength! Diabetes Won’t Win!

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I want to share one of my client’s stories. He is a sincere vision of strength, determination, and humor! Royce is a person who has been integrated into my soul, so to speak.. He is the vision that pops into my head when I hear diabetic clients tell me that they can’t improve their diet. He is the vision that pops into my own head when I feel like giving up. He is inspiration, fully and completely. I offer apologies in advance to his wonderful wife! She is also the vision. She doesn’t have diabetes, so I can’t use her as an example for type one diabetes or type two diabetes, but her strength is equally as impressive. Like most couples, they have similarities, differences, and more. They are a force to be reckoned with in this world of whiners, complainers, and those of us that think this life in general is too hard! Royce’s blog doesn’t even begin to describe his humor. Oh, how I wish you could hear one of our conversations.
Royce and his wife face some incredible struggles on a daily basis. Theirs are much harder than my own struggles and yet, “pity” or something of the like doesn’t even cross my mind when describing them. I know that they have fears beyond most of us, yet they tackle this life with more gusto than many I encounter on a daily basis. They do not look any different than you or I. When talking to them, you would never know that there are some health concerns that are great for each of them. You would simply enjoy the company, probably learn a thing or two, and laugh. Oh my goodness, if you were smart, you would laugh! Pay attention to Royce’s fierce compliance, adherence, and determination with his health. He makes the choice to take as many steps as possible to follow the rules. These rules, I many times I want to bend, stretch, or simply put off. He doesn’t and is the most amazing example of following the rules in the name of health (I am not sure if he follows the rules in any other areas of life) take heed and walk a mile in his shoes. You can do this! You can take your life with diabetes and take control of it!
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G’day. My name is Royce. I have had Multiple Sclerosis for 14 or 15 years. I am not sure which it really is- not that important anyway. I was also diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in September of last year. This I remember because I had just gotten back from 6 glorious months of being pampered by my Mother at her house in Australia. Do you see why I might actually have remembered that?

Anyway, I went to my nurse practitioner and requested a range of blood tests. I normally do this when I get back from a nice long holiday. My mother was a nurse and likes to give me blood test orders. I just love having my precious blood sucked out of me by phlebotomists (NOT & I am sure that’s why she has me get them)! If you are the person who takes blood out by needle, to be sent away for whatever they do to it, you know who I mean. If you get a “good one” follow them, buy them gifts, just do not EVER upset them! Anyway back to the story, two weeks later my test results come back with an HbA1C of, wait for it, 11.6! My kindly nurse looked at me in horror asking me all sorts of questions about pain, numbness, and what I was doing still standing or sitting as the case actually was. Of course there was nothing wrong with me. It was just a mistake. Denial is always the best course of action I have always found. At least at first anyway. Understand that denial, as beautiful a place as it may be, can only last 5 minutes total. You have to include pity and all the other negative stuff in that 5 minutes. Then, you\I have a job to do now and I have no Idea how big it’s going to be, so best get started NOW.

I think I might have picked this up from my experience with M.S.. I knew that the longer I waited to start, the harder it will be and the more damage I might do to myself. That damage might end up making mine and others’ lives difficult in the days (turns out to be months) to come. Time for some research, I thought. I looked around the family tree, and saw diabetes everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. So that answered the “Where”. I have no fear of eating huge amounts of desert and I do mean huge. My wife loves the story of how on one of our early dates I told the waiter that I would just have desert as I was not hungry. Then when I had eaten desert for my entrée; I ordered dessert for dessert, as is only the right thing to do! Another one was how I ordered the entire desert menu when on a cruise ship and ate every single bite. Am I painting a picture for you? Now let me change it. I am 5’11″ and my weight is 180 pounds. Not exactly obese, just slightly overweight, but DEFINATELY a lover of dessert! So that answers the “how”, or so I thought.
What to do about all of this comes next. My nurse put me on 1000 mg of Metformin, heading to 2000 at a later date. (‘Not if I can help it’ I thought, but I did not tell her that). I already go to the gym 3 days a week without fail. Exercise was not a problem and I lift iron. I lift between 2 and 4000lbs per visit. My diet was next and continues to this day to be my Achilles heel.

Now as you can tell, I do take things to the extreme as best as I can. What I did certainly is not for everybody, but I find it works for me. Everything white went out of my house, off my shopping list– Gone. All my booze gone, my visits to my favourte bakery cut back so much that they no longer know me by name, or handsome smile. All my chocolate, of which there was a lot, gone. I cannot remember where. I have not visited a Cost Plus since. Best to avoid temptation I think. If you find it difficult to beat it, just AVOID it. DO NOT have what tempts you in your house! Do not look at the desert section of the menu, if it is bad for you in anyway shape or form. Just avoid it. When you say you cannot or that you are weak; just wait, sit down, and think of all the amazing things that our species has done. You belong to that species! You may not be related to those people and you may not know them personally. However, you like them, face difficulty and eventually will prevail. Fail today, but fail a little less tomorrow, and eventually you won’t fail. You will look back and say I DID IT! My friend you will have succeeded.

Onwards we travel. I had my Pharma advice. I then got some dietary advice with which I took with a grain of salt. I figured I needed to delve deeper so off to the American diabetes Association. The ADA is an excellent source but all the pamphlets are a little overwhelming, so I found somebody else. I found somebody who would sit down & talk to me & my wife, enter Marianne. She came to my home and she provided exactly what I needed, all the support and advice that I did not know I needed. I cleaned out my pantry, fridge, and eating habits. She gave some good advice and made some good suggestions. Some of these I can’t follow. I just can’t eat every few hours, try as I might, which you might think is a little strange. One thing I can do is blend food, so all the greens that I am supposed to eat just get blended and drank. Anything tastes good with enough Tobasco. I prefer the green one myself. I have found myself questioning myself some times, so I do a blood test to put myself at ease. Knowing my boundaries, living within that box in my case very quickly became second nature. Reading food labels, I am sure I am not perfect at yet. Keeping my sugars as close as I can to zero and keeping my daily carbs to less than 50 has proven to be easier than I at first thought. Just paying attention as to what you put in your mouth and how much will be your savior.

My first HbA1C started at 11.6! My next A1C was 6.0. My Metformin never did get to 2000mg. Right now it’s at 500mg per day! I test my blood once a week, fasting Saturday mornings. I seem to have a range of 115 to 120. My blood pressure is around 118:70. All in all, this is rather good in just a few months. I have managed to ease up a little on my very severe eating habits in my first few months. Now I eat ice cream when I want, but my eating of ice cream is consists of buying a small blizzard which goes straight to the fridge to get hard, then forgotten for 2 weeks. I T then start a rotation of the cup by a spoon, not digging too deep, then back to the freezer. Doing it this way makes it last. I have to do it this way to get my blood sugar up high enough for the metformin to work. Marianne got quite upset at me for doing this, but I have really had to ease up just to get my blood sugar numbers where they are now.

This is a doable disease. You can get real results just by doing the illness, not letting it do you. Perhaps these few suggestions might help you to take that step towards owning your diabetes and not the other way around. Look at food labels before it goes in your cart. Drink WATER, exercise or at least MOVE. Just be aware of what you are doing, stop walking through life with your eyes closed. Make your friend, your very good friend.

Thanks Royce!
All The Best,
The Diabetes Coach

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