I am writing this partly to celebrate but also to motivate any newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics, shocked and scared, who have been warned by their doctors of the inevitability of their diabetes progressing to complications. I suppose some doctors feel they need to do that to scare new people into making lifestyle changes, but too often I find dire predictions of long term complications or heart attacks lead to loss of hope. That can lead to a 'why bother' mentality.
Please, do not give up. I know managing type 2 diabetes can be bloody inconvenient. You will have to make some annoying changes to your life such as pricking holes in yourself, adding some activity to your day, forever watching what you eat and drink and possibly taking meds and insulin.
Let me assure you: taking control of your blood glucose levels is worth the trouble. I am just one example of many I read on the better diabetes forums where pro-active type 2s are learning how to take control.
Possibly my continuing story will give you hope.
I was first diagnosed with leukaemia and type 2 diabetes in 2002 at the age of 55. I discovered early I could do nothing at all about the leukaemia; for that reason I concentrated on beating the diabetes. I was thirsty for knowledge. For the first couple of years I spent a lot of time learning from many wise people, mostly on usenet. Some were medical professionals but most were experienced diabetics. I learned something from all of them, even if the main thing I learned was how to tell good advice from bad because, unfortunately, a lot of it was bad. I still believe the best advice was Jennifer’s Test, Test, Test: “Use your body as a science experiment.”
I tested and experimented to find what worked for me. On usenet over the next couple of years I gradually changed from reader and student to lay advisor, passing on information based on my experience. In 2004 I joined some online forums. In 2006 I started this blog.
Eventually I wrote a book based on my experience to help any newly diagnosed people who might not be computer-savvy. Of course, as my suggestions for good type 2 management differ significantly from the mainstream there will always be critics. In part this is a response to the critics, describing the results of practising what I preached for the past decade.
Limbs and Kidneys
I dropped Lipitor ten years ago; the more I read about statins the less I am convinced of my need for one. My doctor has been polite and patient with me when I have consistently refused a statin for the past nine years despite high cholesterol by official standards. My HDL and triglycerides are fine but my LDL is very high. He suggests that may be because of my low-blood-glucose-spike (which many interpret as low-carb) way of eating. He strongly recommended I have a stress echocardiography accompanied by ultrasound of my heart, mainly to reassure him I am not going to keel over tomorrow. I had those tests last September. First, the gooey preparation and the ultrasound, twisting to awkward positions. Uncomfortable but not painful. Then walking faster and faster on the treadmill, with wires hanging off me, having problems reaching the heart rate he wanted. Eventually we got there. As I cooled down it was fascinating seeing the movies of my own heart pumping away on the playback screen of the ultrasound.
The cardiologist was very thorough and pleased with the results. It seems my heart and vascular system are in fine shape. No problems at all. I will continue to refuse the statin and eat low-carb, moderate fat, for good blood glucose levels. I no longer care at all what my LDL is.
Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter