Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am diabetic

I am diabetic. I am diabetic. I am diabetic. Think I need to repeat that to myself endlessly just to remind myself. Not that I need much reminding when I have this eternal feeling of a burning sensation of pins and needles in my feet. Why can't I just get thirsty like most diabetics?
When my late husband was first diagnosed with diabetis and I found out all the do's and don'ts, I thanked God that he got it and not me because there was no way I would be able to stick to the 'rules'. And boy! Did that one come back and bite me in the butt. In this case it wasn't so much what you wish for but rather what you don't wish for.
Upon being diagnosed, I immediately went onto sugar tablets. Big mistake. Really BIG. After an endless time, at least it felt endless, of trying to regulate my hormones (menopause - but we won't go there) and what happens. The sugar tablets clashed horribly with my hormone tablets. Not once. But 4 different medications. It was bad.
Had to make a decision here - hormone tablets or sugar tablets. This is where quality of life versus quantity of life comes in. Do I choose the life of a happy diabetic who has to be very careful of what she eats or she will slowly lose feelings in her feet and eyesight diminshes, or do I become the menopausal raving lunatic who never has to watch what she puts in her mouth.
Well, it was not a difficult decision for me. There was no way on earth that I wanted to become the raving lunatic again so...........sugar tablets out.
So, what is my next step. No carbohydrates, no fats, plenty of excercise.
Not a problem. You think? My favourite foods are roast potatoes, or any potatoes for that matter. And rice smothered in fatty gravy. And what about the pasta cooked in lemon juice. And the best part of a piece of steak - the fat that you leave until the last. Not forgetting the nice crunchy fat on a lamb chop. Sure, not a problem. I can do without these things. But boy, was it difficult.
So far, so good. Meal plans worked out. Sugar levels practically normal. But still the burning sensation in the feet.
Not a problem. We just up the excercise regime. Played badminton twice a week, learnt how to do line dancing - at least tried to. Did dancercise twice a week and planned to go hiking at least twice a month.
But how does a person do all these excercises without carbohydrates. You can't. Ask me, I tried and fell flat on my face.
I cheated. Used this very expensive stuff that the guys and gals use who go to gym. Carboloading stuff that you need to take before any form of excercise. Energy stuff that you take while excercising. And then some other stuff afterwards that is supposed to replace gluta some thing or other. Worked out quite well too. I was feeling better, managed to complete all my excercise regimens without too many problems, was even able to push myself beyond my 'limit'. But..........there is always a but. Firstly the stuff is flippin expensive and secondly, I don't think it can be very good for you in the long run. So........had to make some adjustments in my menu. Add carbs and fats. But how much and when?
Me. Go to a dietician. But I'm so bright. What do I need a dietecian for?
Well, we need to experiment. That's just great when you decide to do this on a hike. No carbs but only fat. Think I lasted all of 500m and than I was finished. A back pack hike too. I finished it. And with no help from anybody. But did I suffer? Most definitely.
A really stupid move on my part. Why I had to do my first experiment on a hike, I just don't know. Maybe because badminton only lasts for about 2 hours and both line dancing and dancercise last only an hour whereas with hiking you, or rather I, walk practically all day.
Changed my diet for the next hike and lasted 7km. Not bad going but need to make some adjustments.
But.......yes, there is always a but. Life gets in the way. My daughter has an argument with a taxi and comes of second best. Previously my son had an argument and came off second best (He was not insured. Did not listen to mama). Always did tell my kids that if you want to do something, do it properly and my kids might not always listen to me but in this case they did. Both vehicles a right off. So we are sitting with two cars and 6 people to transport to work and back. Naturally they all had to work in the 4 corners of Jhb. But we managed. At least until my other son blew his head gasket - or at least the car's head gasket.
So now we are down to one vehicle which drives like a tank and guzzles just as much juice. But that's not a problem. We get up earlier, leave earlier, try and miss traffic - which is very difficult to do in Jhb, and due to my hormone tablets, get to work safely albeit late, without yelling at all the imbeciles on the road. And boy do we have some lulu's.
What is my point? ..........Oh yes! Now that we leave early I don't get to eat my very healthy breakfast. And because I get in late, I don't have time to eat breakfast because work waits for no man..or woman.
By the time my stomach starts whining, I am in such a hurry to shut it up that I eat the worst thing possible for a diabetic who sits on her butt all day - carbo loading white bread, or left over pasta from dinner or something equally as bad or unhealthy.
Which wouldn't be such a problem if I was going to dance class or badminton but what with all the expenses of broken down cars, trying to keep a gas guzzler filled, lawn mowers breaking down and an extremely horrible electricity account, financially I was extremely strapped. Boys, being apprentices, don't get a huge pay - but bless them, they try and help out where they can, and a daughter who had a nil on her payslip due to a tertiary loan - really bad timing on her part, financially I was more than strapped. I was in BIG trouble, so all my excercise classes and hiking trips were put on hold. Yes, I could go walking. But when. Transporting 6, including myself to the 4 corners of the world - at least that is what it felt like - in Jhb traffic, takes a long, long time.
So now here I am, sitting on my butt all day, eating the wrong foods, not getting any excercise done and my feet are burning like hell. Sometimes it is so bad I cannot concentrate. And like now, I can't sleep. This is the time I wished I had decided to rather go for the sugar tablets as opposed to the hormone tablets. Just joking. I never ever want to become that person I was during menopause - but that's another story.
But I do sometimes get this inclination to grab a knife and cut my feet off. It is driving me insane.
The one advantage is that I am the only one suffering and no body else is, which is what would have happened if I elected to take the sugar tablets over the hormone tablets. I really hate suffering on my own.

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