You have probably been wondering about how my type 2 diabetes review went. I know I have. How do you interpret a non-response? When the nurse says she will call you with the results on Thursday and she doesn’t do that, do you take that as a no news is good news response or do you take it as the results are so bad she doesn’t want to tell me over the phone as I may collapse. Something like the latter is my default position. I blame my mother. Always think the worst and then things can only be better. So I thought the worst and, as we were away, I decided to take the old head and bury it deep in the sand so I didn’t call until the following Tuesday. Then there was the added complication of what result I actually wanted to hear when I did hear.
Well, you ask, what result could you possibly want other than to hear that your sugar levels have gone down? Wellll, yes and – no. If after a month of careful eating, i.e. cutting out ‘the obvious sugars’, my levels have gone down then that just proves that nurse J was right and that for the last several months (years?) I have been deceiving myself. My well-balanced diet was nothing of the kind, I was in fact, gradually killing myself, yes a bit dramatic but, in essence, I suppose you could say this was what was happening. And the alternative you ask? Well, that I was right – my diet was fine and it was the natural degenerative effect of my diabetes that was producing the results, go on insulin and eat like a pig. Job done. Except this was not, of course, what I wanted at all. You might say this would be quite a high sacrifice just to be able to say I told you so. There I would be in heaven or the other place going, well I told her so but she thought she knew more than I did.
I received a nice comment from Carole to my last diabetes blog which said, in effect, stop blaming your nurse and work out your own ‘take control’ plan for dealing with your diabetes. Excellent advice but I hope you can see now how difficult this would have been for an ex-psychologist who is incapable of any kind of sensible thinking about his diabetes. Having the label scrambles my brain rendering me incapable of any kind of problem-solving of the kind I would, in a flash, recommend to others. Either that or it’s the same old senility issue I’ve been writing about of late. Carole wrote :
Would it help if you could approach it as YOU taking control, so as to avoid the damage that inevitably comes from elevated blood glucose? In other words, approach it as though YOU will not let these bad things happen to you (I’m sure you’ve heard about the damage to blood vessels, kidneys, eye sight, heart, circulation etc). So rather than doing what J tells you to do, YOU determine what you need to do for self preservation and a long healthy life. Develop your own strategies that work for YOU, to keep the glucose under control. Take the power back, where it belongs.
Change always comes easier if it is what WE want and what WE have control over. Think of it as a challenge to come up with a plan that fits your life style.
Diabetes is such an unfair disease process. It is capable of doing so much damage, much of which can’t be seen or felt until it is too late. I wish you well in your journey. Seek out others who can support you in this endeavour, without being judgmental. You deserve a long healthy life!
It’s the kind of advice I would have been proud to give to somebody else, but find hard to give myself. Psychologist help thyself.
Anyway to the actual results. They were read out by the receptionist who confessed the figures meant nothing to her but the words ‘a big improvement’ meant something to both of us. The numbers said a drop from 74 to 64. Still some way above perfection (about 58 if I understand the graph) but a clear improvement nonetheless. I’ve even included the chart as part of the blog so you too can see what I’m dealing with here. You probably can’t read it but the thing to note is that my graph line is still considerably above the grey area of the so called normal person or at least a person with normal blood sugars otherwise not necessarily normal – as such.
Where does this leave me? On one hand fairly clear evidence of the sort that has not always been available to me about the correlation between sugars and my diabetes. On the other, a load of misery in terms of my eating habits. My solution? To try and find that middle ground between what ‘they’ want me to do and what I would really like to do if dying was not an issue. I have to say that I won’t be going back to the bun a day, in the morning with coffee and a piece of cake and several biscuits with my tea in the afternoon and the Eton messes and meringues for dessert are out the window. I shall eat ‘no-sugar’ flapjacks, digestive biscuits, malt loaf, low sugar jam, maybe just one bun a week (J said this was OK as a treat), and the odd chocolate digestive – luxury, etc. etc. etc. and tell myself that I am making an effort and that that is enough. In a few months I shall know whether I’ve found the third way, wasn’t that a Tony Blair solution and we know what happened to him. But I hope for better results. You will have to wait a few months to find out whether my cunning plan is just that. If this blog suddenly ceases then you will know I got it wrong. I’m still hoping however to have a long and happy retirement, well, a long one anyway, let’s not be too ambitious.