“Hi, I'm Wilford Brimley, and I have diabetes. It hurts me to pee, and it causes me to be short with my family. I can't sleep at night. The other day I stubbed my toe and took it out on the dog. And two weeks ago, I ran out of vanilla ice cream and struck my wife. Then I find out my wife has been dead for six years. Who the hell did I hit?”
- Wilford Brimley (Family Guy Appearance)
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood. You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood sugar is higher than average but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having pre-diabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
My name is Josh. I am a Type 2 diabetic, and I have done a very shitty job taking care of myself. And by shitty I mean I damn near went into a diabetic coma the other day (Sunday, May 12, 2019) when my blood sugar hit 596 at eight in the morning. If it was that high when I woke up, there was no telling just how high it was when I was asleep.
I shit you not.
If I don’t get these numbers under control, I am going to die.
Do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dollars.
So, for the first time since I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in April of 2004, I am taking all this deadly seriously. And by seriously I’ve gone full “slash and burn” on my food lifestyle.
When I first learned I was diabetic, I made a halfhearted, but successful, go at keeping it under control. In six months, I managed to knock my A1C number from 14.7 to 6.5. Not the 4 – 5.6 which is the normal range but still damn good. After that, I felt invincible and played fast and loose with the old A1C.
The A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control, and the higher your risk of diabetes complications. For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c level is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% mean you have a higher chance of getting diabetes. Levels of 6.5% or higher mean you have diabetes.
- Web MD
So, as you can read, it’s pretty important, and I have treated it like a Rotten Tomatoes score for the better part of a decade. By that I mean I have ignored it since well before 2011.
In the years since my diagnosis, I’ve played lips service to wanting to be healthy by the cold reality is food, specifically high carbohydrate foods, were more important to me. The idea of not eating potatoes and pat (not to mention bread) scared me shitless and made me mad at the universe.
“Why, me, Universe?!” I’d scream internally.
I know it’s just the luck of the draw. The Chaos Factor of genetics and environment. But it still felt like a personal attack, If I did believe in a god, I’d blame them for all of this. But tell the truth and shame the devil, I know it’s all on me.
So, what am I doing about all of this?
Starting Sunday night, but let’s call it Monday morning, I’ve gone almost zero carbs and sugar. I say almost because diabetics can’t go full Keto (no carbs/sugar). We need the carbs and sugar to help regulate our already fucked up body. Going without can be as bad a way too much in it's own messed up way.
The last three days have been hellish. I am suffering from Carb/Sugar Detox, which has resulted in flu-like symptoms. Body aches, joint pains, headaches, dizziness, and severe depression have all been the norm this week.
Yet I still function.
I’m hoping the estimates I’ve been reading about are accurate and that I’ll be past the worst of it tomorrow and feeling almost normal on Friday. I am tentatively targeting Saturday as the day I start the next step.
What’s that? You might ask.
Exercise, a word so vile it should be outlawed on pain of torture!
Yes, I will begin some low impact exercises this weekend. Mostly walking to start, but I’m looking into finding a proper Gym that fits my needs.
I don’t want to do this. I have to do this.
I have to get better.
I like to joke that I’m a bitter old man, but the truth is I’m only forty-two. I should have another good thirty years left to me. I have six kids and my first grandchild on the way, and I’d like to see how things shake out for them for a few more decades.
For the first time in my lazy sedentary life, I want to be healthier.
- Josh (05/15/2019)