October 31, 2007 Edition

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A good report

Vivian Heyl
TD Staff

Eight months ago I started insulin therapy for treatment of my diabetes. I really hated the thought of sticking myself with a needle every day for the rest of my life. Now, with the addition of yet another drug to my daily medications, I am up to three shots a day.

I often feel like a pincushion and look like I came out the looser in a boxing match. Sometimes I get down in the dumps about the whole thing and feel as if nothing is ever going to be right again.

Then there are those moments when things seem to take a turn for the better. I had one of those last week when I went for my regular checkup.

My doctor came in carrying my lab results and asked me what in the world I had been doing. My heart plummeted and I was expecting the worse.

He waved the papers he was carrying at me and finished his query with, "because your glucose levels have really dropped. These results are half of what they were last time."

Then he grinned and said, "I think I get bragging rights for this!"

My sigh of relief was probably audible clear out in the waiting room. I told him I had taken my medication regularly and tried to stick to a sensible diet.

I love to cook and unfortunately I love to eat as well. Cooking is an art form and I am vain enough to think that I am a pretty good artist. I have learned that I can still cook the things I love I just have to adjust them to meet my needs. I use green beans in place of pasta. I use cauliflower instead of potatoes and so on. I do occasionally have a serving of potatoes or noodles, but they are not my regular fare as they once were.

I have also refrained from buying prepared desserts. If we have a dessert, I have to make it. No grabbing cookies or snack cakes after dinner just because they are there. At first my family complained about the lack of sweets. "Well, I'm not a diabetic" was a refrain I heard over and over. In the long run though I think we are all much healthier without those empty calories.

Diabetes is a serious disease. It is a killer. If you have been advised that it may be in your future, find out everything there is to know about it. Fight it with every weapon at your disposal because it is so much better to prevent it than to live with it.

If you already have it, don't let it defeat you. Take the time to learn how to make the right choices, and when things get tough find someone to talk to. Often just having someone sympathize with you and encourage you is enough to keep you going.

With the upcoming holidays temptation will be everywhere. My next checkup is in January, and I hope that my doctor will still have bragging rights.

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