Friday, January 07, 2011

Out Running Diabetes

 In many ways I am my own experiment. In my early 20's I watched my grandmother die a terrible death from diabetes. It slowly took her limb by limb, mini-stroke by stroke. My dad had a stroke last year. And I wonder, how long can I hold this off? Can I avoid it all together?

I have traced diabetes back 4 generations from me. So I've made -  what some may think as -  radical changes to my diet; but I question if it is radical enough.  Sugar (evil sugar) and I have this bond I struggle to break. Turning down a dessert is near impossible for me. This past Tuesday was a very stressful day, as I had to watch my little sister face one of her demons  - and there was nothing I could do to help her or protect her - by the end of the day if I didn't find a huge piece of chocolate I thought I was going to go crazy. 

I am thankful that Mrs. Murry, my high school gym teacher encouraged me to break the soda habit.  But baked goods are another ball game for me. I typically try to reduce the sugar in the things I make myself but I find the kids will not touch it when I reduce the sweetness of what I try to pull off as cookies. As my kids get older and more exposed to processed foods, this battle is getting tougher and tougher for me.


I am noticing I have a similar struggle with food that both my dad and grandmother have/had. So I exercise, try to keep healthy things in the house. I eat lots of plants - - really all I eat is plants. I try to make my pantry  a safe place. I try to manage my stress, which is difficult as I care about the people around me and sometimes not letting their problems cause me to worry (I am a worrier) is difficult.  I am working on protecting my sleep because I believe that sleep is important to maintaining bodily function.

Yesterday, I went to the doctor for my annual physical. My blood pressure was 113/66 with a resting pulse of 63 – all good stats. It will be next week before the all the blood test results are back from the lab. I am concerned about the diabetes part, but my doctor seemed more concerned about my thyroid. I've gained just a little bit of weight since the summer - my ideal weight is just  a under 120 - the 7ish pound gain is a lot for me -  but not a red flag for the doctor who I am sure is used to seeing people with a more substantial weight problems. Most of fall semester I battled a terrible ear infection, which was unusual for me - if I catch a bug it typically doesn't last more than a few days. I ended up at a homeopathic/ chiropractor who put me on iodine and did this voodoo thing called Matrix on me (and, no, it was not like the movie where I was hooked into a virtual world – or maybe it was and I just haven't realized it yet). This was a last resort to surgery to relieve the plugged ear and restore my hearing.  Since the iodine worked (and none of the antibiotics she prescribed did), and since being on the iodine I want to sleep more than ever along with a few other things she is recognizing as symptoms, she is theorizing that there might be something wrong with my thyroid.  I'm not completely on-board yet, but am open to what she and the blood work say.

So, I will work on learning more in the next week about my thyroid as I await the blood work.

But, really, despite this, I am hoping to see my cholesterol level to beat my previous 150 and thus continue the experiment….can I beat it?