Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not just people are diabetic

Here's Sophie, my sister's diabetic cat.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My diabetic life (Part 6)

Last week, I made a committment to myself to clean up my food even more. Keeping in mind that I do eat a limited amount of sugar, one may wonder how I clean up.

I have completely eliminated meat and almost all dairy.

For example, today, the only dairy I had was a small yogurt with breakfast, and a tiny bit of shredded Romano cheese (I use the shredded because I find I use less than grated.)

And while I do eat sugar, I don't use a lot over the course of a day. For instance, many people drink sweetened adult oriented beverages like coffee or tea, along with the occasional soda. I drink water or unsweetened tea or coffee. (not artificially sweetened junk) I don't drink glasses of milk (read the carton--loaded with sugar) and only have about 6 ounces of juice a day.

I probably eat less sugar than the average diabetic who thinks they are eating a sugar-free diet.

One blog I read every day is written by Dr. Nicole Sundene. She has written some very interesting posts about diabetes. She is a Naturopathic doctor, and treats the whole person.

Give her column a look when you can. It's worth it.

By the way, my food program is based on good science as researched by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

He sells a book (cheaply, I should add) describing it at his website Again, highly recommended.

Lastly, I do take a complete vitamin regimen. And the brand is not important, but buy good vitamins that are easily absorbed. I noticed a change right away in the way I felt.

One final thought: I did buy the book "Eating right for your blood type" (the one for diabetics) and it recommended for my type to eat a vegetarian diet. I feel better when I do, but I get so lazy. Protein like MickeyD's cheeseburger is fast, but Doc Nicole will let you know it's a fast way to get sick.

In much of the western world it is now summer. I would recommend diabetics try to eat better, take advantage of nature's bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Diabetic life (part 5)

Some things are showing improvement.

I am off all diabetic meds. I take a regimen of vitamins and herbs, and along with eating better, my sugar is fairly well controlled. This may not seem like much, but when I made all the drastic dietary changes, I was in a hospital and on a diabetic med that was not working. I left the rehab hospital with a script for insulin. I told the doctor I would visit him in a month or so, and if I showed no improvement, I would fill the script for the insulin. I made the changes, my sugar got better, and I never needed the insulin. Considering I was on meds for over 20 years, this is nothing short of a miracle.

I'm not totally vegetarian, but I do limit my meat intake to a couple servings per week. I count all animal flesh as meat. I usually eat soy cheese. I do eat a small yogurt every day, but very little other dairy.

I have coffee usually once a week, and use flavored soy milk in that.

I don't drink diet sodas for various reasons. I do drink water or tea, usually herb or green, and it is unsweetened. Yes, I had to get used to it, but it was worth it.
I try to eat whole grains whenever possible. I also use seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen when they are not available. I use some foods as a garnish that I used to use heavily. A tiny bit of shredded Romano goes on some of my pasta dishes. I used to use a lot. Now, maybe a tablespoon or so.

I make my portions of carbs like pasta small, but the meal is enhanced by serving it with broccoli or spinach instead of a red sauce.

Of course I cheat and eat some bad stuff. But I try to do it sensibly.

I love chocolate, but instead of candy, I have a half a brownie and a small glass of chocolate soy milk. This is less calories than a candy bar or piece of cake, but so much more satifying.

I try to keep getting better every day. I'm a work in progress.

More to come.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

My diabetic life (part 4)

Probably the worst part of dealing with diabetes is how it has wrecked my finances, along with any chance of a normal life. By normal, I mean working a 9-5, having 2.3 kids, and buying a little house in the 'burbs with a white picket fence.

It's tough to have a career when every so often it's necessary to take off a year or two. My latest "vacation" has been a year and a half since I was able to work part-time, and much longer since full-time.

I'll give the Reader's Digest version.

The worst part is I had to constantly reinvent myself. I began my own business in the automotive field, and as I began losing time due to illness, the business had some trouble.

I then entered social services. I worked at that while going back to college.

I became a certified teacher.

I haven't been able to work full-time in that field as I have been ill. Even the part-time tutoring position has become impossible. The worst part is I love teaching. I'm even pretty good at it. Some of my kids I tutored showed the greatest increases in skills in the center in which I worked.

So, instead of being a happy, productive memeber of society, I sit home and blog.

This disease has been slowly destroying my life. Hence the name of the blog. : )

Next part--what is getting better.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Doctor update

I went to my podiatric surgeon today.

He said my foot is looking pretty good. The wound is superficial, but it's been that way for many months. The wound on the right foot is almost healed, and I look forward to that closing up soon. I'd feel like it was a victory of some sort if that one healed. At the very least, it would cut my bandage usage in half.

It's surprising what bandages cost. They seem cheap until one needs them all the time.

I pay about 5 bucks each in the local pharmacy. I shopped around, and found them at a local medical distributor for half that. (usually between 2 and 3 bucks)

But, I found them by the case at ebay for about a buck each. I paid $110 including shipping for 100 of them. I go through 3 or 4 a week, so the savings are considerable.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

My Diabetic Life (Part 3)

I've covered the outer injuries (I warned you this shit destroyed my life, didn't I?) so now, I'll move on to the inner injuries.

My kidneys are shot to hell. The doctors have suggested I put myself on the transplant list, but a combination of things have made me not do so.

Maybe I'm partially in denial about it, but I have faith that my body can heal itself. Part of this is religious based, and a part is based upon my faith in nature. Going on the list would just admit defeat.

I have had a heart attack. The doctors called it a silent one, but I do remember the night it happened. I was laying in bed, and felt my left arm go numb. I also began sweating profusely. I knew it was a heart attack, but I decided that I was going to ignore it. Yeah, denial runs deep in me. Plus, to be honest, I didn't really care if I lived or died. Stupid, but hey, most of the decisions I've made in my life have been pretty stupid.

Lastly, my circulation is pretty bad. That's part of the reason my leg wounds don't heal.

That's enough for today.

I'll have another part soon.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My Diabetic Life (part 2)

I really have a hard time writing this, probably because it's kind of painful. And not just the physical pain, and plenty of that has happened, but the mental aspects.

For today, I'll just hit the physical parts.

My first diabetic wound was around 1992 or so. It was on my right foot, and the result of, believe it or not, exercise.

I started walking more, and a blister developed. I had no idea how serious this was. Eventually, I wound up in the hospital for 40 days of IV antibiotics.

This was a new job, so it didn't sit well that I needed to take a few months off.

It took many more years (and 2 more long term hospitalizations) after that to fully heal. I got other jobs, and subsequently lost those due to my illness. Most places don't like it when someone misses years at a time.

Then, it started on my other foot. That's the one that is even worse.

My foot became infected, and eventually, they had to amputate a toe (4th -the piggy that got no roast beef.) The worst part of that is one of my tendons was cut. So, now, I walk on the side of my foot, which opens the wound. It's nearly impossible to heal. It's been opened since January 2007.

more to come (told you this disease destroys)