My type 2 diabetes journey,
Going back to January 2018, I was still coming to terms with my ileostomy, and the different feelings and emotions that would come along on my journey.
I was not feeling too good, I felt lethargic and drained, and a felt weak. learning from past issues I thought I best call the doctor and go and see him, I initial thought it might have been iron or potassium issues as I struggled with that whilst I was in hospital after my operation.
The appointment was made to see the occupational nurse, so we had a chat, and she took some bloods from me, had my weight done along with a few other bits and bobs, guess I just had to wait then for the results which would take about 10 – 14 days, another appointment was made, and the waiting game began.
On the morning of the meeting, I was fully expecting to be talking about iron and potassium supplements and best food sources to get it from, HOW WRONG WAS I, the disbelief that I had TYPE 2 DIABETES was a shock if I am honest, so the next 10 – 15 mins were a blur I was not really listening to what was being said, I guess I went into a denial that I had it. So, the nurse said the reading (65) could have been a little high due to various reason so said to come back in 3 months to review and do another test, as my body was still settling down from the operations that I had, nothing to do with the fact that I had put on some timber and was very inactive over the last few months or so.
That is how it stayed; I did not want to believe it nor deal with it. I returned in the 3 months not really changing anything, apart from a little more activity but not much, in my head the past reading were not correct and due to circumstances the blood reading will be fine this time. Oh, I was so kidding myself the bloods were done my weight had not really changed so we started the cycle again, bloods and another appointment 2 weeks later, this time the levels had dropped a little but nothing to write home about, the occupational nurse’s patience with me was now starting to wear a little thin if I am honest because I didn’t want to believe it. Different options where suggested but the way I wanted to do it was the only way, at this moment in time and the was the only way in my head was ignorance, I guess.
I was still in denial about it, we spoke about foods and sugars etc., and again I was taking some of it in but not a lot, I had small gains in weight loss and sugar levels but still not enough to stop the cycle of bloods and appointments. The next appointment was a little different there was a different nurse I guess had a different view of how this needed to be dealt with, which is no reflection on my normal nurse, this one wanted me to go onto tablets, that WAS NOT happening. It would have to be the last resort.
The jolt I needed,
The following appointment I had a change of view, I was open to any help and advice that I could have but not medication, so with the help of my normal occupational nurse we booked in a DESMOND course, this started the ball rolling for me, I did not want to go on medication,
So what made me change my mind.
I was sat watching one of these 24 hrs in A&E programs and there was a fella appeared on there who had type 2 diabetes and they showed a part of his feet and toes, I was shocked at what could potential happen if I didn’t heed the warning that had been fired across my bow. That was the jolt I needed to sort this out.
A change in habits and swimming with a stoma
With the DESMOND course under my belt, I looked at my diet and made the decision to change white bread, pasta, and rice for brown not 100% but it was a start. Then I looked at ways where I could improve my exercise during the day. I started swimming, which was a big step for me, I was a good swimmer in my youth and could hold my own and having a stoma now made the attendance of swimming harder as it did not really make it anymore easier for me now with the anxieties. I knew what my blood levels and weight were, so I had to get these down, so I started to swim a couple times a week and purchased a cheap bike to cycle to work. A couple of weeks in I had started losing a small amount of weight but as for my blood sugar levels, I did not know. The thing that kept going through my mind is with all these changes what was it going to do to me if the diabetes was not showing any signs of improvement, so with the new knowledge of the sugar in foods that you don’t really know that are there and how your body distributes them I was fully embracing my new challenge and was focused on my goals until my next test.
My goals lose weight and reduce sugar levels.
I was about 18 stone and 4lbs at the start of this journey my sugar levels were around the 64 and the pre diabetic level was 42 so had a fair way to go, my first goal was weight, I knew that if my weight improved I hoped it would improve my sugar levels, after about one month of swimming and the cycling I had started to lose the weight not very quickly but I was thinking that because I had gained fat but lost muscle density this was contradicting each other as my muscle was building and the fat was coming off, strangely I was enjoying my new exercises to the point I brought a gym membership and brought a new bike. The swimming was going well I was doing an hour swim each time, slowly building my strength and the lengths I was achieving were increasing as well. With my new bike I was enjoying the challenge of cycling to work and home again trying to improve my times each time.
So my journey my fight begins