Coming to Terms With My Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis
Last updated: February 2022
Although I have always struggled with my weight despite drinking lots of water, eating well, and leading a mostly active lifestyle, if you would have told me that I would end up with the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes by age 45, I would not have believed you.
Caregiver to patient
In my mid-20's, I started taking care of my father, who had several serious diagnoses. One of which was type 2 diabetes. I remember arguing with him about his eating habits. Bargaining and bribing him to try more diabetes-friendly foods and recipes. (Usually unsuccessfully). Taking him to doctors' appointments was a regular occurrence. Testing his blood sugar twice daily. It was neverending and sometimes completely overwhelming. When he passed in 2008, I thought I was done with dealing with diabetes, but I was mistaken.
Bladder cancer and lingering complications
In 2016, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I won't go into the details of that here, but it was not an easy journey. My goal was to evict cancer and move on with my life. Well, I accomplished the former, but the latter proved much more of a challenge. After 8 months of procedures, hospitalizations, rehabilitation, chemotherapy, and even a transfusion, I found myself with permanent health issues.
Out of necessity, I had returned to work immediately. I made it through my workdays but had little energy for anything else. Chronic cancer fatigue, chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy, and minimal hearing loss took its toll. I could not muster the energy to be active. Sometimes, even if I had the energy, the pain was too much to bear.
The pounds I'd lost during chemo packed back on and doubled despite making healthy eating choices and drinking more than 100 oz of various beverages daily. I worked with my physician to work on the weight issues and have been incorporating medications, but chemo changes your body permanently and things did not work for me the way they used to. Four years after my cancer diagnosis, I found myself diagnosed with type 2 diabetes despite doing my best to avoid it.
Hesitancy about injectables
I returned to the office to discuss options with my doctor. I was concerned about having to take my blood sugar and give myself insulin. An obstacle I'd have to overcome - issues with medical PTSD from my time hospitalized. I did not want to take injectables. I had no clue what was to come. I had not kept up with diabetes information since my father passed. Fortunately, there had been progress made in treatment options in the last 12 years.
Just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and working on a plan
I was prescribed Januvia and my doctor and I continued weight loss and hydration discussions. That was 2 months ago. I've never been great at taking meds regularly, but I am working on improving that habit. I am trying to pay closer attention to my food intake and reading labels more thoroughly again. I am also working hard to read the symptoms as they manifest in my body.
This has proven a bit of a challenge as I am an ostomate (someone who has a medical diversion for urine or feces), so hydration is a constant challenge and many of the symptoms I experience in my regular life are also symptoms of type 2 diabetes. I am having to pay closer attention and figure out what triggers everything and be more thorough in my self-observations of my body.
Living and learning
I am definitely still on a learning curve, but I'm glad to be here to share it with everyone. Maybe some of the things I figure out along the way will help others.
I am still in a bit of shock over the diagnosis, but I've accepted that I do have this obstacle now. Another hurdle in the obstacle course of life. I'll learn to navigate this one as well and, hopefully, conquer it.
Do you chew your food slowly or quickly?
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