A gold justice scale holds high fat foods (avocado, shrimp, fries, eggs, and salmon) on one side while the other side holds a variety of pills.

Managing Hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes

I have been living with hypertension (high blood pressure) since 2001. I had been able to manage it with maintenance medications and exercise. I had stopped eating pork completely but I still had that love for salt so that was a little challenge for me. I would know if I had too much because I would get the occasional headache but that was about it. Though I loved salt I did not overdo it.

Type 2 diabetes and hypertension

So now let's fast forward to when I visited my new doctor in late 2014. I was a little embarrassed at 37 having hypertension but I was in for an awakening. I found out that I now had high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes as well. This did scare me. So now instead of low to no salt now I have low to no sugar, low to no carbs and low to no fats. To me it was more like "low to no life" because this would mean "low to no food" and I love food. How was I now gonna be able to find food with no sodium, no carbs, no sugar, no fats, no nothing? I was going crazy about how I was going to be able to balance all of this. I went 13 years on trying to be careful of only my sodium intake, to so much more management and it was, and at times still is, difficult. Well, that is to me at least. I feel like I really can't eat anything but air at times.

Unhealthy choices

Now a salad is not a salad anymore. My type of salad would be loaded with about 10 percent of healthy, 90 percent of unhealthy which meant 100 percent of good (intentions) and bad (outcome) at the same time. How was that even possible? Well I will tell you how this is my friend... My initial thought was good but after a little this and a little that got added it became an unhealthy meal and a very bad choice. There I admitted it. I knew it was bad but I didn't stop. Before I got to the salad bar I would have my mind made up. I would tell myself this will be a healthy salad this time. But when I got there and saw the toppings and said ok just a little of this one, and a little of that one, and slowly the lettuce disappeared and that was all she wrote. You know how someone says I'm gonna have a salad for lunch and you could actually see the salad, well yeah that was not my salad. When someone looks at your salad and say...what are you eating? At that moment you realize you are NOT eating a salad. You are eating any and everything that will come from those unhealthy eating habits. In my case, that was high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. So that is how I got here.

Managing hypertension and type 2 diabetes

But now I have been finding ways to manage. Though it's not easy. As a matter of fact it's harder some days because I sometimes get exhausted just trying to figure out what to eat. If I don't meal prep I get stuck but eventually, I will find something.

And if that wasn't enough, here you go... Medications, ugh. We all know that they are not free. I am taking 8 different pills a day but some are multiple times a day so in total, I have to take 11 a day. Yes, you read that correctly - 11 a day. I am 41 and I feel like pills take up much of my day. That is a challenge when I don't have an appetite to snack or eat to take so many pills. The side effects of some also add a challenge when managing multiple illnesses. So management has been a little hard but over time it has gotten better and I am sure it will continue to get better. I have recently joined the gym and hopefully, that will help with management as well and I am hopeful that it will allow me to illuminate some of the medications with the advice of my medical providers. One day at a time is all I can do and I will continue to fight for a healthier me. Beautifully Fighting.

Do you find that managing multiple illnesses is a big challenge? If so, how do you deal with the challenges? I would love to know how you manage your type 2 plus other conditions.

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