A few years ago I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes.
A high blood pressure diagnosis soon followed.
At first I was on one pill to control my sugar; however after a couple of years, an additional medication was introduced.
I had periods of time where I dieted and exercised, but I always became so frustrated when I would never see a reduction on the scale and would manage somehow to experience some type of injury. Every. Single. Time.
First it was my arm.
I went through physical therapy as prescribed, but to this day, it still isn't right.
I have injured my back many times and developed painful bursitis during one period of diet and exercise.
During another exercise run, I ended up having to get shots in the bottom of my foot just under my toes to alleviate the pain so that I could walk without limping.
I have such an inherent fear of needles that I had to take anti-anxiety meds before going in for the treatment after experiencing a severe panic attack.
I got to the point where the whole thing seemed pointless, if not hopeless.
It may come as a surprise to some to learn that despite my size, I do not sit around all day and stuff my face and I sure as heck am not lazy.
I eat the way normal people do and I am quite active.
My body just does not respond normally.
I somehow tricked myself into thinking that I could continue to eat like a normal person without any consequences.
I couldn't have been any more wrong.
Over the past several months I have felt horrible and have functioned (barely) in a constant state of exhaustion.
I thought it was just from burning the candle at both ends all of the time or that I perhaps had mono or something to that effect.
I hadn't been to the doctor in quite some time and I also hadn't been checking my sugars.
I didn't even know the whereabouts of my testing kit.
A full blood workup revealed that my A1C levels were extremely high; the highest they had ever been, and additional testing revealed that I have some problems with my kidneys and need to see a specialist.
My worst fears became reality when I was informed that I now needed to give myself insulin, by needle, every day.
I felt sick and started to cry after receiving the news.
It just wasn't fair.
The list of complications from diabetes is a long and serious one and since I am experiencing some of them, I am scared.
I no longer have a choice but to make serious lifestyle changes.
It isn't just about diet, but how I look at food in general.
The other day someone brought a box of doughnuts for a board meeting.
I placed them at the other end of the table, far away from me.
By the end of the meeting, the box remained not only unopened, but left behind after the meeting adjourned.
Knowing I couldn't eat any, I figured looking at them and smelling them wouldn't hurt.
I foolishly opened the box only to find that my two favorite ones were in there.
Surely one bite of the glazed wouldn't hurt anything ...
Resisting the lie I was trying to tell myself after three days of healthy (albeit yucky) eating, I closed the box and offered it to the people in one of the offices behind me who were all too happy to take them off my hands.
I honestly felt a sense of sadness knowing that I can't have those things any more, but I also felt a sense of victory and strength that I was able to stand firm in my quest to beat this vicious disease and the other health challenges that have come as a result of it.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your blood sugar under control by whatever means necessary.
The risks are way too high to walk around living in denial of the seriousness of the situation.
No, it isn't going to be easy, and no, it definitely isn't fair; but please know that you are not alone and if fighting for your health (if not your life) isn't worth doing for yourself, then do it for the ones you love and who love you.
We can do this.