Saturday, November 04, 2006

I Found Some Advice To Share

On November 3, 1983, Ronald Reagan signed a bill declaring November as National Diabetes Month. If you need or want information on diabetes Dlife is an excellent place to start. Have I mentioned yet that I am an insulin dependent diabetic? A huge amount of the testing and research these last few weeks has been directly related to the diabetes. I had little choice in the matter, both of the families I come from are rife with diabetes, so genetically the issue was when.

Diabetes is a disease where the pancreas, an organ in your body, stops putting out enough high quality insulin. Insulin is the chemical that your body uses to break down food into the usable products that your body uses, such as proteins, and energy. etc. Excess glucose, think sugar, are stored in your system as fats. Medical thinking used to be that fat was a store of energy in a human. Fairly recently, they have changed their thinking, and they now see it as more of a separate organs with it's own chemistry, or endocrine system. Trying to keep things simple here. Now, diabetes gets really complicated.

In the old days, before 1921, the pancreas didn't put out enough insulin, or it wasn't a high enough quality, and the diabetic ate food, and nothing happened. The food passed through the system, wasn't digested, the diabetic lost weight at a fantastic rate, was thirsty all the time, drank water, and ran to the bathroom, and evacuated it just as fast. They died in a couple of weeks. In 1921, the biochemistry masters synthesized insulin for the first time, and it was safe for humans to take. People who used to die were now spared. People like me have a chance.

When you're first diagnosed, if you're a Type 2 (Type 1 diabetics are typically kids. They are my heroes. They deal with this monkey, and adapt, and live productive lives, and contribute to society and make a lot less noise than I am now) they give you pills that either make you less resistant to the insulin your body is producing, or a different pill that may attempt to stimulate the production of more insulin by your pancreas. You also get your first meter. You must embrace and eventually bond with your meter, it is the source of all information worth knowing. You want your blood glucose to be between 90 and 120 in the morning when you wake up. That's know as a fasting blood sugar. You didn't eat while you were asleep for the last 8 hours. They may have you check your glucose two hours after you eat, and you should be within 40 points of normal, meaning 160. What counts is the average, not any single reading.

I could write forever on this, but I have something new. Something I really didn't know. What this week has been all about to me. When you actually start injecting yourself with insulin, you start putting on weight at a remarkable rate. Lots of people don't believe the rate at which this happens, except the doctors, and particularly the doctors who are also diabetic. In the year I have been on the needle, I put on almost 60 pounds. I have simultaneous reduced my food intake cutting the carbs in half. Here's what medicine has to offer. Cut your food intake and exercise more. I work out 5 days a week, three doing tai chi, two on a tread mill and weight machines for an hour and a half. My physical therapist thought I should have been losing weight. So did two doctors. Before you say it, I don't have to lie to anyone. Who would I be kidding other than myself.

I have a really good friend named Margie, and she is what's known as pre-diabetic. So she and I have been writing. She sent me an article about Bayetta, gila monster spit, which was a diabetic medication that was helping diabetics lose weight. I called my doctor as I read the e mail. Couldn't do it. Only works before you start insulin. Once you've started, you can't use it. I booked an appointment with the doc. A week later, it took us less than two minutes to be in a screaming fight. Don't feel too bad for my doc, he was the starting left tackle on the 1963 Notre Dame National Championship Football Team. He's always worried that he scared me, and I always worry that I scared him. We have a great relationship. He made an appointment with a specialist he knew to talk about morbid obesity. I had to wait until the following Thursday to find out what the next step was going to be, and I was still gaining weight. I was beyond uncomfortable. I was having real trouble breathing.

Then, last Monday I ran out of diet soda. I drink Diet Coke with almost everything, unless I'm drinking coffee. I took my morning pills with water, and I finished the glass. While i was drinking my coffee, and writing The Morning Meeting, I somehow drank another glass of water. Didn't think about it. I went to the john, and headed out to Physical Therapy. I got onto the treadmill, and felt better. Better than I had in weeks. I asked my PT about water in my diet. He just looked at me and said, "You have to have water in your diet. You need to drink at least 64 oz of water a day." Sounded a little strange, I asked, "Why 64 oz and not 65 oz?" No response. He repeated at least three more times, that everyone should drink at least 64 oz. of water a day. At the time, I didn't know anyone who did, but I started. At tai chi, I was told that I needed to drink water all day long and to stay hydrated. This was news to me, and the point of this piece.

When I got to the doctor who specialized in morbid obesity, he had a lot to say. And I'll write a lot about it. I was down 7 pounds since Monday, and this was Thursday and all I had changes was I was drinking water. The diet doc says that you have to drink water every day. He says that it isn't completely understood why, other than cleaning out the system, and that there isn't a precise measurement, but that 64 oz, or 65 is probably fine. If you get hungry, drink a glass of water instead, because people tend to confuse hunger and thirst. I liked 64 because it's the square of 8, or 8 eight oz. glasses. That was Margie's idea, and I always go with Margie.

All of this is so you too can now know that you really do need to drink water every day. I am walking proof of it. And I saw this piece of 'advice' and liked it, so I'm also sharing it with you.

Everyone Must See This! - video powered by Metacafe


Echo Mouse said...

I'm sorry that you have diabetes. I know it's manageable but I still wouldn't wish it on anyone. You're doing good things to keep it under control :)

Love that video. Thanks for posting it :)

cinders said...

I'm on the water alllll day long.

The CEO said...

As of this morning, I am down 11 pounds. I can't explain it, but it wasn't helping my breathing, my back or my sex life, in any order. And when I get light enough, pole dancing!

Crankster said...

Late last night, when I read this post, I immediately grabbed a glass of water. I'm glad you discovered this problem, and I appreciate the advice. Not to mention the video, which was beautiful. Thanks!

MonkeyLover said...

water is a savior! and you know I used to work for a program that dispensed nutrition education... diet soda, even though it says diet 0 calories fake sugar, etc... works against losing weight. People tend to drink more of it than regular just because it says diet.

Also these things helped: eating more fiberous food (brocolli, asparagus, etc) it would fill me up, eating slowing and stopping when I am not hungry... not when i am full, keeping to a serving size (deck of cards) of meat, be it fish, steak, or chicken.

But I am not diabetic. And water, definitely lots of water. Coffee can mess with your metabolism too, as it is a dyuretic and appetite suppressant. I pretty much stick with nonfat milk and water.

Congrats on the discovery!!

mist1 said...

Great video.

cmhl said...

I bet you will be amazed with teh changes from drinking more water (or ANY water in your case..).. honestly, during the day I drink about 80% water, 9% milk/juice, and 1% coffee. don't forget the coffee.

I used to be a diet coke addict but gave it up--- my complexion thanks me..


Drink water? OK, I can do that! Just don' tell me I have to exercise everyday or anything hard like that. ;)

desiree said...

The one major bonus of my current job is that, unlike previous jobs, I don't need to seek permission to visit the bathroom. For years I had to forgo water because in combination with my teeney little bladder I just couldn't handle the wait. Now, what with my super posh (read: super shitty) desk job I can go to the bathroom ANY TIME I CHOOSE. I suck down water like I've been wandering the desert for days.

As for the video I was the class of 99 and that lovely speech was made into a song that they played on the radio all the time. You just made me all verklempt.

Alison said...

I love water. In fact, I'm going to get a glass of it right now.

Echo Mouse said...

Okay, now that everyone has moved on from this post, I can say what I wanted originally to convey.

Buried in my blog are posts about my now deceased eldest sister. She was diagnosed as Juvenile Diabetic in the summer of 1965. I was 6 months old. So I grew up with the disease. 18 years ago, my Mother was diagnosed with Type II and a few years ago, my Father as well.

Your post really reminded me vividly of what it's like for a diabetic. I completely understand and admire your courage. It's so important to look after yourself. So so important. My sister died at 46 years young due to complications from diabetes and scleredema. The information we know today about the disease wasn't known when she was growing up. By the time good info was being published, it was too late for her body. I am extremely grateful, as she was, that those who live with diabetes today have much better information and medicine. It means the difference between life and death.

And {{HUG}}. That's all I wanted to say. :)