About 4 years, I thought I would do the proper thing and get a physical after my 50th birthday. Well, sure enough, a couple days later I was diagnosed with Type 2. I was between overweight and obese and thought I was in good shape, ate well, exercised and had a good home life so I really thought I only had to make minor changes and everything would be fine. Sure I switched to Lite beer and tried to each smaller portions and went for a 30 min walk occasionally, but I guess it wasn’t enough. Last summer (year 3) after riding the roller coaster HA1c ride between 6.5 and 7.8 I had enough, got pissed off. I made a commitment to face this monster streaming through my veins and get some control. Since then I am down 30 lbs, walk over an hour a day, ride my bike on sunny days for 10-30 miles, eat a voracious amount of veg, eat almost NO starches (bread, rice, potatoes) and my HA1c is below 6.5 hoping for a sub 6 by the end of the month.
Through all of this, I feel like I live this secret life. Sure my wife and kids, parents and siblings know I have diabetes (usually I get the, “How is, uh, you know, your condition?”); I even told my close friend about a year ago, in fact, there was a student of mine who was diagnosed with Type 1 three months before her High School Graduation, so when consoling her I told her that I was diabetic and tried to give her some encouraging words. But that is it, I am not sure how to break it to my colleagues, students, friends or neighbors. I spend a couple hours a day reading about the disease and occasionally responding to forums when I have something to say. It is just not something that comes up in conversation. “Yea, how about that game last night, it was great. Oh, by the way, I am a diabetic.” or “Today, class, we are going to learn about quadratic equations, now take out your calculators whilst I check my blood glucose.” I feel like I have dug a deep rut and live in it. At the same time, I do not want people to walk on egg shells watching everything that comes near my mouth to be sure I don’t eat any of that sugar poison. I would be interested to hear how others deal with it. Should I buy an “I’M A DIABETIC!” T-shirt and stand on a soap-box? (Do they make soap boxes anymore?)