This was originally posted to my blog, Diabetes Odyssey.
We all understand that there are different levels of healthy and unhealthy. But where does the line get drawn between the two? When do you know when you have crossed the line from mildly unhealthy to mildly healthy?
The question came up in my thoughts yesterday after I left my endocrinologists office. As my regular readers are aware, I have spent most of my type 1 diabetic life (27+ years) ignoring and rebelling against my diabetes. This terrible behavior has left me with permanent reminders of my reprehensible actions against my own body. I am riddled with complications of diabetes.
Right now I have all my known health issues on their way out or at the very least stopped from progressing (many are incurable but can be slowed down and controlled). My A1c is the lowest it has ever been, 7.4, and I have no intention of letting it go back up. I am forever working on dropping it to an outstanding number of glorious lowness.
The problem is that I have done so much damage to myself over so many years that there is no hope of ever achieving what anyone would consider good health. No matter how good my labs look (my doctor says they look wonderful), I still have a number of annoying and frustrating problems we can’t seem to fix. The two most affecting my quality of life are as follows:
-I can’t lose even one pound no matter how hard I try. I have been tested for PCOS and one doctor says the results are positive and another doctor says they are negative. I assume this means my labs came back on the line between negative and positive and so it’s up to individual opinion? I was put on Metformin and birth control to even out my hormones and help with my insulin resistance, and I was told this should also help me lose weight, but it hasn’t. I do not overeat, I get as much exercise as I can handle, so I shouldn’t be this big and I shouldn’t be gaining like I am. I have dropped my insulin needs so that should have helped me to lose, but it hasn’t. My thyroid tests are normal but my doctor ordered a specific Hashimoto’s test (an autoimmune thyroid condition common among diabetics), so we will see what that says. She also pointed out that the Gabapentin I am taking can cause weight gain, so I am going to try weaning off of it and see if I begin to lose. The drug hasn’t helped me enough with my neuropathy pain to be worth this much heartache… if it is the culprit.
-Chronic fatigue- I am tired ALL the time. This has been going on ever since my heart surgery two years ago. It’s like my battery never fully charges and then the smallest activity drains it so fast. I have to take breaks every ten minutes from the simplest activities. When I push myself to keep going and power on through, I end up so exhausted I need a nap! I thought that all I needed to do was get back in shape and I would naturally have more energy, but no matter how hard I try, there is just no improvement. My endo has no idea what could be causing this and said to talk to my cardiologist about it. My cardiologist says my heart is healthy and I just need to get in shape…my only other thought on this would be that maybe it’s a side effect of one or more of the million meds I’m on.
I am ecstatic at how well I am doing at getting my diabetes under control and improving my health. But it is really hard to keep working and trying when there are so many problems, and when two of them have unknown causes and therefore unknown ways to fix. The weight problem really gets me down because my lifestyle should be reflected in my appearance…but it’s not. I want to fit in my old clothes again, I want to feel like I am attractive and healthy. I want to be able to walk around and have the world look at me and say, “Now there’s a woman who takes care of herself”, but I can’t because I look at myself in the mirror and see a reflection that doesn’t reflect my life, my health, me.
This weight problem sometimes affects my appetite and eating habits as well. I go to eat something (anything) and I can’t bring myself to put it in my mouth because all I can think of is my fatness,my insulin needs, and how no matter what I can’t ■■■■■■■ lose weight!!!
I am the kind of person who needs to know what’s going on with my body and for a long time now I have been in the dark. I feel so lost, out of control, disconnected from me.
I feel like starving myself. I feel like restricting my insulin. I feel like taking drastic measures. But I won’t, because I’ve come so far and won’t let myself ruin it all now.
I just have to keep searching for answers. I have to keep trying.