"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane
Last April I was diagnosed with diabetes type 2. I had been losing weight without changing my eating patterns. I’m very over weight, but not obese. I used to keep my weight off by exercising and taking long walks every day. Then post-polio syndrome kicked in and I was unable to walk easily. less then five minutes of walking puts me into so much pain that I become nauseous from it.
I was never a big eater or a regular eater. I ate erratically, some times going all day without eating and then over eating the next day when my appetite returned. I still have issues with food. Sometimes I have to force myself to eat. Once or twice a year I’ll go four or five days without eating and then have to acclimate myself to food again.
In addition to the polio, I have PTSD (that has been discussed before in this blog). I think that there is a stress component to the periods in which I can’t eat.
However, once I could no longer exercise (I require a wheelchair to shop), I put on ten pounds a year until I weighed 200 pounds. I’m only five feet tall and that makes me a real tubby. I have lost a lot of it since the diabetes arrived, mostly by changes in what I eat. The hardest part of the diet is that I am supposed to eat three regular meals and three snacks. I take my glucose levels three times a day and I take metformin HCL.
I am still forgetting to eat some days, but I have begun using glasses of vegetable juice and sugar free fruit beverages that I create in my blender for the days I can’t bring myself to eat. Regularity, as much as i can manage it, has curbed the binges. My glucose levels are staying in the low normal range. I’m also making pots of soup and stews that are low carb.
I don’t miss the sweets. I have never been a big sweet eater, not even as a child. What I do miss is the pasta and potatoes that were the mainstay of my previous diet.
I am finding that the diabetes is manageable. I had fish and fruit for lunch. In two hours, I’ll have half a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter that contains no sugar. Reading the labels is a necessity. I was shocked at how much of our food contains high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar.
The older we get, the more physical issues we develop. I’m 58. That means that they are piling up on me.
I was eight years old when I contracted polio, so I have very few memories of what it was like to be normal. In a sense, that is a good thing under the circumstances because I am very familiar with how to strategize around difficulties. Over the years, I have seen how much harder it is for an adult to adapt to physical challenges after an illness or accident that disables them. They seem to be far less ready to cope than those who were disabled as children.