August 27, 2006

Why I hate the phrase "The truth will set you free"

I’m finding a lot of fault with the phrase “The truth will set you free” after attending the Diabetes EXPO in Pittsburgh yesterday. I stepped on the scales at a BMI station, and the truth didn’t “set me free,” it made me want to throw up all over the med students nice bright, white lab coat. He smiled politely, read my weight (as if I couldn’t see what was starring me in the face), and then recorded it on my note card. Free??? Hardly. I feel more trapped than ever.

I’ve never been one to hop on the scales everyday. Actually, since I’m on a “truth” kick here, I avoid the scale at all costs. I rationalized that I would be able to tell whether I gained or lost weight by how my clothes fit. However, I think I’ve gotten used to how my clothes fit (definitely tighter lately than usual) and spent most of the summer in mesh shorts with comfortable waist bands. I realize the error of my ways here; if I had stepped on the scale recently, I would have seen that my weight was slowly creeping up. I should have known.

So after being terribly disappointed yesterday, I’m trying to figure out where to make changes. I’ve attempted to make changes in the past, and obviously they didn’t do the trick – I just resorted to my old ways. I need to make changes that I can live with. I don’t want to deprive myself – I love eating too much! – and I don’t want to spend 4 hours a day in a gym, so I’m hoping to find a happy medium. My fiancé suggested seeing the trainer at the gym I go to so that he can write up a workout plan for me. He thinks I’ve gotten so used to my workout (60 mins of cardio) that it’s not really helping me much. I agree with him completely (he wanted to get that in writing) and I think I’ve gotten as complacent with my workouts as I have with my diabetes care. I definitely need to shake things up and make some improvements.

I’ll post more about the Diabetes side of the EXPO later on. Right now, the weight issue was heavier (pardon the pun) on my mind.

August 24, 2006

An entry in which I yak about what I haven't done since my last entry....

The summer is quickly coming to an end, and soon I’ll be trading in my flip flops and shorts for heels, dress pants, and uncomfortable knee highs and pantyhose. School is starting next Tuesday, and I’ll begin my 4th year of teaching! I’m going to miss the schedule/bell free days of summer, but I am anxious to meet my new students and to begin another year. There’s something exciting about new school supplies and the crisp fall mornings that make me feel so blessed to be a teacher. Each year I have the chance to improve on what I did the year before and I get to try new methods to reach the students and to make learning fun for them and for me.

In a way, I wish I felt the same excitement when I get diabetes supplies. However, it often feels like more of the same old b.s. I keep telling myself that each day I get to start fresh: I get to try to count my carbs more accurately, to keep better logs, to drink more water, but most days go by with only the bare minimum of checking, counting carbs, and occasionally recording things in my log. I can’t blame my unchanging A1C’s on the insane endo (he’s a whole series of posts for a later time); when it comes down to it, it’s my disease, it’s my body, it’s my problem.

I find the same vicious cycle with my weight. I may lose 3-4 pounds once in a while, but I eventually gain it back. I think I lack stick-with-it-ness; persistence, if you will.

I thought that getting the pump would make me feel more encouraged to make positive changes and to keep better logs, but it really hasn’t changed much in that respect. On the up side, I’m using less insulin, and I ‘m free to exercise whenever I want with the temporary basal option, but other than that, I haven’t really made the improvements that I thought I would after having the pump for three months.

What really frustrates me is that I know I’m the one responsible for my control. I’ve had a very complacent attitude towards diabetes and my weight lately, and I don’t entirely understand why. Perhaps my first 3 years as a super disciplined diabetic wore me out? I stuck to a very, very rigid diet and as a result my blood sugar rarely went above 200 and my weight stayed about 10 pounds above my pre-diabetes level. Of course, I could have been experiencing the honeymoon period those first couple years, making the diabetic life seem easier than it really is.

Regardless, I’m tired of setting goals for myself that I’m not working towards and that I’m not reaching. I’m tired of having A1C’s in the mid 7’s. I’m tired of not doing what I need to do to lose weight. Sometimes I have an almost out of body experience where I’m grazing all evening and thinking to myself “Holy Sh*t, how can I lose weight when I’m eating all night???” or when I’m waking up in the morning to blood sugars in the 200’s and not taking aggressive action the next night (or cutting back on the late night noshing) to prevent another morning high. Perhaps what frustrates me the most is that I know what I SHOULD be doing to improve my control but I lack the stick-with-it-ness to do it long enough to see changes and to feel encouraged to continue.

As I read over this, I realize that this sounds like one big pity party and, dear reader, I’m inwardly cringing. However, part of my difficulty may be the fact that I haven’t received sufficient care from a DNE or a CDE in regards to my diabetes care since my diagnosis 4.5 years ago. Even though I’m the one with diabetes, I can only do so much for myself. I need the objectivity and, dare I say it, wisdom of a GOOD endocrinologist to really push me in the right direction.

I’ve had my current endo send my medical records to the new endo I’ve heard such great things ago. I’m just praying that he accepts me and that the waiting list isn’t as long as I’ve heard it might be (7 months to a year!). I ‘m certain I’ll be at the end of my proverbial rope by that time if I continue to see my current endo, who yelled at me two months ago for testing too much. I test at max 10 times a day, and he balked at using so many “expensive” test strips in one day… HELLO!!! They’re covered my INSURANCE moron!!! And I’m DIABETIC – we’re SUPPOSED to test OFTEN!!! Apparently he didn’t get the memo. He must have skipped that day in his Diabetes 101 course. However, he quickly applauded me on my wonderful control (which, let me tell you, it’s FAR FROM!) once I made high-tech looking charts for my blood sugars and put it in a binder with those page protectors. I was embracing my inner nerd while meeting my endo’s annoying need for “neat” records with tons of detail. All of this is well and good, but he spent more time looking at the aesthetic qualities of my charts than he did looking at my actual numbers. Apparently, numerous blood sugars in the 200’s don’t look too shabby when charted semi-professionally in Excel. Good to know… right??

Okay, I’ve complained and whined long enough for one post. More soon… and I promise, this time I won’t wait almost two months before posting again. ;)