Monday, October 20, 2008

It is what it is...

I've gone through periods on this blog where I imagine reading got downright depressing. I've had a lot of struggles over the past few years in dealing with my health condition(s) and trying to come to grips with some things. I suspect I have had some depression, that I've tried to battle as best I can, actually.

Today, may be one of those posts, but it is also one that I'd love to hear back from you on because I'm trying to work through some things.

Today I had a full body scan and then a sonogram done of my carotid arteries for the weight loss program I'm about to begin through my doctor's office. The sonogram I had done about a year ago. I can't remember, but I think I blogged about it. The results, back then, were not pretty. I had the arteries of a 50-something when I'm a late 30-something. The doctor was concerned, put me on cholesterol medication and I tried to get on track.

At my last exam, more than three months ago, the doctor praised me for losing 12 pound in the past year. I didn't even realize I'd done that. When you have such a bad body image that you're never happy with how you look, it takes a lot to really make an impact. I was still overweight, but I admit it felt good to hear that. My blood work was coming back great and he was very pleased, saying I was an ideal patient.

I went home feeling pretty good.

And, then the wheels came off my "ideal patient" wagon and I went rolling out of control. It is time to admit some things I am embarrassed and humbled to admit. Part of getting on track is making yourself accountable, and that is what I'm trying to do.
  • I have not consistently taken my medications. I hate medicine and I've allowed myself to "forget" to take my evening pills too often than not.
  • I have not been testing my blood sugars...uh, for a long time. So long, that when it came time to enroll in this weight loss program I had to actually SEARCH for my blood glucose monitor. My fasting blood sugar is supposed to be around a 70 each morning when I test (usually around 7 a.m.) . Today, the doctor's office tested it at 140--at 8:30 a.m. Not good.
  • I have not worked out as I should, although this one was not in my control thanks to Ike, then a broken toe. I suppose I could have found something--swimming? But, realistically, I needed to lay off until the foot healed.
  • I have not eaten as I should. I am not saying I go and order a chicken fried steak weekly, because I do try to pick healthier options when I eat out. But, I have not JUST ordered grilled chicken and steamed veggies either. What I have done is not enough, period. And, I have not curbed my nighttime snacking or my portions at dinner. Now, I pay the price with my waistline.
  • My body image has now bottomed out. I have had a lot of negative talk and am back to the self-deprecating humor about how I look and how disgusted I am with myself. Again, not good.
So, what happened? Well, I'm not quite sure. But, I think that it happened due to a sense that I was just fine. that this problem was in control and I didn't need all of these steps to stay well. I wasn't exactly denying that I was a diabetic, but I thought I really didn't have to worry at least not now. Not for years, right?

Here is my harsh reality. My father is having surgery for a blockage on his carotid artery next month. And, when I went today as I was being scanned, I could feel my heart racing from the anxiety and fear. And, when the doctor told me the results, I had good reason for that anxiety. My arteries are now that of a 68- and a 57-year old.

And, I am humbled and scared. I realize now that I just can't let loose of my medications, of working out, of eating right like I have done. I can't and will never be able to be like most people. I DO have diabetes and it IS not stable. All drama aside, the facts are this--I am damaging my body and will cut my life short if I continue.

Message received. I am now trying to not get depressed from this news (very hard) and focus on being positive and doing what I need to do to get back to where I was 3 months ago, and then move even beyond that to lifelong healthy eating, consistent exercise and medication and testing my blood sugars daily (for awhile until I learn where I need to be to keep them steady).

One of the hardest things I'm finding about getting older is not watching my age go up on the scale, finding those first gray hairs, or grimacing at crows feet in my mirror. It is realizing that genetics plays a huge role in how we have to live our life for optimal health. And, you can't deny your genes and pretend they aren't there. You've got to accept the hand your dealt and learn how to play with it. I just have to hope that I can do that and win a few hands along the way now...

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Anonymous Wickedly Scarlett said...

It sounds to me like you have a very positive attitude about making changes, and I really think this program will be very helpful for you. I am getting to the point where I also need to start watching what I'm eating, more for the sake of my future health, and it is HARD to pass up those Taco Bells and Mc D's on the way home from work! But you know we're always here for you if you need help staying accountable, or just want a little encouragement. I totally believe that you can really do this and become a healthier person!!! Hugs to you!!!

11:50 AM, October 20, 2008  
Anonymous Alison C said...

We all slack off at some time and then we get a wake up call. But this has happened at a good time for you. Take this set back and use it as an incentive for your new program.

You can do this!

12:22 PM, October 20, 2008  
Blogger Lisabell said...

I recently (last week) had a wakeup call myself when I saw a new doctor, so I know where you're coming from. I am in awe of you for having that artery scan -- I would be petrified to do that, with my family's history of heart disease. I too am about to embark on a journey to health, and I'm glad we can do it together *virtually* :) I'll send you an email with more info... You're very brave and determined, my friend. I hope I can be too.

1:54 PM, October 20, 2008  
Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

Well, now you know what you need to do and you know what the consequences are if you don't. My Mr. has diabetes and totally switched his diet. He dropped 25 lbs. and is off all but one of his meds. He doesn't think he even needs that one, but his doc isn't convinced he'll stick to the diet. The diabetic diet works - no question. Just take out all your pasta, rice, bread, and red meats and you'll be amazed!
He feels good and he looks terrific.
You'll do great!!!

3:45 PM, October 20, 2008  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

I subscribe to CMC because CMC is dealing with real issues that the rest of us deal with too, and whether the indicators are showing that we are winning or losing at any point of time, the important thing is that our heads are not in the sand and that we are engaging in the battle. Keep fighting, keep writing!

Now, I should go and do my stretching. Which I should be doing daily. I wonder where my stretching bands are, I haven't seen them for five years....

6:16 PM, October 20, 2008  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Hey, Geoff! Nice to hear from you again--I didn't know you still read.

Thanks everyone for the support! Dinner tonight--grilled tilapia with corn on the's a start!

7:35 PM, October 20, 2008  
Blogger Andrew said...

Do you remember that I had a diabetic cat named Elvis? I had to test his glucose regularly. It was a urine test. I had to lurk around the catbox, acting casual, waiting for Elvis to pee. He of course knew what I was up to, so he'd try to outwait me. Eventually he'd go, then I'd have to run over, capture some of his pee in a sterile container, then test it with glucose strips and a stopwatch.

I'm not making light of your situation, but I do hope that when you're testing your blood sugar over the next weeks, you'll laugh and be glad that you don't have to loiter endlessly around a smelly catbox to get it.

10:02 PM, October 20, 2008  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Oh, A...have I told you lately what a peach of a friend you are? Thanks for the chuckle tonight. That's just what I needed.

And, you're right, I will not be able to test without a giggle at the though of you stalking your cat's urine. HA!

11:11 PM, October 20, 2008  
Anonymous MizFit said...

you do have SUCH agreat attitude. I know it is a lot of work to stay that positive----but it is impressive, woman.

and you did track back in the day?!

back in the day I was FAR TOO (scared &) uncoordinated to do anything remotely tracklike:)

5:08 AM, October 22, 2008  
Blogger Williams at Home said...

Don't beat yourself up over this one. I, for one, would have done the same thing. Eating healthy / working out / etc. doesn't come naturally to most of us.

I choose to look at it the way I do with Peri. She has until the count of 3 to change. If I get to 3, the fun is over. Just think of this latest drs. appt. as your number 2. We all need a second warning sometimes.

I'll be thinking about you!

6:46 PM, October 22, 2008  
Blogger Kimberly said...

You're going to do this because you have to. There isn't anymore room to wiggle. You need to be healthy for yourself, your family and for us. (Don't make me get all selfish on you because I am a pro)

BTW- I can attest to LLB's husband's diet. He looks amazing!

Stay strong Steph. You can do this!!!!

Bug Hugs xo

8:55 PM, October 22, 2008  
Blogger Sitting said...

You can do this. It won't be easy, but there aren't a lot of things that are easy, so go figure.

One step at a time. One meal at a time. One medication dose at a time.

And this is random, but I'll throw it out there for consideration: have you ever though about becoming a vegetarian? I'm not out to convert people, but I can attest to the fact that cutting out most meat (I still eat fish) has increased the health of my diet significantly. ;)

9:26 PM, October 22, 2008  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Miz--answered you directly too, but, yeah, i was a trackster back in the day...

Melinda--so you do the counting thing too--ha!

Kimberly-you're a peach--hugs back at ya!

Sitting (Nicole) - laughing at the thought of me being vegetarian. but, yes, all signs really point to that being the optimal diet for me...i'm the granddaughter of a Texas rancher though--it might be hard to convert me! LOL

11:49 PM, October 22, 2008  
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