Saturday, January 12, 2008

Entering a New World

On December 5th, 2007, I went to the doctor to get a check-up done and get some bloodwork. Everything went fine, until the bloodwork was taken and the results were made known to doctor informed me that I have Type II Diabetes. Naturally, I was in a little shock about it.........

Let me back up some .........

About 3-4 months prior to the diagnosis, I started noticing some numbness in my toes. I thought nothing of it, except that I might be pinching a nerve in my back. I say this because sometimes when I move a certain way, the numbness went away or lessened.

Then about 1 month prior to the diagnosis, I started getting thirstier and being more fatigued. I was drinking water as if it had no end. I would come home from work and usually take a 1 to 1.5 hour nap before having dinner or doing anything else. I thought - my work (I am a Senior CAD Drafter for an Architect) was wearing me down mentally and that is why I am so tired. This goes on daily up until about 2 weeks prior to the doctor's visit. At that time, my boss comes in and asks me if I wanted to have my blood glucose checked. I hesitated because I have a fear of needles. (My Boss was diagnosed 1 year ago with Type II Diabetes) 1 week later, on a Wednesday, I entered his office and asked him if he could check my sugar. He agreed. We checked the sugar (found out the needle prick was barely noticeable) and, lo and behold, my blood glucose was 399! I said 399!!! That is high. My boss mentioned to me that at 400 you go in the hospital. So I went back to my cubical and called my doctor's office to set up an appointment. The receptionist asked why I needed to come in and I explained to her the story.

So from that day on, I started reducing my number. I immediately omitted fruits and fruit juices. 2 days later, we checked my glucose again and it had dropped from 399 to 322. The following Monday morning we checked it again and it had dropped to 308. 2 days later I had the doctor's appointment.

The official reading came in at 304. The Doctor gave me a glucose monitor, prescriptions for medication and said to check it once a day.

So this is where my new life begins.

On that day, my weight was 318 lb. For a 6 foot 1 inch person, a normal weight range is 180-190 lb. My goal: 185 lb.

I started checking my sugar 3 times daily to see how food interacts with my blood glucose.

On January 7th, 2008, I met with a local Diabetes Educator at the local hospital. She informed me of what my ranges need to be at different times of the day.

My ranges are:
Prior to breakfast (Fasting) between 65-99
Prior to lunch or dinner between 65-120
2 hours after lunch or dinner between 65 and 140

She also gave me a form to fill out that will track my glucose levels over a 7-day period.

Since my diagnosis, I have been reading a lot about diabetes and the complications for not managing this disease on the internet. I am writing down my food in a diary daily as best I can. I am also creating a food carb database that I will be using when planning new meals. I have ordered some books and am using them.

I am checking my sugar 3x daily to make sure I stay within the ranges. I also am doing cardio exercises 3-4 times daily with the help of a gazelle and an air-resistant rower. This, along with the limited amount of carbohydrates I am allowed per meal (45-60 grams) will help me to loose weight.

I may be a lucky person in that when I have reduced my weight down to where it needs to be, that I may be taken off of the medication, but I will always have diabetes. Until they find a cure.

Unlike others I know, I intend to fight this disease. I will continue my exercises. I will lose the weight. I will continue to track my food in a diary and also here on the blog. I will continue to check my glucose 3x daily to make sure I stay in the ranges.

But on top of it all = I will do better in getting the word out for early testing and physical fitness. To start, I have joined a local support group held at the local hospital every month.

On this blog, I will post diary entries, notes, glucose readings and recipes. If you have any tips, please email me at or post them here on this blog. Diabetes is not a disease that needs to remain silent. The only way to fight it is to be active about the goals and to encourage others to not give in.

1 comment:

Loren said...

Hi Dirk,
I have been T2 diabetic for over 10 years now but at the time i was diagnosed I didn't realize what a serious disease it is and that it can be fatal.
I didn't take it seriously at all, Probably because i didn't really know what diabetes was.
It is only till recently that I have searched the net and found so much information that I realized that i needed to take this seriously.
For all those years my doctor never even referred me to a dietitian or Endocrinologist and once he did and I spoke to these professionals that i realized I really had to do something about it.
You know, in all those years I never even measured my BG levels!
Now I measure it religiously.

So the shock that hit you on diagnoses didn't hit me till about a little over a year ago.

My mum is also a diabetic and she was just as clueless as me, so now everything I learn i also pass on to her and she has also now realized that it is serious.

So I guess at least we're on the right track, lets hope we all keep going and reach our goals!

Best wishes,