Since December Daily is partially about what makes up my life for this month, I'll share my diabetes clinic visit with you from this morning. This was a follow-up from the classes I took this summer, to see how I'm doing and for the clinic staff to make recommendations for better care.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect. They didn't tell me what to bring with me (and I didn't think to ask, of course!), so I went in with no idea what they would be doing. It turned out to be a very pleasant visit! I spoke with two ladies, a diabetes educator and a nutritionist, who took lots and lots of time with me, answered all my questions, and gave me some good advice.
My blood work from September, when I first went to the endocrinologist, was good. They were excited about that! The nutritionist reviewed my eating patterns with me, and she has given me a plan, very similar to my plate method to help me lose weight. I had a lightbulb moment when she said, "Don't eat to feed the pills; eat to control carbs."
If you don't have diabetes, you're probably scratching your head, wondering what that means. To put it as simply as I can, when you take the type of diabetes medication that I do, it makes your pancreas produce more insulin to make use of the carbohydrates in the food you eat. If you eat fewer carbs, the pills don't know that; they just keep your pancreas making the same amount of insulin, which will cause your sugar levels to go too low - you experience the symptoms of low blood sugar. The natural reaction to that is to eat more carbs (more calories) to keep your sugar from getting too low. What she taught me today was to control my carb portions, and if I begin experiencing lows, to check with my doctor and use less medication. Less medication will help me begin to lose weight, and as I lose weight my blood sugars will go lower, which will decrease my need for medication . . . and so on. In theory, anyway. Is it clear as mud to you? It made a lot of sense to me, and I guess that's good, since I'm the patient.
Are any of you diabetic, or have a diabetic living with you? Please share what kind of things you do to control your carbs, or what you've done to lose weight. Oh . . . the overall consensus was that I need to exercise every day. Not a few times a week. Sigh. The elliptical makes it easier to get some exercise every day, but it doesn't throw a lasso around me as I walk by and set me up on it! ;) I have to just do it. Period.
Another note on health: I've been using oil of oregano on a blemish on the side of my face, and it's going away! I was originally going to use it for topical pain relief, but I was hurting in too many/too large areas for it to be practical. I smelled like oregano. So I focused on this skin patch. I began reading the book The Cure is in the Cupboard, but I haven't gotten far enough in it to have learned much yet. I'm not one to jump on the herbal bandwagon, so I'll have to keep using the oil in small amounts to see just what it can do.
Hopefully I'll have more interesting discussion for the rest of December!
Image from Widgit Resources - Diabetes Symbols