Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sunshine and ski's.

Yesterday was one of those special days. The sun shone brightly and I was where I wanted to be. On the golf course with my best mate in a major competition.
My efforts of the last week did not go unnoticed when a lady golf member commented that I had lost a bit of weight. Perhaps she was looking at my ankles.
I am testing my blood sugar daily now and it is hovering between 13-15 when it should be around 5. Mind you, this is better than last week when it was averaging 25!
I have made a conscious effort to stop eating the crap I was throwing down my throat. I am buying only fresh products and drinking cranberry juice at work in copious amounts. Salads have been my main meals for this week.
I have also joined a diabetes forum, The members have already given me great advice, particularly on alternatives to slaving away at a gym to get fit. One of the members suggested that I take up Nordic walking. I had never heard of this before and it does intrigue me. You walk quickly aided by two poles (a little like skiers use) and burn calories very quickly with minimum effort. There is a club near me so I am going to check them out this week.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

He takes drugs

The little boy running

Laughing and squealing with delight

Kicking a ball in front of him

He won’t take drugs tonight

The slim youth running

With determination and heavy breaths

He takes the lead on the last corner

He doesn’t take drugs for a bet
The young man running

As he tackles back to help his defence

His knee twists, his game is over

He won’t take drugs despite his incompetence
The older man struggles

To run up the stairs to his home

He is overweight with diabetes

He takes drugs and he is not alone

Food, Inglorious Food

Food. We need it to live and yet too much of the wrong sort puts our life in jeopardy.

In no particular order, here are the top ten foods I should avoid but don’t.

1. Sugar (2 spoons in every cuppa)

2. Cheese (every variety imaginable)

3. Bread

4. Rice pudding

5. Scotch Eggs

6. Chips

7. English breakfast (my golf club is to blame, not me guv’)

8. Sandwiches

9. Doritos

10. Honey roasted cashews
To be fair, I have cut down a lot of the above and I do not have take-outs. I just haven’t got my head round a regular (and enjoyable) diet for me yet.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Annual check-up

A couple of weeks ago I had my annual check-up. A blood sample was taken. I then received a call from the surgery asking me to come and see my doctor. The usual stress of waiting in a surgery waiting room before being called was in evidence. The screaming baby, a serial cougher, a small child fascinated by my size just stopping beside me and staring. What is the matter with these people? Can’t they be ill quietly?
If there was any doubt as to my identity it was exposed by the 100-decibel announcement, “Mr. Chris Meredith, go to room 10 please”. I sheepishly arose from my seat and strode across the surgery with purpose, leaving the noise and mayhem behind me.
My doctor is a good bloke. Very down to earth and matter of fact. He calmly informed me that my kidneys are leaking protein into my urine. This is an indication that my kidneys show a decreased capability to excrete waste products. Untreated, this could lead to CKD (Chronic kidney disease). A prospect that fills me with utter dread.

He prescribed a new tablet for me, Ramipril. It is used for preventing kidney failure due to high blood pressure or diabetes. Very comforting. One tablet to be taken a day.

I am now realising that having type 2 diabetes is more serious than I thought.

As my obesity is a major problem regarding the disease I asked if I could be considered for having a gastric band fitted. The doc shook his head and told me I was too slim. It seems that I have to put on another seven stone before I would be considered. If I put that amount of weight on I would probably drop dead of a heart attack. I think I will give it a miss and concentrate on losing weight naturally.

I am due to see the doc again in a couple of weeks. I do need to get advice on whether to cut down on food containing protein. In the meantime, I have formulated my battle plan.
Weight Loss

Twenty-four years ago I lost 6 stone. I did this by going on a 1,500 calorie a day diet. I was married at the time and my wife provided great support and encouragement. I looked and felt fantastic. The trouble was, the second I went on holiday I relaxed the calorie count, eat what I liked and continued to ignore the diet after the holiday. Within a few months I had put all the weight back on and more.

It is this failure to keep the weight off through a strict diet that colours my view today.
I have decided that healthier eating and exercise is the key for me. I have joined a local health club that has a gym and swimming pool. I like swimming – the gym not so much. In the next blog I will tell you all about the health check I was given.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

The start of the life-change

It was a cold day in October 2008 when I was told I had diabetes type 2. The doctor who told me remarked how well I had accepted the news. And why shouldn’t I have?

After all, type 2 diabetes was a result of my lifestyle. I could easily change that. Controlled by diet and tablets I would soon be right as rain. After all, I did not have to inject insulin as my father had for years before he died at the age of fifty-two. Type 2 diagnosis seemed to me a bit of a let off for all my years of overindulging.

I could also see the added benefits of my disease. Free prescriptions, regular health check-ups, diet advice. I will be well looked after until I was well again.

The first impact on my life was to prove far-reaching and immediate.

My partner, who was seventeen years my junior, jettisoned me within three months of my diagnosis. She had seen me pile on the weight, was desperate to have children and figured that as I was in my fifties I was unlikely to be healthy enough long-term to have children with her. It was very painful at the time as I loved her to bits, but I could see where she was coming from. I was to face this disease alone.

The doctor made an appointment for me to see the in-house diabetic nurse, a lovely woman with a gentle and sympathetic manner. She gave me a thorough check-up. She took a blood test to check my sugar and cholesterol levels, checked my feet to see what feeling I had in them and booked an appointment to have my eyesight tested. All these tests monitor the major decline in eyesight, blood flow to the feet and ensure I am not likely to drop dead of a heart attack or have a stroke.

I was prescribed two sets of tablets. Metformin to help reduce blood sugar levels and Simvastin to reduce cholesterol levels. I am still taking them to this very day. My cholesterol is nearly perfect but I have some way to go on reducing my sugar levels, which are still very high. I am now on double the dose of Metformin.

Fast-forward to today, April 2010. My weight is 19 stone, three pounds, and height 5 feet, ten inches, clinically very obese with a blood sugar level of 13.6, almost 3 times the amount it should be.

I have obviously got to take this diabetes a lot more seriously if I am to live a healthy and longer life than my father.

This blog will track my progress as I prepare a battle plan to deal with it. I hope you will follow me on my journey, as I need all the encouragement and support I can get.