I have never, ever, been overweight and even when at my young and healthiest I was probably underweight. Is it any wonder, then, at historic low weights I can’t get my head around being diabetic? Diagnosed with Type-II in 2005 it has been a struggle or, more to the point, not enough of a struggle to get it under control ever since. I think I have been in denial as to how quickly it could affect my overall health.
Right now, as far as my HIV specialist is concerned, it trumps the need to get back on my antiretroviral regimen. Knowing him to be a “hit soon, hit hard” guy with HIV meds it is very revealing that he will not yet re-introduce my HIV-specific because they would likely negatively impact my blood glucose levels. In other words, even absent other potential contributors, my diabetes is out of control.
I can admit that I do not eat enough and that what I do eat is not the variety of healthy foods it needs to be. But it’s not like I’m sucking sugar cubes. While I do occasionally stray over the line, as far as eating sweets, it is most likely the more hidden forms of blood sugar that impact me more. That said, lately I have been sustaining myself on “Oatmeal Crisps”, with dehydrated fruit, and fruit-infused, pre-stirred yogourt – all mixed together in a large bowl and covered with 1% milk.
This must change. I have book-marked web sites which have recipes for diabetics and I have dusted off my Crock Pot to make some healthy meals. Now, in the spirit of The Serenity Prayer, I need the courage to change the things I can.
Things like a feeling of entitlement to good health. It’s amazing how tough that is for me! Things like approaching meal preparation as a good way to spend time rather than a necessary evil! While my stomach has probably shrunk a little, as I notice I take fewer second helpings, I haven’t lost my appetite.
The alternative, which I heard loud and clear from the doc yesterday, would be insulin injections which would raise the question of where could I possibly squeeze enough fat together to insert a needle? Besides, that seems like such a drastic step which I would like very much to avoid.
Motivation – that’s what I must have. And it must be more than a deep desire not to have my mother see another son die before she does. While that may be my worst fear, it may not be enough to keep me alive. There’s a fighter within me – my survival proves that – I need to encourage.
I don’t need lectures. I need to love myself back to health, at least to the point where AIDS is my most pressing health issue again.
This will be the substance of my “check-in” tonight for the new long-term survivors group I am part of for the next few months. It is an inter-agency project of the AIDS Committee of Toronto, The Family Services Association’s David Kelley Program and the Mount Sinai Hospital Clinic for HIV Concerns.
The good news is that my CD-4 count is still 400 (not bad) and my viral load is what my specialist called a very manageable 12,000. We have doubled the dose of Glyburide, one of my two diabetes meds.