This is the second article in a series about my journey into the world of diabetes type 2.
We’ve got two parts to our brains. The logical, and the emotional. Right now, this second, last week, and probably tomorrow, it’s the emotional part that’s taken over. I’m just so dazed, and angry, and sad. I think these are some of the signs of grieving. I find it just stupid that I should be grieving. But I am. Fuck.
Anger at myself. Wait 10 minutes and it’ll be feeling completely sorry for myself, which also increases my anger at myself and so on and so on. Basically, I am angry at everything – the snow storm and the idiot weatherman, the grocery, the food industry, the medical industry, the sugar industry, my incredibly supportive friends, my sweet boyfriend, the way my family taught me to eat, the way the government told me to eat, they way I taught my son to eat, the super skinny dude in front of me in line who is buying a carrot cake and coffee ice cream (I’d like to ram his face into the conveyor belt a couple of times), and my cat (for no particular reason). There are tears and angry little fits that seem to come and go of their own volition.
I went to the market today for more than just a few things. I had a list. By the time I made it from one side of the market to the other, I was in tears. It was fucking overwhelming. What the hell do I eat? Is this okay? What about that? Peas should be good.. and yet they have added sugar. 45 minutes in the cereal aisle, looking for something – anything – I could eat. Cereal has been breakfast, and many times, dinner for me. I always chose the “healthy” ones.. Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat, Rice Chex. They aren’t going to work for me any more. And neither, it seems, is anything else. What the hell do I do without cereal? I’ve eaten it my whole entire life. I walked out with some pork chops, some vegetables, some tangerines. I think telling anyone that I sat in the car and cried my eyes out over the loss of Shredded Wheat and Grape soda is even more pathetic than the act itself.
I have no clue what I should be eating. The nurse at the doctor’s office called me and we talked about the food. She seems helpful. Is having “whole grains” a good thing, I ask her, (secretly thought I should have continued the question with “and what exactly are whole grains?”) She says “yes”. “You should look at the American Diabetes Association web site, and make better food choices”, she says. “Have small potatoes, oatmeal, fruits, carrots and other good vegetables”, she says. “Eat in moderation”, she says. “Probably best to remove things from the kitchen you shouldn’t have”, she says. “Eat little meals”, she says. “Make healthy choices”, she says. Um…okay. Thanks?
I’ve really started cleaning out my kitchen cabinets, albeit slowly. I keep digging deeper into the rather shallow cabinets, and finding more and more things I should not eat. I pile them for Christine or the food pantry. I think I’m not quite ready to let go. I keep thinking (pretending) that the drugs I’m taking will make me “all better”, and I’ll be able to have that can of corn or use the all-purpose flour, or eat the breaded chicken I have in the freezer. The metformin brings the blood sugar down, but it doesn’t cure the diabetes. Logically, I know I won’t be using that flour again. I won’t be eating the breaded chicken. Or using the bread crumbs. Or eating the cereal I purchased a few months ago in bulk. Or the rice, or the potatoes…… but in the back of my mind, my emotional self just keeps saying this will go away because I don’t want to be diabetic. (btw, logical brain says get the fuck over it, already – this feeling sorry for my self is getting really old).
I physically am feeling better because my blood sugar isn’t in the 300-400’s anymore, but still “green around the gills” sick to my stomach and nauseous all the time from the metformin. There have been times at work when it was all I could do not to vomit in the garbage can next to my desk. Waking up at 4:00 in the morning because I was retching. Driving home from work the whole 1.3 miles was a marathon ride, due to the fact that I couldn’t hold it in for one more single second. Thank gods for plastic bags. Trying the metformin before or during or after I eat doesn’t help. I just feel sick. It’s weeks now and I’m still nauseous.
My blood sugar is better, though. 160’s, 140’s, 150’s. I’m not even really sure what the goal post here is. Every article I read gives me a different answer. I talk to the doctor and he says it’s not down enough, maybe we should increase the medication. I REALLY do not want to. I can hardly move without wanting to vomit, increasing the dosage can only lead to bad, nasty and messy situations (as referenced above with the car “incident”). I’ll be walking around with a puke bag. I wonder if a person gets used to the smell. Would a fancy Coach bag be too noticeable?
Logic: How do I fix this? Can I? I know what I was doing didn’t work, but what I am doing now isn’t working either. I don’t want to go day to day feeling like this. Food is a huge part of life. My boyfriend and I plan meals and cook together. My friends and I have parties – whats the main thing? Food and booze. And damn. There goes having booze?
I should not be feeling sorry for myself. Deal with it, and get on with it. I’m not dying. I don’t have some inoperable tumor. The world isn’t ending. It’s just diabetes. And the CDC says I’m only one of 29.1 million Americans that have diabetes type 2, along with another 86 million that are pre-diabetic.1 So, really, I need to deal with this.
Pesky emotion: Well, I’mma go sit on my pity pot and have a good cry. Or throw something. Or yell at the empty house. I’m not ready to be logical. Not just yet. Maybe in 10 minutes. Or next week. But for right now, I am just going to cry about my shredded wheat.