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Sunday 1 December 2013

Remember Me?

Hello peeps, remember me?

I used to make cards and be on Design Teams and blog. It all seems like such a long time ago as my life has had to change due to some health issues.

I did not feel able to disclose what the reason was before due to a mixture of emotions, which I will explain below but basically I have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

We went on holiday to South Africa and had an amazing time. However when we came back I was so tired. No matter how much sleep I had it wasn't enough, I was literally exhausted and having trouble getting through the day.

Before I went on holiday I was having trouble with my neck and shoulders and a fabulous new doctor  at our surgery had arranged for me to have a scan at the hospital. She also arranged for me to have a 24 hour blood pressure monitor as I have 'White Coat Syndrome' which makes my blood pressure rise massively when I have it taken by a professional. The goon news from having this monitor is that despite being treated for high blood pressure for over 20 years I now do not have high BP. Finally I feel like I have a doctor who is willing to listen to me and not treat me like an imbecile.

I bite the bullet and mention to her that I have had a yeast infection all year that I just have been unable to get rid of. I have tried all the over the counter stuff, all the old wives tales and ph balanced cleansing products but just nothing had worked. She suspects I may be glucose intolerant and arranges for me to have a fasting blood test.

After a couple of weeks of medical appointments and tests it now appears that I have Diabetes with further complications of kidney failure and high cholesterol. It is likely that I have had it for 3 to 4 years before it started to show itself. The 13th September is the day my life completely changed. The specialist diabetes doctor was telling me I what I needed to do and who to see, appointment for this and that and inside I was screaming. I remember getting to my car and it was torrential rain and I was crying so hard, it was like the earth was crying with me. I phoned my hubby and just could not stop crying. 

My Mum had died 4 years earlier and we had a strained relationship  so hadn't spoken for the last few years. Her GP had told me that a major factor of her dying was developing diabetes when she turned 50 so I had made so many changes to my own health and diet in an effort to prevent it developing in me. The irony is that I probably already had it all that time. I had told my GP when she died so they knew it was in my family. I do not know my birth father but it turns out he had diabetes too so I had a 75% chance of developing it. I felt very sorry for myself initially and then this turned to anger. I have had a rotten few years with mental heath issues and just when things are looking up this goes and happens. I was feeling very low but really really proud that I didn't slip into depression. I just took stock of the situation, pulled on my boxing gloves and stared to fight.

Basically the original plan was through diet and lifestyle changes to try that for 3 months and see how the numbers reduced. The kidney failure means that I am already under a lot of strain and unable to add further risk so I have had to go on diabetes tablets and a statin to reduce the heart risk. (Mum died of a massive heart attack so very real risk!)

I need to lose 45KG (100 lbs or 7.5stones) for the doctor to consider taking me off the tablets. I have a work colleague that weighs this so it seems and insurmountable amount of weigh to lose. I also need to do exercise every day (that was a dirty word to me....)

The good news is that since my diagnosis I have lost a stone in weight, I walk to work and back each day (1.5 miles each way), personal trainer at the gym twice a week. Portion sizes on food half what they were. I was fortunate that I was eating the right things just too much in one go so the changes I had made before have made it easier in the long run although I just didn't see it that way at the time.

I had my first set of blood tests on Friday and await the results. This will show how the last 3 months have affected my numbers. I had my retinopathy scan for my eyes and that came back clear. I am very grateful for that as one of my hubby's work colleagues who has been newly diagnosed too was not so lucky and has had laser surgery on his eyes.

This whole situation has made me put my health first. Diet and exercise have had to be a major focus as I need to get the diabetes under control. At the moment it feels like it is controlling me and I know it is early days. I am grateful for all the help I have been given from the professionals, all the support I have had from my friends and family and the internal strength to keep fighting. 

I am unable at present to do crafting at the same level as I did before, I simply do not have the time at the moment. I do however have some projects that I made that have not been blogged so I will add those over the next month. I have switched from PC to Mac and am doing some housekeeping and trying to get used to using different program and doing things a different way.

Also my good friend and DT colleague at OSAAT Choccy has started doing Stampin' Up demos and I have been to the 2 she has done. Initially to see my buddy and give her support but also to coax me gently into making some cards again. In the meantime Hubby is panicking that I have a craft room full of stuff that isn't being used......

My good friend Lisa has a challenge blog at The Path of Positivity and the theme this month is Thankfulness. Now it may seem strange to say I am thankful for having diabetes but let me explain. I am thankful for the diagnosis, I am thankful that I was brave enough to mention to the doctor that I had a problem 'down there'. If I hadn't felt comfortable enough to say something to her I would still not know now.

I have been overweight all my adult life. I have dieted on and off, I have exercised on and off but never stuck to it. There have been numerous reasons, I have had mental health issues and it took a lot to admit that I binged on chocolate and rubbish, thud making me fatter and in my eyes more unattractive because I absolutely hated myself. I went on a cruise some years ago. I was able to fit into the smallest size I have as and adult and have some lovely clothes that I want to slim back into.

In preparation I dieted and went to the gym and then developed sciatica and they would not have me back. Now the doctor has sent me to the gym for medical reasons so they cannot refuse to have me which keeps me motivated too. I have the best reason of all to diet and keep this up as literally my life depends on it. I am 42, hopefully still young enough to get this under control and thankful that this has happened now rather than later in life. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. Despite dark days and even darker times in my life I have always hung on to this. It has got me through before and it will again!


Linda said...

Yes Yes Yes your are young enough to get this under control. Thank you for sharing you story. I am taking something new for my weight and risk of diabetes. I am not sure it is working yet so I don't want to talk about it. I am in pretty good shape only 5 to 10 lbs. to loose but I will be 61 tomorrow and I want to stay this way and get my numbers under control. I too suffer from depression. Life can be tough if we let it. Keep up that great work. One day at a time is always a helpful way to get through the hard ones.

Unknown said...

Wow Mandy! Thank you so much for sharing this! I have not been diagnosed with diabetes YET> but I feel it is coming soon. My blood sugars have been a mess and I really need to get myself exercising! After reading this I feel a bit more motivated to do so! It was so brave of you to open up and tell your story. I am so proud of you. I have been missing you but glad things are coming together for you! I am so glad you shared this! Hang in there and keep up the good work!!

Desire Fourie said...

First of all Mandy, do you come from South Africa, just wondered as you went on holiday in my beautiful country South Africa where I have lived all my life. I am so saddened but thankful that you have finally embarked on a new road in life towards a healthier you. I wish you strength, courage and determination on this difficult, but achievable road to healthy and a happy life. And yes there are so many small mercies to be thankful for.
This is so perfect for our THANKFULNESS theme this month. Thanks for sharing your talent with us and good luck.
{Path of Positivity DT Member}
{Doing Life – my personal blog}

Scrapcat 1 said...

Sorry to hear you have been having such a hard time lately. I hope you results are what you want them to be .

Path of Positivity said...


It takes a lot of courage to stand up and tell the world about our personal demons and issues so my hat is off to you for having the bravery to do so. Our health truly is the most important thing that we have going for us. I wish you much success in dealing with this new battle that you are facing. I know that you will work hard to make the changes and do what needs doing.

We truly do have so many things to be thankful for. Many of them we either take for granted or don't think about at all. I'm glad that you are thankful over the discovery as it now gives you a fighting chance to prevent some of the devastating issues that accompany such a diagnosis.

I am so happy that you were able to join us this month on the Path of Positivity. May you continue to always find something to be thankful for and I wish you much success always.

Big hugs,

Pat said...

Congratulations on the rest of your new life! I don't know you and I am also thankful that you went to see your doctor!! I got the same shock a few years back, and I am a whole new me. Besides losing the weight, i have managed to stay off of medication with only exercise and diet, but it is a constant guard. But I think I enjoy life more zestfully, and hope you do the same! brava!!

Donna Ellis said...

Hi, Mandy, I am deeply blessed by your story. Thanks for sharing. I wish you well on your journey, and hope that you can continue to look forward to good health in the future. hugs, de

Verna Angerhofer said...

You can do it! My daughter, like you was devastated when she too heard she had Type 2 Diabetes, but after a bit of feeling sorry for herself, she too bit the bullet and dealt with it. She feels better now than she had in years. She knew it was a possibility, since her father is also diabetic, but until it was diagnosed she sort of ignored the symptoms. And, now she thinks of all ths positives that have come from the diagnosis and counts it as a blessing.

Ingrid Mason said...

Dear Mandy,

What a very courageous, loving, giving and Inspiring lady you are. Your 'story' has really touched my heart and mind.

The way in which you are confronting this life altering illness fills me with love and respect for you....but, what you play down is that, despite all the challenges you are living you are still the first person to offer and give your total support and help to others in need. What a totally remarkable and special lady you are.

You're Thankful for this opportunity to improve your life and to excellent medics assisting you .... I'd like you to know that I'm thankful for 'knowing you through these pages' as a very remarkable, inspiring, lovely lady who is the best of examples to us all.

Lots of Love Ingrid xxx

Hazel said...

Hello Mandy

My younger son was diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years ago now and he's 43. He has given up sweets entirely and only eats biscuits very occasionally. He and his wife have a gym in their garage so he trains in there most days. His surgery keeps a close eye on things and he certainly looks better for it. He finds that he can manage quite well but does miss wine gums! Good luck with your diet and your keep fit regime - that will help. I'll be thinking of you. Hazel x

Kristine said...

Hello sweet friend *Ü* It's been a while since we've chatted, but I wanted to pop on here to wish you and your hubby a very Merry Christmas! I hope all continues to get better for you and that 2014 brings many blessings your way. Hugs!
Imagine That!