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Diagnosis Stories

Bea’s Diagnosis Story – 210

My first glucose meter.

I have been overweight all my life. I never ate more than the other kids, I was as active as the other kids, and my mom really watched our diet. I remember I was 8 years old when I saw a weight-loss doctor for the first time; I don’t remember much, but my mother says it was a total disaster. Imagine seeing your 8-year old kid taking weight-loss pills… she didn’t know better, she thought he was helping. She pulled the plug when she realized the treatment was making me depressed.

When people saw me, they immediately told my mom “She’s so cute. I’m sure she will lose the weight when puberty comes.” It didn’t, it got worse. My body never felt normal, I had a late menarche, I was always irregular, my periods were extremely painful and messy, and my weight kept on going up.

In 1995 I went to see an endocrinologist who diagnosed me with hypothyroidism, so I’ve been taking levothyroxine since then. In 1999 I was diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor and PCOS. Things were rough, I was young, I was getting married, I wanted to have children, I couldn’t conceive. Being treated for my prolactinoma and the PCOS led me to an endocrinologist in Montreal, where I was living, and during one of my visits this is how the conversation went:

Doc: What are you taking for your thyroid?
Bea: Levothyroxine, 200mcg
Doc: And what are you taking for your hyperprolactinemia?
Bea: Cabergoline, 0.5mg
Doc: And what are you taking for diabetes?
Bea: MY WHAT?

Yes, I had no idea I had diabetes. I had no symptoms, no previous abnormal results… I did have a history of diabetes in the family, and my dad had passed away the year before due to heart complications, so it wasn’t a huge shock for me. The shock was not knowing that I had it, and wondering how long I had it for.

To this day I don’t know what my initial numbers were, but I remember I met with a CDE right away, who explained to me how to use my glucose meter, what the metformin was going to for me, how diabetes works, how diabetes affects your body, etc. I don’t remember her name, but I will never forget her smile and the fact that she told me things would be OK.

I wasn’t really scared; I think I was more disappointed than anything because being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 26 makes you feel REALLY guilty; especially with my history of hormonal imbalances…. I blamed it all on being fat. But that’s a story for another post.

My diabetes didn’t come alone. I deal with a completely messed up endocrine system, and I’m still struggling with my weight. But I do the best I can with what I have. I know my diabetes is not an isolated issue, I know it’s correlated to others, I know the odds and ends, I know how PCOS causes insulin resistance… I know all that. And it helps me to work on the guilt. Sometimes the body just needs a little bit of extra help.

Diagnosis Stories

Guest Post: Newly Diagnosed – 293

A guest post by Craig Thiebaud who recently got diagnosed with diabetes. He has a culinary degree from the International Culinary Center, and I certainly hope this won’t be his only post on The Type 2 Experience. —Bea

My life with Diabetes

I recently broke my foot and it was such a bad break that surgery was scheduled.  Already mad at myself for clumsily falling down a couple stairs, I had to do a myriad of things to get ready for the surgery…including a blood test.  The next day, I had to get x-rays and the results of my blood work so I went to the doctor for the third consecutive day.  To my shock, my blood work was a shambles.  My A1-C was 8.3, I had high cholesterol, and my blood sugars were through the roof.  Then, I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The doctor went through all the things I should avoid, the medicine I should take, the home monitoring system, etc.  It was all a blur though.  I really heard the word diabetes and then nothing after that.  I didn’t know what it all meant but I certainly knew I didn’t want it.  I didn’t know what to do or how to go about tackling what I needed to do to treat the disease.  So stunned, I left the office with a large amount of sample medication and got in my car and drove home to tell my wife, who works in the diabetes industry.

She was understanding and helped put it in perspective but it still hadn’t seeped into my consciousness just how serious this disease really is.  I started reading books and they were scary mentioning foot amputations, eye degeneration, kidney disease, etc.  So, I really started to worry and to blame myself for not taking better care of myself.  I could have dieted and exercised more.  I should been more acutely aware that diabetes runs in my family.  I knew it but didn’t think it would knock on my door.

Since then I’ve been monitoring my blood sugar every day in the mornings (fasting).  I’ve found this challenging.  The monitoring system is supposed to be easy to use but I’ve found it difficult.  I try to use the lancet and it usually does not produce blood.  I’ve found that only one finger works with the device.  Then sometimes the blood monitor itself won’t read the blood correctly and I get error messages.  I thought this would get easier but it hasn’t.  It’s really an ordeal every morning.

Today I diligently try to stay on a low sugar/low carb diet…something difficult for someone who is a chef and is used to eating and trying all sorts of exotic fare.  It’s challenging for me not to test my palate with whatever I want to eat, thus inspiring me to cook dishes from all over the world.  I’m saddened that this part of my life will have to change in either small or incrementally larger ways.   I go to the endocrinologist this week and I have a feeling that the rubber will meet the road then, and I’ll have a much better sense of what I’m facing and how to go about tackling this scary, tricky disease

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KAYAKING PARAPHERNELIA

Getting started with any sport can be a little expensive on your pockets. You will have to spend on the necessary equipment and accessories. Kayaking is no exception. If you plan on trying kayaking, you need to buy the kayak and its required accessories. I know buying that kayak would have already made a tiny hole in your wallet, and the accessories might seem just unwanted for you. But trust me, they play a very important role in safekeeping our lives when we indulge in this adventurous sport. You would be confused on what are the important things you should buy and what are the extra items that you can skip to save that little extra cash. This article will list out the items that you must have, this way you won’t be spending unnecessarily on any item.

We are not water borne creatures, we took our time learning to survive in water. So don’t try to avoid any of these accessories thinking you will be able to do without it. If you ever paddle beyond the swimming distance from shore, you are risking not coming back in case a mistake happens. Its always better to be on the safer side and not risk your life.

You will find below the accessories that you should buy with the detailed description of that equipment or accessory.

KAYAK

The first and the foremost thing is the kayak. How can you go kayaking without a kayak?

You might feel it is very easy for you to choose a kayak, but trust me it can get very confusing. There is much variety and collection to choose from, that you won’t realise what to buy and what not to.

If you are a beginner, then you can start off with recreational kayaks.  When compared to other kayaks, recreational kayaks will have a larger cockpit for easy entry and exit and they also have a wider beam which will provide us with more stability. It is generally less than 12 feet and light, hence making it easier to handle it both in and out of water. They offer comfortable back support and possibly a foot pedal which helps you to steer the kayak in choppy conditions.

There are also sit on the top kayaks, in which there won’t be any opening or cockpit for you to enter, but a seat on which you can sit. But a slight problem with the model that you can experience is, you might get wet because of the water dripping from the paddle.

Once you gain some experience you can invest in different types of kayaks depending on the water body you plan to ride on.

PADDLE

The second most important thing after a kayak is, a paddle. Kayak paddles have blades on both the ends and they are mostly 210cm to 260cm long. Its manoeuvred from the middle of the shaft. Before buying a paddle there are four things you need to consider. First one being the length of the paddle, which you should buy keeping in mind the length of the kayak and your height. The next thing you should look into is the weight of the material, the lighter the material, better will be the performance. But lightweight material paddles are going to cost you more. The next factor is the blade choice. The size and shape of your paddle will affect the overall performance and efficiency of your paddle. The last choice you need to make is when it comes to the shaft. The effectiveness of the paddle will increase by using bent shaft and feathered blades. Keep all these factors in mind before getting yourself a paddle.

BUOYANCY AIDS

Buoyancy aids play the role of a life jacket. The only advantage is it allows you to move your neck and arms. It is always recommended to carry these because no matter how strong of a swimmer you are, you never know when you might fall into trouble. So stay safe and carry them. If you have enrolled in a kayaking school, then you will be provided with them. If you are going on your own, then make sure you buy these.

HELMET

Your head is a very delicate and important part of your body. You need to make sure you protect it always. A helmet will not only protect your head from your own paddle but also provide protection to your head in case your kayak capsizes.

SPRAYSKIRTS

They are waterproof skirts that you can wear around your body. These skirts will prevent water from entering your kayak as it will cover the opening of cockpit, when you sit inside it.

If you are going for sea kayaking opt for nylon spray decks or spray skirts, as they are quite roomy and provide good ventilation, just perfectly suited for long journeys. If you are planning to go for white-water and surf kayaking, then buy neoprene spray skirts.

 

These were the very essential items that you must include in you to-buy list before going for kayaking. Now, if you don’t mind spending a little more, then following are few items that you could also get to make your kayaking experience more enriching.

DRY SUIT/WET SUIT

Buying this will completely be up to you. Wearing a pair of shorts and t-shirt would be enough on a hot sunny day. Wearing the suit would be good in case you feel you might get wet, because you have to keep one thing in mind that no matter how warm the day might feel, the water might just be freezing cold.

DRY BAG

A waterproof bag in which you can carry an extra pair of clothes, phones etc. would keep all your stuff safe and dry.

ROPE BAG

If you have an instructor, then you don’t need to worry about this item as he will already have it. But if you are going without one, it’s good to keep this, in case anyone flips over, it will be of great use.

KNIFE

This might also seem absurd to you, but its good to carry a pocket knife with you.

COMPASS AND MAPS

In case the route and ways you are taking is confusing, they will really come in handy.

I hope this has helped you to clear the confusion arising in your head as to what to buy and what not to before going for kayaking. Hope you guys enjoy every moment of the adventure filled kayaking experience.

HAPPY KAYAKING MATES!