There I was, eating a biscuit… Guess who is diabetic

Last week Moose was invited to the birthday party of a good friend. Since it was in a soft play place which happened to be next to a garden centre and since he is of an age where I can drop and run… I arranged with my Mum to go for a coffee while M was busy with his friends.

Great plan? Right? Well, it would have been.

The cafe post covid has gone to crap. They used to sell lovely lunch options but nowadays not so much. All that was on offer were a few mediocre looking slices of cake which didn’t even come on proper plates. Sorry but if I am paying £3.50 for a cake I don’t want a polystyrene plate. I don’t know if it was polystyrene. Whatever, it looked flimsy.

So we got our teas and found our seats. I went off to the shop within the garden centre and grabbed a packet of biscuits for Mum and I to nibble while we drank our brew and had a chat.

20 minutes into this endeavour my phone rang. I say rang. It’s less of a ring and more of an alarming beeping. This way I have to answer my phone lest it terrifies those around me who might assume we are under some kind of attack. It works. Now I answer calls – for those who know me, you will be able to appreciate that this is a huge step for me.

I answer the phone and it was my GP. I had been to the docs the week before.

Just lately I had been really feeling like I ought to try to do something about my weight.

I am pretty heavy (understatement) but something had been niggling me and I made a visit to the nurse to get tested and make sure I was starting out on an even playing field. Basically I didn’t want to put the effort in for no return.

My bloods were taken the next day and I was told I would get a call in a few days. This was that call.

Now, what I was expecting was to be told I had low iron. Feeling tired all of the time is not new for me and I have had low iron levels a few times before.

Nope, the GP was quick to assure me that was all good. However, I was now diabetic. He said that a nurse would call me to make an appointment to come in and speak to me about my diagnosis.

I’m not stupid, I knew that type 2 was a real possibility with a high BMI like mine but I had had zero symptoms that would have jumped out as being related to diabetes.

  • No peeing often

  • I wasn’t overly thirsty all the time

  • Blurry vision is pretty normal for me because of my Punctate Inner Choroidopathy

  • No frequent infections

  • Unexpected weight loss? I wish!

  • Increased hunger? Well maybe but I am pretty fat so that is to be expected

  • Fatigue – well, 3 kids and 7 stone extra in weight would make anyone tired, right?

  • No numbness or tingling

The GP seemed to expect a bigger reaction but it is VERY difficult to take a call like that and say you are surprised when you have your phone in one hand and a biscuit (lemon drizzle in case you were wondering) in the other hand.

I licked the icing off my biscuit, mouthed the word DIABETES at my Mum who was looking on with a puzzled expression and thanked the Doctor for calling to let me know.

Nobody likes bad news

My most immediate thought was “Shit, I should have asked my levels were”. I hadn’t and I was cross with myself for not doing so. I am pleased that my Mum was with me though. Mum is diabetic too and it really helped to have her there to bounce questions off. Obviously the moment I finished the call with the GP I had plenty of questions.

About 10 minutes later the nurse phoned me and she was a bit more forthcoming than the GP had been. Unfortunately I won’t get to see her for another few weeks for my initial appointment but I have Mum to ask and I have also googled some great websites such as https://www.dietdoctor.com which was recommended on lots of forums.

Mum takes medication called Metformin for her diabetes and I have seen over the last few years how the side effects have taken their toll on her. Yes they keep her blood sugar in check but they have caused other discomforts. The GP and nurse have both said that they want to put me on Metformin too.

My plan

Obviously the moment I got home I started to read up on the condition. I went through other peoples blogs and personal accounts of their journey with type 2 Diabetes and I think I have a plan.

It’s not set in stone by any means but I have decided that I want to try to avoid Metformin if I can (and as long as my Nurse approves) by eating less/better.

I have cut my carb intake to 100g per day initially and am trying to avoid refined carbs wherever possible. If I can lose some weight before my appointment with the Diabetes Nurse I am hoping it will demonstrate my commitment to getting my levels into the safe zone without the medication for now.

It’s going to be a challenge though. My relationship with spaghetti was pretty solid – albeit obviously toxic to my health. The shame of admitting that I have caused this – and make no mistake I absolutely have – is very really and very raw right now. On the upside though the treatment does not involve having a needle jabbed into my eyeball so that’s a nice change..

I will check in after my appointment and update you.

Fingers crossed?

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