It’s been a while since I shared a Diabetes Adventure Update, and here’s what’s been going on. Exactly a year ago, we began submerging ourselves, the then-Maryland Scopellitis, into our epic move. And the first thing I discovered was that moving the way we did it was such intense physical activity, for so many hours each and every day, that I began to think of it as Blood Sugar Control By Moving.
As many of you will know, I’d been flirting with getting off my meds altogether for some time. So, I thought that maybe during the move I’d give it a go, and I did. We then completed the first stage of the move – getting out and putting everything into storage – and commenced the exciting, Gypsy stage of simply traveling. Well…
The second stage called for so much activity every day that I stayed off my meds and then…
Having found our new home in Charlottesville and transforming ourselves into the Virginia Scopellitis, the move in was also very intense, physically, and so I continued off my meds with pretty easy blood sugar control the while.
This lasted, oh, I’ll guess 3 or maybe even 4 months. I commenced the practice of doing my own yard work for the first time as an adult and that was fantastic for control as well.
Ah, but then my wife Kate, loving our home so much, decided to become the best cook in Charlottesville and the glory of her gourmet skills almost put paid to my time off meds. Oh my. Can she cook pasta. Oh my, can she cook anything. So…
I rapidly put on 10 pounds and just about lost my blood sugar control. Oh I was so tempted. But, I persevered. I learned that a particularly high spike would take several days of real discipline to bring back down. I learned the real sensation of sugar spiking – it’s a type of poison for me – and can come close to knocking me silly. I even at one point went into a near sugar-induced type of almost collapse.
The key throughout, however, was my daily discipline of sugar monitoring, and I was always able, no matter how severe the setback appeared, to bring the sugar down without getting back on the meds.
And now, for the first time in weeks and weeks, I’ve had two GREAT days in a row. I’ll explain why that matters below. Yesterday’s AM # was 127, and today’s was 125. Sure, these are still clearly diabetic numbers, not cured numbers, but after the temptations of Kate’s great cooking and the struggles of actually settling into our fabulous home and new so-happy life, they’re actually a really big deal. That is, a year in now, still meds free, facing all these temptations and bringing the numbers back down for these two days; well obviously I’m feeling both relieved and proud!
Here are the technical keys to my current meds free success. One, I can eat carbs now, as long as I go get exercise rapidly thereafter, and as long as I limit myself to the right carbs in the right amount. For a totally addicted carbaholic, that kind of control is worth bragging about. Second, the earlier in the day I stop eating, the better, and the more, and the more gentle the exercise following the last meal of the day the better.
Here’s why yesterday’s and today’s AM sugar numbers matter so much. Just about the best diagnostic method for Diabetes is to measure your AM Blood Sugar number two days in a row. And here’s what such numbers, if they land in these ranges two days in a row indicate:
• An AM number at or above 126 indicates Diabetes.
• From 105 – 125, you’re in the danger zone often loosely called Pre-Diabetes.
• AM numbers for non-Diabetic people can range from 70 – 100.
• And beneath 70 you start getting into the danger zone of Hypoglycemia.
• For a diagnosed, severe Type II Diabetic, AM numbers can range from 127 – 160 and still fall in what is called the Controlled Zone, as opposed to Uncontrolled.
• Insulin is essentially called for if you ever land in the area from 200 and up.
Again, a single day’s AM number is never the telling data. Anyone can have random numbers almost anywhere on the range, although even a single AM reading over 200 definitely matters. Even still, it is two days in a row that gives us the diagnostic clarity we require. Thus, to have gone an entire year fully off meds, with the journey detailed and to have come finally back down – still eating some carbs while facing my carb addiction demons – to the line at 126/127, two days in a row…well maybe you get the idea. This is a significant victory, one I had to share!