Monday, January 21, 2008

More things I ponder

My mother just had a heart attack in December. She's in her 60's, a bit overweight (not as much as I am, though in my defense, I think I carry it better...and I'm all of 1.5 inches taller!), and she's diabetic. All of that has made me think a LOT about my future...weight loss that I need to accomplish, the complete diet change I need to work on for our family, and the fact that I had 3 children over 9 lbs at birth...which immediately puts me at a much higher risk of developing diabetes.

The thought of having diabetes scares me. Having to give up things like chocolate, and sweetening my coffee...and having to watch everything that I put in my mouth...all that scares the crap out of me. I KNOW, I know there are those artificial sweeteners available. I REFUSE to use that crap. I will go without rather than use those aweful things. I HATE the taste of artificial sweeteners, and I despise the fact that they are marketed as the answer to diet addicted people in this country. I watched my mother-in-law begin to lose her memory drinking diet sodas, and have it come back when she quit drinking them. I will not do that to my brain.

The next thing that scares me is that I don't understand the whole diabetic exchange thing. It confuses me. I want to start adjusting my diet NOW, towards the diabetic diet, so as to work towards prevention...but I can't figure out where to start. It's overwhelming. I would like to start working with a nutritionist a preventive measure...but I'm pretty sure that Tricare won't pay for THAT until I'm already a diabetic...and there's no way we can afford to pay for it out of pocket.

So, for now, I begin by exercising at Curves 3-4 times per week. And cutting back on my serving sizes. And cutting WAY back on my sweets. And eating more fresh veggies. And worrying. I know NOT to worry (our pastor explained worry as being like a rocking chair...DOING something, but not getting anywhere)...but in order for ME not to worry, I have to be able to DO something about it....and I don't know what else I can do right now.

The heart attack issue doesn't bother me as much...I'm not sure why. I mean, it does scare me that with diabetes, the chance of a heart attack goes much higher....and I'm a wimp. I don't like pain. I can deal with pain, but I avoid it if at all possible...which is why I refuse to run any hurts too much. (For crying out loud, I had 6 children, almost all natural--1 C-sec--I can DEAL with pain) But, the thought of pain in my chest that *I* can't do something to alleviate really scares me....or maybe the thought of having to have open-heart surgery....and, the fact is, my mother is 10 years younger than her mother was when Grandma had her by-pass done.

So, some facts....

From the American Heart Association...
Diabetes mellitus — Diabetes seriously increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Even when glucose (blood sugar) levels are under control, diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, but the risks are even greater if blood sugar is not well controlled. About three-quarters of people with diabetes die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease. If you have diabetes, it's extremely important to work with your healthcare provider to manage it and control any other risk factors you can.

And from the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse....

Am I at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?
  • I have a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes.
  • My family background is Alaska Native, American Indian, African American,
    Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander.
  • I have had gestational diabetes, or I gave birth to at least one baby
    weighing more than 9 pounds.
  • My blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or higher, or I have been told that I have
    high blood pressure.
  • My cholesterol levels are not normal. My HDL cholesterol—“good”
    cholesterol—is below 35 mg/dL, or my triglyceride level is above 250 mg/dL.
  • I am fairly inactive. I exercise fewer than three times a week.
  • I have polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS—women only.
  • On previous testing, I had impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired
    fasting glucose (IFG).
  • I have other clinical conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as
    acanthosis nigricans.
  • I have a history of cardiovascular disease.

The more items you checked, the higher your risk.

Okay, I feel a little better. I have 2 of those risk factors. Now. In my 30's. I have time now, to lose weight, and decrease my risk factors....I don't feel quite so much like I have a gun pointed at my head...a little less, anyway....THIS is my motivation.



Slow and steady wins the race.

tasha said...

Sorry to hear about your mom's heart. Glad to hear that you are determined to change your fate now. I don't know much about diabetes I confess, but I know a little bit about weight-loss, having lost 40lbs after my 3rd child and now I'm at 30lbs lost after this last child. I've done it all my own, no gyms or trainers or nutrionalists (I wouldn't have time for all that anyway). I say that to encourage you since you wondered about your insurance coverage. I use the website: --- I don't know if they have diabetes help, but it may be worth a visit for you. Good luck in your goals! (Thanks for visiting my blog!)

Sarah said...

Hmmm...oddly enough I have never had gestational diabetes- they test me more than once during my pregnancies. My glucose tests are always normal..but since I've had large babies does that mean I have a higher chance of diabetes too? I wouldn't have a clue if you are at higher risk to develop diabetes but I'd be careful given your history...sounds like your on the right track to preventing it though. I tend to worry too. My father died of ALS and I think I have it all the time- especially when my nerves twitch (which they do allot)! I try not to become to overconsumed with thinking and worrying about it though. Hope your mom is feeling better- my hubby's father has had two heart attacks, two angioplasties and a five-way bypass open heart surgery. Both his parents (father in-law's) died of heart attacks. I'd say, my hubby better watch his diet, huh? Hope you have a great day!