2012 on February 3rd I took my last shot of insulin.
And I’ve lived a whole other lifetime in that time. A lifetime I never thought I would have. So grateful for each and every day…
Facebook, February 4, 2013.
I am type 2 diabetic. Most of you know that. I’m not exactly reserved and shy about it. 🙂 I am a type-2 diabetic which means my body makes insulin. Plenty of it actually. Through years of abuse, I’ve messed up the receptors that recognize insulin and know how to use it. (Think about trying to use a baseball glove to catch a soccer ball… Just doesn’t work very well…) And it was MY OWN DAMN DOING. Type-2 diabetes is by and large considered a lifestyle disease. There are rare exceptions to be sure. But I was not. I made poor lifestyle choices. I ate too much. Ate things that weren’t solid choices for my health situation. And I loathed sweating and exercising.
My feet hit the floor in July 2011 and I decided I was done. D. O. N. E. Done with needles and shots and doctors and monthly blood tests and being fat and being unhealthy and slowly, but very, VERY surely killing myself.
It has been a journey and an adventure and the hardest work of my LIFE! And it will continue to be a fight all the remaining days of my life. I am not out of the woods. I am not done. There are still hurdles. That’s OK – I’m up for the fight.
Tonight is a bit of a celebration for me — indulge me for a moment…
Tonight is ONE YEAR since I took my last shot of insulin.
A year ago started what was to become a mass exodus from prescriptions drugs that is ALMOST complete. One drug left to exit. I was taking 72 units of Lantus, 2 other injections, 5 other drugs to regulate sugars and other attendant issues with out of control sugars/diabetic issues in May 2011. But there is only ONE drug left to quit. And that day is near. 🙂 Focused on being totally medicine free by early 2014. (I was meds free by May 2014, just for the record!)
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of being shot/needle/sharps container/supplemental insulin/shot-in-the-belly FREE. WOO HOO! And no… I am not celebrating by eating a piece of cake. Tempting. But not tempting enough… I’ll probably celebrate with a big ol’ cold Honeycrisp apple. 🙂
A lot has changed in the 18 months since I started on this journey. I worked closely with my doctor. Shared my plans. She sometimes agreed – sometimes re-directed. We worked on decreasing the insulin in small increments weekly over many months. It was NOT a fast process, but slow and steady (and truthfully terrifying – as staying off of the drugs relies TOTALLY on my maintaining serious lifestyle changes. I am trading food and activity for drugs.)… I track all my food. I relied on advice/reader boards on the American Diabetes Association website for help with specific issues and food challenges. I continue to be surrounded by family and friends who cheered me on EVERY single, tiring, painful step of the way… I was never, ever alone.
My doc said in her 25 years of practicing medicine she has had two patients work their way off substantial meds without surgical intervention. Several times she has had to research our next step – since this isn’t something she has practice in working with… Kind of cool to be the challenging patient in a GOOD way.
Will I be able to stay off of insulin for the rest of my life? No. Not likely. Research indicates that diabetes will re-emerge again at some point. But the longer I can go without insulin, the longer I can stay with TIGHT self-control on blood sugars, the longer I can go without causing collateral harm to my eyes/heart/kidneys/heart — the better for me!
I bought myself a hat from the Life Is Good store in Maui while I was there for the marathon a few weeks ago… It has a picture of Earth with the words “Happy to be here”.
I am just happy, really happy, to be here.