Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Getting the hang of things

Yesterday afternoon I did some research on the cocktail of medications my doctor prescribed after our last get-together. What I found out was pretty sobering.

* I'm on medication for my cholesterol and triglycerides that is reducing the amount of triglyceride that my body can make as well as increasing the elimination of the HUGE amount of triglycerides I had in my blood at my last test. (Wonder how it does that?)

* I'm on a combined medication for my blood sugar that both makes my body more sensitive to insulin (to more efficiently process blood sugar) and reduces the amount of blood sugar my body produces to begin with

* Finally, I'm on yet another medication that stimulates my body to produce more insulin

(Holy moly. So diabetes is all about having too much blood sugar and/or not enough insulin. Now I'm on stuff that will stop my body from producing too much blood sugar, will make it use up the blood sugar it DOES make, and will produce more insulin - which is what actually processes blood sugar. So, um, what's going to happen if I actually follow the doctor's orders to improve the quality and reduce the quantity of what I eat (check!) plus increase the consistency and intensity of my physical exercise (check!)? Won't I be short on blood sugar thus LOW ON ENERGY when I try to exercise?)

Bingo.

So right after I finished looking all of these medications up and figuring out what's going on inside my body, I head over to the gym at work for my daily (at least every work day) walk on the treadmill. I'm increasing speed every few weeks and need to be very consistent with the effort so that I can be ready for the 5K I'm doing in September, so I wasn't exactly looking forward to it, but I'm excited to get in and get going every day. Except I could feel that my body wasn't right even on the short walk from my building over to the building where the gym is. Shaky. Sweaty. Heart racing. Muscles not working quite right.

I'd eaten a good lunch and even a few snacks since then, but nothing with significant carbohydrate content. Yes, I'm trying to be a good diabetic and cut back on carbohydrates because they convert into blood sugar most easily, but given the medications I'm on, I now know that I'm going to have to include some significant source of carbohydrate in my afternoon meal and snack. Or else working out after work...well, it just won't work.

I tried. I really did. I changed clothes, I grabbed a towel, I got on the treadmill and warmed up, and then I punched in the speed I'm targeting for this week. For about two minutes I contemplated pushing through the way I was feeling. The shakiness. The lack of muscle coordination. The panicked feeling as my body frantically tried to tell me that it had no fuel. And then I heard it: the sound of every cell in my body screaming at me to stop abusing them in the name of "better health". I punched the Stop button on the treadmill, told my workout partner that it wasn't going to happen for me that day, and then went to the snack table to grab a Luna bar to eat slowly while I stretched.

The old me would have pushed through. The old me wouldn't have cared how bad my body felt because there were miles per hour and minutes to be walked, and that was how you lost weight...how you made yourself "better". "Healthy" even. I'm sitting here now, crying, as I think about how much self-hatred it takes to put a number on a scale before honoring your body.

How many times in the past did I run or walk or whatever when it hurt? Alternatively, how many times did I sit on my butt doing nothing while my body marinated in a deadly slow cooker of high blood sugar and triglycerides? Even shoveling in more crappy food while I sat and did nothing? When - and how? - did I get so detached from my own body?

I'm not perfect and I never will be, but I need to get a lot better - fast - at staying present and really listening to what my body needs if I'm going to avoid diabetic complications and live a longer life. (And I want to do that. I really, really do!)

2 comments:

MargieAnne said...

You're not having an easy time of it.

[[[hugs]]]

Have you told your Dr. how the medication affects your ability to work out? It's possible you are over medicated or mabe you just need a luna bar more often. *smiles*

Cammy said...

So sorry you're struggling! Your doctor should be able to help shape your day based on your activities. Or maybe a sports nutritionist? There are bunches of diabetic athletes, so I'm sure there's some expertise *somewhere* to help.