The new normal.

“Are you diabetic? When was the last time you had any blood work done? We found sugar in your urine.”

I had this really irritating UTI, damn thing would just not let go. There is nothing more annoying than having to pee every 20 minutes, so much to the point that I couldn’t leave my house for too long without mapping out bathrooms first (true story).
However, it ended up being a blessing in disguise because had it not been for that UTI, I wouldn’t have known that there was something much more sinister.

Being a Chef with an irregular and stressful schedule, combined with being too tired for conventional exercise, no real desire to cook at home, a love of carbs (mmmmm), genetics and mental illness oh and keeping most of the local area restaurants employed because takeout happens at least once a week. Anyone in the industry knows this dance, the steps might be a little different here and there but at the end of the day, it’s essentially the same.

I had a sneaking suspicion a while ago that I was diabetic. Denial though, that’s my jam. Mostly because I had no real symptoms, which is truly alarming. Aside from being chronically tired, but I also have depression so there’s that.
Needless to say, I wasn’t too shocked when she said that I was ‘super diabetic’ which struck me as odd since my sugar at that time was at 19, which isn’t great of course. However, *I* feel much better knowing that I caught it so early after hearing horror stories from people whose numbers were 40+
They’re lucky they’re not dead…

It used to be a long running joke that I would be fucked if I ever became diabetic (because I hate needles), well fuck me because here I am.

The upside? I have no choice but to take better care of myself.

I have the advantage of being able to afford to stay home so I can work out at my leisure at home. Really not a fan of the gym, because I am certain that working out in my underwear would be frowned upon. I actually enjoy working out, it’s good for my mind and my body.

I have to meal plan now, which I admittingly hate. Being a Chef for over 20 years have spoiled me in many ways (all the prep is done, you have someone to do your dishes and all kinds of equipment at your disposal that the average person doesn’t have at home). The upside to that though? I can still eat most things that I enjoy with some exceptions.

No pasta/white breads/flours/rice, which makes me sad. I’ve opted to go as low carb as possible, because it’s more beneficial to me overall. I have horrible cravings for sweets/carbs when I eat pasta and I can have so little of it, it’s not worth the effort/frustration. No rice either which sucks because I just found the best place that makes a killer chicken fried rice and sushi. I also miss grilled cheese, because fuck brown bread. Fluffy white bread is where it’s at! Red meat for the most part is also a no go, I can have veal but I won’t go out of my way to buy it for ethical reasons. So steak has become even more of treat that it used to be.

I reactivated my account on my fitness pal, that helps to keep me accountable and track all the things. Measuring and weighing out ones food isn’t as daunting as it sounds. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass, but worth it.
Also a bit surprising sometimes when you see just how much of something can be in such small amounts of something.

My eyesight has changed for the better. Which admittingly freaked me out at first because I didn’t know that was possible, I just knew that diabetes can cause blindness. My glasses didn’t have the same effect as before, in fact wearing them made my vision even worse. It wasn’t until 2-3 days of taking my meds and doing the good stuff that I realized I no longer needed to wear them. Which kind of sucks because I actually really like my glasses -and- I just bought new ones less than a year ago. So now I have to wait until my sugar is stable for at least three months before I get my eyes checked out again.

I’m trying really hard to be as positive about this as I can. Some days are tough because there’s an endless stream of dishes and grocery shopping now and I went from being a grazer/snacky type of person to having to full on make proper meals, half of which need to be comprised of vegetables. There’s a bakery across the street and it smells so very delightful when they’re baking bread, but it’s also torture because then I want bread.

Although being diabetic has also cured my ignorance about it. SO many people assume that you get to be that way by eating too much sugar. Not true, never was. It’s not just about being overweight either (although that is a cause because your organs don’t always work as they should when they’re being crammed together). Thankfully I have type two, which is preferable over type one.
Stress is also a contributor and genetics as well. So I didn’t stand a chance in any of those arenas.
I’m not a fan of having to test my blood sugar three times a day, those test strips aren’t cheap (they’re about a dollar a piece from my pharmacy). We thankfully have insurance here (both private and provincial) but so many people don’t.

Overall though? I feel really good 80% of the time. The other 20% is dealing with irritating cravings, my mental illness and life in general. Which has improved greatly now that i’m making more of an effort to take care of myself but it’s not a one size fits all solution either. It’s the right kind of kick in the ass that I needed, I just wish the circumstances were different.