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New and devasated

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by Heretic1, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. Heretic1

    Heretic1 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Hello all,

    I have ‘hung around’ on the periphery of this site for a couple of months or so, only now feeling anywhere near strong enough to ‘declare my hand’ although have visited a number of the forums routinely. I now put pen to paper with expectation I will be challenged and possibly derided for my views, if not my story.

    I had a routine health assessment on the 29th April, with expectation of being told, you need to ‘shed some timber and oh your BP is a bit high’. Nothing, but nothing prepared me for the shock I had, and the ‘Life sentence’ I came away with – I was in absolute shock and completely devastated at the hand I had been dealt! I was, up to that point completely asymptomatic experiencing nothing of what maybe I should! Just to complete this part of the story, this was a private health assessment I needed for work. I had tried to get a ‘well man’ assessment through my GP, but was categorically told I was not entitled to one (I’m 51) – the best they could offer was a BP check….. oh that has now come to bite them! Needless to say all the private company could do was refer me back to my GP with their findings. Incidentally my fasting ‘finger prick test was 12 – which was subsequently increased to 16 when the blood tests came back – which freaked me out and sent me into meltdown, at that point I understood nothing of values and numbers etc!

    I will be completely honest – since that day I have (increasingly) struggled with what I now see is a ‘chronic lifelong condition’, and that I am an NHS statistic with a label, nobody would want or wish upon their worst enemy! I realise the enormity of what I have, and just how life changing / limiting this now is…. and the risks I now have to (literally) life and limb! Over the last 7 weeks or so I have to come to see myself as physically / emotionally and quite possibly mentally broken! Again being completely honest there hasn’t been a day gone by where I am not reduced or almost reduced to tears at some point either remembering the life I had and loved, or fear at what the future holds.

    Before my ‘gift’ I enjoyed life fully - which is undoubtedly why I am where I am (more of that later) and loved my food and drink, but now have become almost ‘food phobic’. Eating no longer holds any pleasure for me, and I freak at being presented with anything more than a salad or a few roasted vegetables and bit of chicken. I will not eat anything unless I’ve scrutinised it completely, and daren’t drink anything alcoholic (I soooo loved my Stella). On occasions when I have to go into Supermarkets I walk looking at the floor as it hurts so much to see the food I would so love to eat and enjoy. Equally I now use pay the pump at service stations – to avoid having to go into the shop which breaks my heart. About a month ago after a domestic argument I felt I couldn’t cope anymore and locked myself away with a kebab and 2 pints of lager…. Not caring if it did horrible things to me at that point – clearly it didn’t!

    I now want to talk about the anger I have for myself in all this. There is (as I now understand) a slight genetic link to my label – in that the only member of the family known to have it is my paternal uncle, so arguably there is a link. However I NOW fully accept that I am where I am because of my complete and utter ambivalence and ignorance to the warnings I should have heeded. Many years ago I was young and fit – and indeed was a qualified fitness instructor. Since then over the years a sedentary life, giving up exercise and consuming absolutely everything I shouldn’t in more quantities than anyone should, on many nights of the week i.e takeaways, booze, crisps nuts, pasties pies, chips etc (all Sugar and Carb loaded and 'broke my system') led me to a weight of 18st, a BMI of 33, and 144/98 BP with cholesterol at 6.5 ….. I can blame no one but myself! I hate myself for what I have done to myself…… and cannot get away from ‘if only’ …… realising it is all too late now!

    Turning now to the NHS – well from a complete beginning of absolute disinterest (not wanting to do a well man assessment), I have nothing but praise for the way they have responded. I have now had 2 GP appointments who confirmed the ‘good news’ with the hb1ac test (which was 11%) and a meeting with the practice nurse who specialises in ‘my kind’! They have all been incredibly supportive and can see just how I have and am struggling with this. I now have further appointments diaried with a nutritionalist and eye screening etc – in a short period of time I will have had more medical appointments within a 3 month period than I have had in the last 20 years combined!...it is all bewildering! As it stands I am currently NOT on any medication and desperately want to avoid being so, having been sent away to manage it on diet and exercise (more of that below!) My hb1ac will not be done for another 6 weeks or so, but when I met with the nurse (last month) she did the fasting finger prick test in surgery and my level was then 6.6 - a big change from 12 (I think???). We did discuss diet and monitoring, and whilst I think she is erring towards medication in the future, did not see the point of monitoring – yet.

    With regards to diet, both the practice nurse and the nurse who originally diagnosed me have both discussed the ‘lifestyle changes’ I need to make – which I completely accept, and I think is absolutely appropriate, and both have acknowledged the option of the LCHF diet (which I raised) which I know is heavily advocated here, and could see possible benefits of both. They both directed me to ‘the other’ UK Diabetes website and said this was excellent advice, which to be honest does not seem perhaps as ‘draconian’ as what I see here. I have a meeting with a nutritionalist next week and hope further perspective can be put on this – it is a little confusing. I know others who have posted in here have had very differing experiences with health care professionals and the NHS, however I do get concerned that it appears that there are a significant number of posts who quite literally deride any HCP as knowing nothing about our condition if they brook any differing views to an LCHF approach, and that this approach is the only way, in perhaps what I see is a little ‘puritanical’ – I stand to be corrected?

    The only genuine benefit I now see to the awful predicament is the metaphorical kick in the googlies I have had. As outlined above I do struggle to eat and have stopped drinking completely (currently), which I genuinely miss more than anything. Additionally I am now exercising (hard) 5-6 days per week, in the Gym / running / cycling / walking etc etc. As of today, I have now lost 2Ibs short of 3 stone, my BMI is now less than 30 (and reducing) and my BP is a respectable 109/70, my waist is now 6” less than it was (42 to 36) and I have a wardrobe that no longer fits me …… all heading in the right direction. So many people now comment on my weight loss and say I look soooo well (some have also asked if I'm ill given it has been dramatic!) – but inside I’m almost crying, because whilst they think I am well – actually I have never been more ill in my life!

    I conclude this by thanking the absolute best person in the whole wide world – my wife! Since my news and meltdown(s) she has been my absolute rock. Through my anger, my despair, my (sometimes constant) tears and everything else, she has been at my side literally. She has been to every appointment so far with me, and has spoken for me where I sometimes struggle to do so, and has embraced the new way of life I now need to lead significantly better than I, both the diet and the exercise (and she hated exercise). I am deeply embarrassed at just how much I have had to rely on her and the other vulnerable / emotional side of me she has now seen! – I love her soooo much and could not have made it this far without her, she deserves a medal!

    I am still struggling significantly with this, and hope one day I will be happier with my predicament – and myself – however I can’t see that on the horizon currently! I currently see my life here on in as denial of all the things I enjoy and a restricted way of living!I will now retire to my trench, pull on my body armour and helmet – and wait for the incoming Artillery barrage!

    Thank you for reading

    P.S. Please don’t point Daisy in my direction, there really is no need, I have read her comments many times now!
     
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  2. dawnmc

    dawnmc Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh you poor thing. Big hugs your way. Well at least you came to the right place. Its all out in the open now, you really have no need to worry to yourself, (it can affect your blood levels). There will be more folk on soon to reassure you.
     
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  3. LittleG

    LittleG Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi and thank you for sharing. You are doing remarkably well. To have made the significant changes you have are admirable. Seriously dude you are well down the right track.
    I feel exactly the same. I have also made great progress but have struggled emotionally in a way I never thought I would. I thought I would cope well and be proper easy breezy. The changes to diet and exercise came easy to me but the stress I felt at being able to wear my new identity have been really bloody difficult.
    I am sure it will get better and this wake up call is a blip to a better life.

    Also my accidental weight loss means I can wear all kinds of fanciful inappropriate for my age clothes. Silver lining *wink*.
     
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  4. Liam1955

    Liam1955 Type 2 · Master

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    @Heretic1 - Hello and Welcome to the Forum :). Ask away any questions you may have, there will always be someone to answer.
     
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  5. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Master

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    I think that the reason some of us appear firm advocates of LCHF is that for us it has worked. Also many of us have had bad experiences with HCP's who seem to know little about Type 2 diabetes and worse seem unwilling to have an open mind. You may well find that your nutritionist is one of these.
    I have found that my diagnosis was indeed a kick to get myself healthier and to take control of my condition. It does not have to be any more a death sentence than life itself is. Once you get better control of your blood sugar levels you will reduce the likelihood of diabetes illnesses.
    You see your HCP's have already been rather disingenuous with you in not recommending you self test. How on earth are you supposed to manage your sugar levels if you only know what they are every 3 or 6 months.. HbA1c's are useful but aren't the best way of managing what you should eat hour by hour.
    Anyway as I have said a number of times before it is YOUR condition, not your HCP's or anyone elses' you should choose what you want to do to help yourself.
    I hope you find the forum useful and informative so welcome.
    Regards
    Mark
     
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  6. I think by testing you could learn to be more relaxed around food. It is not only about discovering which foods to avoid/limit, but discovering foods you can eat. Knowledge is power.
     
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  7. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Expert

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    Hi @Heretic1 and welcome to the forum. You have no need to fear any incoming flak. You have done really well on reducing HbA1c and weight with your approach. If it is working for you that is what matters. I am not a strict LCHFer, I use it as a guide rather than a rule. I was like you when I was first diagnosed, shocked, horrified, ashamed and partly in denial. I hardly ate anything in the first six months, and only had a couple of glasses of red wine in the first 3 months - I had been drinking 3-4 pints of beer most nights.
    After losing around 32lbs, and reducing my bs levels I am now more relaxed with my condition. I can eat some of the things I used to, but less often and in smaller quantities. I can drink a half bottle of Merlot, and occasionally a couple of pints of beer.

    It is devastating when you first receive that diagnosis. Like you T2 was in my family - my mother had it. I knew I was in most of the risk categories, after retiring I wasn't exercising, eating more cakes and biscuits during the day, and going to the pub most nights for my evening meal (chips with everything) and beer. But I told myself I would start exercising and dieting next month, but that month never came.

    The diagnosis was a kick up the backside for me, making me change my life. And so in a way it was a good thing.
    It's good to read your story. It's similar to a lot of people on here, and I hope it has made you feel better to be able to vent.
    I hope you continue to participate in the forum, and keep us updated on how you are doing.
     
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  8. LittleG

    LittleG Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I agree about testing, I test test test. The results have given me a well rounded picture of how I react to certain foods. Helped immeasurably with my new diet. Most of the results have been no surprise some a total shocker. Shredded Wheat and porridge, I may as well have a cake mate.
    The testing gave me something scientific to focus on.
     
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  9. walnut_face

    walnut_face Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Agree with all that has been posted so far. I thik in all things where something has gone 'wrong' we all re-act in 3 distinct phases, 1. Anger, 2. Blame. 3. Reluctant acceptance of the situation and a desire to learn and move on. I think you have reached the end of phase 2.
    So the question Are you satisfied to let diabetes control you, or do you want to control diabetes is in front of you, and you seem to be choosing the latter. Great, you will find a group of very non-judgemental supportive people here. Use them to your advantage, and in your turn let others use you.
    Your journey hasnt ended, but the route has just been changed, and there is no reason why you still cannot reach your intended destination

    Bon Journee
     
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    #9 walnut_face, Jun 21, 2016 at 6:44 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2016
  10. Salvia

    Salvia Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hello Heretic1 and a very warm welcome to the forum. Now that you'll ceased to "lurk" and have put your toe in the water, as it were, I'm sure you'll get a lot of support, to help you feel less alone. Once you get some better test results, your should start to relax a little more, because then you will have a firm baseline from which to start. I think you should also consider very seriously getting your own meter to test yourself. You'll know by now that many people use the SD Codefree that has the cheapest strips. It is wise to listen to all advice, from wherever it comes, and then judge for yourself what is right for you. Having your own meter to test will help you to do that. Without your own meter, you're pretty much stumped, and will be working in the dark.

    As others have said above, I think you can ditch the body armour, and the helmet - coz you won't get any Artillery barrage from anyone here. And go buy your wife the biggest bunch of flowers she ever saw .......
     
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  11. Pinkorchid

    Pinkorchid Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Well you are doing amazingly so well done I hope now you have had a while to think about it you will realise you haven't been given a death sentence and that you could have far worse things wrong with you. We are all in the same boat here but we are coping just as you will take it one step at a time and you will be fine.
    Both my husband and I are both T2 neither of us typical for it, my husbands was as his doctor said probably steroid induced as he took them for 3 years for another medical problem which now he is in remission from. With me my doctor just could not say why I have it. After having annual blood tests last year I just tipped over into the diabetic range at a BG level of 7.2 I have no family history of it never been overweight always ate healthily and always been active never keen on the starchy carbs like bread rice pasta or the sweet stuff and I have never drunk alcohol yet here I am with T2 with no obvious reason. I was 76 and my husband was 82 when diagnosed and we never really saw it as a devastating diagnosis but knew we would have to make some food changes but it has really not made much difference to our life and we do the same things we always have and our BG levels are good we are both still active no mobility problems or other illnesses so we do think ourselves lucky we only have diabetes
     
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    #11 Pinkorchid, Jun 21, 2016 at 7:08 PM
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  12. ChrisSamsDad

    ChrisSamsDad Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am one of those LCHF evangelists you're worried about. First of all, I should say I took some convincing, as I am very skeptical. I was diagnosed about 6 years ago and my levels weren't very high then and easily controlled with Metformin. I did lose some weight initially, by avoiding sweet things and beer, but my levels crept up anyway.

    I didn't have a meltdown, or even realised I was getting quite depressed, but I was definitely resigned to my fate - complications and an early death, any talk about pensions my only concern was that my wife would have enough to live on, as I didn't expect to be around.

    It was only when my diabetic nurse told me about 6 months ago my BG was so high I'd have to consider insulin that I decided I'd look into the alternatives and thought I'd give LCHF a try. The results were great and I had a kind of negative breakdown, I was overcome with emotions and feelings which took a while to understand. I was happy and that made me realise I hadn't been for a long time.

    I've always been a huge foodie fan, I've done a lot of travelling and eating in very good restaurants on expenses and I do love cooking and eating so I was expecting to have to cut down on that with the LCHF, but actually it's been more of a liberation. I'm loving this new way of eating, It's like just eating the tastiest parts with the freedom to lick the grease off your fingers and not eat paltry low-fat equivalents - I don't have to see that disgusting pale imitation of mayonnaise we used to buy ever again!

    I've found that a love for sweet things is more of an addiction and the only pleasure to be gained is fleeting and short-lasting. I can actually eat the odd cake or sweet thing now - it's low carb not no-carb, but actually I'm not that bothered by the **** people bring into the office, which seem to be mostly just sugary, but not really that nice. Whereas some great Stilton or strawberries and cream is much more satisfying.

    And I do still drink. I drink gorgeous dry red wine and whisky. I have cocktails with sugar-free mixers and they don't affect my BG. I have the odd half pint of real ale as and when necessary. It's not only not so bad, it's really great.

    I'm also exercising now, not to get my BG or weight down, that had already happened, but because I love it and I'm able to feel a bit body conscious now. My mojo's back with a conscience and I'm feeling like I'm 17 again.

    What I'm saying is there is not only light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a much warmer glow too. It's always nice to be in control of your destiny and you'll find joy in beating this disease and maybe become an evangelist too.
     
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  13. LittleG

    LittleG Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Talking of booze I also still treat myself to a cheeky Pino, a lush deep Rioja or one of my many many gins.

    I do however have a studio above a craft brewery which is difficult but they know not to give me free tasters anymore.
     
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  14. seadragon

    seadragon Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi And welcome to the forum. No body armour needed here. Many of us are pretty evangelical about the LCHF approach as we see it working for ourselves and want to help others to live a better and healthier life. But people do need to make the decision for themselves as it does involve a lifestyle change - it's not a short term fix but has enabled a great many of us to live a great life free from the fear of any complications, as we know we are able to control our blood glucose levels.

    You've already had great success in your weight loss so should be feeling good about that, not beating yourself up over how you got there. Time to stop looking at the past and blaming yourself and looking instead to the great future you can still have.

    I think we all go through the stages of denial, anger, blame, on diagnosis and for each, those stages can take varying amounts of time from weeks to months to years. I was only pre diabetic but still after being told in no uncertain terms by my doctor that I would inevitably end up a fully fledged diabetic and it was a progressive disease and I'd end up on insulin and at risk of some very nasty complications I did end up in shock, I cried and felt sorry for myself. I completely understand about the food panic - what could I eat, what was it doing to me? i was scared to eat anything at all for weeks.

    My response was to scour the internet and was lucky enough to come across this site and the very wonderful Dietdoctor.com which I highly recommend you take a look at if you haven't already. The information is freely given - you don't need to sign up at all and it's presented very clearly with all the science to back it up from some very eminent doctors and scientists.

    If you are interested you can follow the links to find out the backstory to how the NHS/govt got to the stage of advocating the low fat high carb sort of diet that we've all been (wrongly) told was healthy for so long. Much of which seems to come down to the fact of the personality of Ancel Keys (who came up with the diet-heart hypothesis i.e fat makes you fat and clogs your arteries) being much stronger than that of John Yudkin ( who back in the late 70s was pointing out that sugar and carbs was more of a problem ).

    You might also be encouraged to hear that Trudi Deakin who wrote much of the material for the diabetes courses now advocates the low carb high fat diet instead. Her book is called I think "Eat Fat".

    You say above that you have never been more ill but then you mention how your blood pressure is reduced, your BMI is reduced, you are doing way more exercise - all things that make you much healthier than you were before and you may in time come to see that your diagnosis has actually given you the chance of a much better future than you would have had if you'd stayed overweight with high BP even if you didn't actually have diabetes too.

    It's taken a while to be able to see it this way but I am grateful I that I got the chance to make these changes in my life while still young enough to enjoy the tremendous improvements they have brought to my life as a whole. I have taken up new sports - and am better at sports I enjoyed before, I am no longer tired all day, I have boundless energy, many irritating minor ailments have vanished and at this point (after a year) I really don't miss carbs much at all. I can eat lovely bacon and eggs, I drink red wine or G & T's with slimline tonic. I can eat the tastiest parts of a meal and not have to suffer the 'filler carbs' I never was that keen on anyway. I can have berries and double cream for dessert every day, I've discovered how tasty vegetables are when smothered in butter or creme fraiche - it's not a lifestyle of denial.

    The best advice and I echo what was said above, is to buy yourself a meter. That allows you to take control and everyone feels better when they are in control of their own destiny. Then you test before and after every meal (for a while _ I tested regular for about 6 months) and see what raises your blood sugar and what doesn't. Test your favourite meals and see if just having smaller portions of any carbs you like is enough to keep your levels acceptable (I aim to stay below 7.8 as I understand that is a level below which you re unlikely to get any complications). It also allows you to test if there are things which help you to quickly lower you BG levels if they go higher than you'd like. For me that simply involves a 15 minute walk which means occasionally I can eat things I wouldn't normally eat knowing I can bring my levels down quickly. Having a meter gets rid of the fear over what to eat as you absolutely know what it is doing to you and if it raises your levels you can then cut it down or out and find a better option or like me , walk it off!

    It's a lot to take in and we all have to find our own path but if any of us can help to shed some light on the paths available then don't hesitate to ask the questions.
     
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  15. maggiedog

    maggiedog Type 2 · Member

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    Hello . Please don't feel alone. Reading you post was like reading my past. I too was utterly devastated and had a rare old tantrum. I have now been dupia
    Hello .this was like reading my story over ten years ago. Like you I receive the best support from my GP. I hope you draw comfort from knowing you are not alone something I felt so acutely ten years ago. You will adapt and from what I have read will be able to take back control. Keep up the good work
     
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  16. Patricia21

    Patricia21 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome.
    You sound like my story four years ago,I am skinny you dont have to be over weight to be diabetic.
    I changed my way of eating not to lose weight but to get my blood sugar down.I enjoy my new way of eating and dont realy think about it now,I enjoy a Gin and slimline tonic and a few glasses of red wine/
    You sound like you are doing well.chin up
    Thank you for sharing and all the best,stick with us we are all in the same boat
     
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  17. Heretic1

    Heretic1 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    All,

    Thank you very much for your kind words and welcome. As I sit and type this tears are again flowing down my cheeks.

    I am not yet convinced (either way) on the merits of a LCHF approach. I am not too bothered about potatoes (except chips ) but sooo love rice and pasta - though I have currently given all of these up - still scared of virtually everything!

    I am too still undecided about the merits of testing - there is part of me that thinks that IS harnessing me to 'it', though can potentially see I can judge what will / will not affect me so much. I think Part of me is also frightened that I will find some of the food I soo love and think I can still eat is clearly no good and can't anymore! I also think there is plenty of time for testing, counting etc when my Pancreas does finally pack up which (as I understand???? ) is inevitable anyway.

    The overwhelming advice I have been given is that weight reduction and diet will have by far the biggest influence in helping my levels be near 'normal' so that is where my current focus is, I guess currently on a LC ... and low everything else diet, which so far seems to work! What I do when I get there remains the next question!

    I have a lot more questions to ask, and verifying of some of the comments that people have said to me, however they will save for another day. Today has been like most others, I start by being really positive and feeling I CAN do this, but constant reminders of what I can no longer do or eat gnaw away (forgive the pun) at that throughout the day, and as ever I end up feeling sooo fed up and emotionally drained.

    Thanks again.
     
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  18. seadragon

    seadragon Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    You don't need to test forever. Just test the meals you really like and you may find you can still have some or find you'd be better off finding alternatives. The best thing for me about testing was finding that i could basically eat anything I liked as long as afterwards I did some walking. There was very little a 15 minute brisk walk couldn't sort. And if its bad weather then 15 minutes walking on the spot while watching TV did just as well. There is really nothing you can't do as a diabetic and many things you can do better as you are more aware of what works for your body. Seriously don't wait for pancreas to give up - fix stuff now and start living for the future and living well. Good luck - hope all goes well.

    Try cauliflour rice and for pasta, courgetti (buy a spiraliser) - add some creme fraiche, a little mustard and some peri peri spice and tell me if it's not the best thing ever.....
     
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  19. Stallen

    Stallen Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @Heretic1 ,

    Hi a firstly welcome to the forum and posting, I successfully dabble in the LCHF, Mediterranean, high protein diets, the LCHF was useful at the beginning I lost around the 25kg through diet alone and some walking, the thing you'll find is that diabetes really is the slow killer, by all means lock yourself away with a kebab and a few pints, but as you found out, it won't kill you over night, however it will bum you out a fair bit, kicking yourself about it.

    The plus point I gained form LCHF was that it weaned me off starchy and sugary snacks, without any real tough withdrawal symptoms that was very useful.

    I agree when first diagnosed it a fair kick in the balls, but as time goes on there is less doom attached, I've probably turned around my health situation completely and that's a great benefit to myself and my girlfriend, who stressed herself way more than I ever did.

    so all round it would be good not only for you but also your family too, if you tackle try different diets one will suit you I'm sure just remember it's a lifestyle change not a punishment, enjoy what you can have rather than mourn what you can't.

    Good luck
     
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  20. fene48

    fene48 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Heretic
    I think you have broken through a huge barrier - just by 'coming out'. Seems like you acknowledge that your diabetes may have been self inflicted - terrific if you can be that honest with yourself. Important thing is, now that you have beaten up yourself good and proper, don't keep doing it. Your story line is pretty similar to other people I know. But there is hope and the potential for excellent outcomes.
    This forum is a vast resource of experiences and opinions. You just have to find what works for you. We are all different and our bodies react to different things - eat differently etc etc. (I love pizza and I came across a recipe for a base made out of cauliflower, so its back on the menu). So read a lot, educate yourself, sift the chaff from the wheat and you will get there.
    It is daunting at the start, but as you get runs on the board you will feel more confident and in control. You will certainly get support here. As the LRB sang "there are many ways to the top of the mountain ... but the view from the top is the same'.
    So saddle up mate, the trip is certainly worth it and the view is fantastic.

    All the best, keep positive, keep testing and posting.

    Regards
    fene48
     
    • Like Like x 6
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