I am not one to share a lot of personal information, especially about my own health journey. I’ll talk about Steve’s surgeries and request prayers all day! But not for me. I never even told my mother about most things that were going on with me. Now, here I am making a social media statement!! I mentioned it in the last blog post when I said that I began a journey of greater intentionality about my health last fall and that I got to celebrate the initial benefits with my doctor in December.
In the fall of 2007 – on September 13th to be exact, I was diagnosed with diabetes. Both my parents developed diabetes in their adult years. Other family members did as well. If you are a believer in the role genetics plays in our lives, I was destined to get this diagnosis. However, it also came as a result of being overweight all my teenage and adult years, eating very emotionally, and a multitude of other things that could make this list go on and on. So why do I remember 9/13/2007? I wear it on an ID necklace from the American Diabetes Association which also includes the words, “For my health.”
I was able to stay off medication for five years. For years, I jokingly blamed the 2012 United Methodist General Conference for sending me over the edge to a point of having to start treatment. I know now that there may actually be some truth to that! (See the first bullet below.)
Everything was pretty much under control until the foot surgeries of 2020-2021. Whether from the stress of the surgeries or the lack of activity from being in a walking shoe or boot for a total of six months, my A1C shot up. Despite additions to my medical team and treatment plan, nothing was working to bring it down. It didn’t continue up, but certainly didn’t go down.
Today, I am extremely grateful to Pinnacle Living for providing the opportunity last fall for team members to participate through our healthcare captive in the Twin Health program (https://www.usa.twinhealth.com/). I’ve spent a fortune since I was in my mid-twenties on eating plans and programs: tried all of them. I’ve given a lot of money to fitness centers and classes: given up on all of them. I’ve worked with a number of dietitians and nutritionists: all of whom taught me a lot but I never kept the weight off.
This has been such a different experience. It has been the greatest gift I could have ever received. My first phone call with the Twin Health team was on September 13th, fifteen years to the day of the diagnosis. After my participation was approved, lab work done, and the orientation to the program completed, I officially started in mid-October. Since then, 27.2 pounds are no longer tagging along with me. I’ve been off all diabetes medication for 25 days.
Today is day #122 of the year-long program; I’m a third of the way into this journey. Here are a few things I’ve learned from my virtual twin so far.
- Angry church conversations about differences in our understandings of how to be “church” these days cause my blood sugar to spike. Hadn’t had a thing to eat or drink the first time I was able to monitor this, and my blood sugar rose more than 100 points from the time I parked until I got back to my car. I’ve spent a lot of time since then with centering and deep breathing! Before this journey, I would have stopped at the nearest KFC or other fast food place that serves mashed potatoes and taken out my stress with a large serving and LOTS of butter, but I crunched hard on celery all the way home.
- When you’re feeding your body and not your emotions, you can be satisfied with the meat, lettuce and tomato from a sandwich in a boxed lunch for multiple meals in a row. That is until all of the leftover food from Annual Conference receptions at the Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference is brought into the room where you are at midnight and there is still much work to do. At least I know now that one petit four does not spike my blood sugar as much as meatballs with barbecue sauce.
- Eating too much steamed shrimp over the course of a few weeks (…like Christmas to New Years…) can lead your medical team when they see your blood work to think you are in the midst of an episode of gout. Oh, I remember my Daddy’s toes when his gout would flare up. There goes the genetics again.
- Seeing that you only get a few minutes of deep sleep a night helps you understand your brain fog and desire for a nap – along with the need to turn the blue lights of the phone, computer and television off earlier.
- Dry wines do not spike your blood sugar. Why didn’t I realize that before now???
- When you’ve been careful to eat well for most of 122 days, one Cadbury Crème Egg that you’ve been avoiding even looking at for a week or so does not cause an issue when it’s in celebration of the win – the hard work so far! Thank you, God, for that blessing!!
Why am I sharing all this? I need my Facebook and Word Press friends to hold me accountable for my actions and choices for the next 243 days. I’ve got a long way to go to be healthier in the last third of my life than in the first two-thirds, but I’m on my way.
Here’s what celebrating 62 looked like last month. Wonder what 63 will look like? We’ll see what unfolds.
3 thoughts on “For My Health”
Thank you for sharing this Martha! Congratulations on the wins so far and many blessings, prayers, and cheers as you continue.
You are such an inspiration! I am so proud of you. We will celebrate (again) in a little over a week with a celery stick and dry red wine and so much laughter to fill our bellies. I love you dear friend. Thank you for sharing your journey with the world. – Denise
Oh no, not celery! I know the kimchi, ginger salad, and hot and sour soup at Beijing on Grove are all good foods for me!! It’s the laughter I’m looking forward to!!