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Inspiration Exchange Stories

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January 23 2019 | Life | By CHARLOTTE S

Keeping it real

Well, my story starts with finding out I was a diabetic at the same time that I owned an ice cream store. Yep, an ice cream and penny candy store! What a great environment for a newly diagnosed person with diabetes.

My problem was that I didn't feel sick and you certainly couldn't see that I was sick. I was gaining weight, hungry all the time, eating everything in the store and drinking sodas constantly (I was always thirsty). I was tired a lot but I chalked that up to working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only reason I decided to see a doctor was because I thought I had a urinary tract infection. That's when I learned I was diabetic. I had no idea that weight gain, excessive thirst and frequent urination were symptoms of the disease.

I was diagnosed in the 1980's when they put you in the hospital to get you under control and show you how to use insulin (by having you stick an orange). I told the nurse, "...I'll eat the orange, teach me how to inject myself. Sticking this orange all day doesn't help me learn to do it to myself." There wasn't a lot of information back then and I thought all I had to do was take my needle every day, and that was it.

After a while, I received a blood glucose meter, which was HUGE!. Fast forward to more recent times. ABC (Achieving Better Control) was giving diabetes education classes at a local hospital and I was given a new smaller meter, I learned how to recognize highs and lows, and learned about healthy cooking tips and tricks. I think the MOST IMPORTANT thing I've learned over the years, is how important it is to know your numbers.. Checking your blood 2 (or more) times a day helped me to better understand how different foods were impacting my blood sugar. I've personally learned that more than a small scoop of ice cream sends my blood sugar sky high so I no longer keep half gallons of ice cream in the house ( because chocolate calls me in the middle of the night). Pasta now goes on a smaller plate, so it looks like a lot of food, but keeps my numbers lower. Now I'm not saying I don't have a piece of cake or candy once in awhile. I just have less than the 1980's serving size! :-)

So my advice to any of you is TEST, TEST OFTEN! Know your numbers!. You can have a normal life, you just have to work a little harder!.

Wishing you all the best. my friends!

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