Although the day started in the dark with dawn bringing only rain and grey skies it’s turned into an afternoon that’s infinitely more palatable.
The sun has finally come out and I’m enjoying its warmth as I walk.
After a meeting down south this morning I’m finishing work a little early – which suits me just fine because I have somewhere to go.
I have to admit to being a little nervous about my destination though. I really don’t like visits to the diabetic nurse – but some things really can’t be avoided.
Today I get the results from my semi annual test and find out whether all of the hard work that I regularly put in has been worthwhile or whether my pancreas is once again waving a little white flag.
I’m hopeful that the results are positive – because the thing that pushed my type two into remission and enabled me to stop taking medication for the last year or so is something I’m continually focused on.
Sadly though at times the rest of the world seems to be blind to what can be achieved and conventional medical science really doesn’t help with that.
The NHS would have you believe that there’s no way out from under the rock of type two diabetes and that eventually it always turn into type one.
They prescribe instead pill after pill and largely let you get on with the ‘reality’ that they’ve sold to you.
This is bad enough – but when you combine it with a human being’s capacity for living in denial it’s a dangerous mix. Even when faced with a laundry list of changes that need to be made and a clear path to better health people often choose to ignore reality completely.
From time to time I meet someone who (like I was) is in the process of bargaining with themselves. They (like I did) avoid at all costs coming to terms with the truth of their situation – and (like I couldn’t) don’t seem able to face up to the reality of what change really requires.
I mean by this that few people grasp the (sometimes bitter but in my view unavoidable) truth that when you’re dealing with a slow death sentence like diabetes tweaking just one thing is not even close to enough.
When I meet these people I truthfully want to shake them by the shoulders and make them understand the reality of what’s going on – to save them the wasted time I experienced – but it’s often pointless.
I know I wouldn’t have listened so why should they?
In my case I thought ‘if I give up drinking my diabetes will be sorted’
It was delusion.
It got a bit better but my levels were still ridiculously high.
Then I told myself ‘ok ok – that hasn’t worked but if I give up drinking and eat healthy food then my diabetes will be sorted.’
Once again there was marginal improvement but overall little happened and I still needed medication.
Then I started exercising – and almost immediately I could see the benefits. I’ve written about this a lot – but I repeat it because it’s vitally important.
My sugars dropped quicker than with any other tweak that I’d made up to that point and the last time I had it checked in August (link) my Hba1c level was 28.
I started at 94 – and exercise enabled this to change.
So – because I know that I wouldn’t have listened I choose not to preach to people who I feel are stuck in this loop.
It’s pointless and just makes them switch off or feel pressured.
Instead I write about the reality of it – in the hope that people will read it and see for themselves what can be done rather than having someone tell them what they should do.
I walk and exercise all the time – each day trying to improve – and get better so that I can instead demonstrate what’s possible.
Yesterday (with this continued progress in mind) I managed to shave another 25 seconds off my previous best walking time for a mile.
Only recently did I break through the 15 minute barrier (link) and amazingly I’ve now managed to get it down to 14 mins and 26 seconds – which I’m insanely proud of.
(Author stops drinking coffee and realises the time. He goes to his appointment)
Well – as is usual these days the nurse (who I’ve never met before) quizzically looked me up and down as I headed to her room for my diabetic review.
She clearly didn’t expect the man in front of her.
She checked my stomach area, looked at my legs, looked at my face and then looked at her notes.
‘I was expecting a much bigger man!’ she said. ‘You’ve lost even more weight…‘
‘Yep. Almost 20 stone now.’ I replied.
She looked at me in disbelief.
‘Wow. I wish all of my patients with diabetes were like you! Your results are amazing!‘
She pointed at her screen.
‘Your levels are 25… In fact I’ve recommended to the doctor that we take you off the diabetic register – however he would like to leave you on for 12 months just in case.’
‘Fine by me!’ I replied.
(As nervous as these things make me I like to be sure things are ok. I prefer to keep focus on it.)
‘Everything else is great too!’ She said.
‘How’s my cholesterol?’ I asked.
Now – this has been one thing I’ve never had much success reducing – despite my good behaviour. This time I had been expecting a telling off because if the truth be told Davey has been forgetting to take his statins regularly for a while now.
‘It’s actually really good!’ She said – sounding a little surprised.
‘Ummm… could I possibly try without the medication?’ I asked.
She looked at the results again and pondered.
‘Sure. Why not. Let’s have you back in three months for a check up. You can stop taking them.’
I was a little stunned.
Two years ago I was taking about 8-9 pills a day. I had Naproxen for my constant back or joint pain, Omeprazole to protect my stomach lining from the Naproxen, Glimepiride and Metformin for my diabetes and Simvastatin for my high cholesterol.
Now – as of today – I take no prescription medication at all!!!!
To top it all off my blood pressure was just fine (amazing since I’d had four Americanos in Wetherspoons prior to my appointment and briskly walked to my appointment) and my heart rate was 41bpm.
All in all I am supremely healthy and a world away from this guy – who now seems so distant and alien to me
So – it’s the start of a new chapter. I’m no longer a burden on the NHS for ANYTHING.
Now all I have to do is get to target internet and I’ll die a happy man 😂