Divabetic’s upcoming free Diabetes Rountable podcast inspired by Anne Hathaway features special guest, Lorraine’s ‘Diagnosis To DIVA’ story to inspire you to stay healthy and upbeat about your self-care.
I wasn’t totally surprised, since it ran in my family. My paternal grandmother had diabetes, and I can remember, as a child, that my father had to give her injections, because she had suffered a major debilitating stroke. I can remember the glass syringes being in the refrigerator, and how we had to boil them to sterilize them. I really didn’t totally understand what it all meant, but I knew it was serious, and I knew it required work.
I was lucky that my new job was in the pharmacy department of the hospital, and the staff was wonderful to me when they found out about my diagnosis. They taught me how to inject myself, and supplied me with needles and insulin. Unfortunately, what they didn’t tell me was, how to deal with low blood sugars, and how to fight the battle of weight.
I had been overweight literally all my life, and now, with this news, I knew it was going to be even harder to control my weight. During the first 5 years after my diagnosis I did manage to lose over 60 pounds, and I was able to get off insulin for a few years. But as I got older, that “honeymoon” ended, and now I am insulin dependent.
It has been a challenge for me to adjust to the changes that are happening as I am getting older. But the positive thing is, with all the advances in diabetes care, we live in an age where there is much we can do. I now use an insulin pump, and that helps me keep in much better control. My last visit to my endocrinologist was very successful. I was told I have none of the complications of diabetes. I attribute that to a strong commitment to self-care, and belng willing, even when it is difficult, to make good decisions. I watch what I eat, try to control portions, get a bit of exercise most days, and most importantly, I’m not afraid to talk about it, and tell people when I need help, or when I am struggling. That helps me stay focused and positive.
I keep regular visits with my primary care doctor, endocrinologist, podiatrist, optometrist, dentist, and therapist. They all listen and help me to move forward when get stuck, or need some extra motivation. It is extremely important to me that I have health care professionals that I can talk to, and who will listen to my concerns. I am determined to remain complication-free for as long as I can, and I will be 61 in a few weeks! I am very proud of this accomplishment!
I was proud to contribute to Dr. Bev’s book, My Sweet Life, and it was inspiring to read the stories of the other women who share the journey. (My Sweet Life: Successful Women with Diabetes is available at Amazon.com)
My biggest struggle, as always, is still with my weight. I am told that it is more important to control the A1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol than the weight, so that is where I keep my focus. And those numbers are great. I often joke that I should carry my blood test results in my wallet, to prove that I am healthy, in spite of my weight, because the world does tend to judge you harshly if you are overweight, especially if you have diabetes. Many people will choose to believe that I am not trying hard enough, but I know I am! And my test results prove it! So if I had any advice to others it would be exactly that. Concentrate on what is important, and that is, staying in control, making good decisions, being open and willing to put in the work, and you will be healthy and lead a good life with diabetes!
If I have a favorite Diva, I think it would be Vanessa Williams, because she has overcome many difficult situations in her life. She was the first woman of color to be crowned Miss America, only to have scandal force her to give up her crown. But she reinvented herself and launched a successful singing career, as well as becoming a respected actress. And she recently admitted that she was the victim of domestic abuse, which is a cause I am very involved with. I now do a great deal of work with women who are survivors of domestic abuse and violence. #12divasofchristmas
Experience Mr. Divabetic’s wellness with a wow programming in Tucson, AZ, Santa Clara, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Savannah, GA and Bethesda, MD in 2013. Get more details at www.divabetic.org