Let me tell you something you don’t know about me. I am diabetic. I was diagnosed 2yrs ago. It’s a mixture of genetics – both my parents are diabetic – and part indiscipline.
I’m here to tell you about my diabetic journey.
When it started, I was just starting a healthy eating diet, ironic ba? Lol
But you see before that diet I had set myself on a ‘suicide’ course. I was drinking about 4 bottles of minerals daily. Eating buttercream with spoon. Taking milo with more than 3 spoons of sugar. It was crazy.
Then I decided it was time I took better care of myself and I commenced this drastic veggies diet (note – I’ve since learned drastic diets are not good) but the damage had already been done, I just didn’t know it yet.
First symptom I experienced was intense hunger. However I thought it was because of the diet. So I tried to snack on apples, carrots etc. Then I started getting weak and weaker. I still thought it was the diet so I told myself it will stop when my body adjusts. Then I started peeing. I could wake up 6 times to pee in the night. I said my body was detoxifying. Yinmu!
Then my eyesight started getting dimmer. That was when I got worried and I took a closer look at my body and the symptoms. I had lost incredible weight by this time.
It was then a light bulb went off in my head and I remembered my dad had these same symptoms when he was diagnosed with diabetes.
It was at night, I immediately woke my husband and confessed to him all I’d been feeling (We had been to hospital before then but I wasn’t honest with my symptoms because I didn’t want to stop the diet, I was losing weight so to me, I was getting healthier) and told him I was suspecting diabetes.
We went to the hospital and I was immediately placed on insulin.
Even though I was certain it was diabetes, hearing it confirmed with tests was a blow. I went into denial and was rejecting it.
My husband made sure I went for my insulin shots but once my blood sugar stabilized and I was taken off insulin and put on oral drugs instead, I stopped taking my drugs.
You can guess what happened next, my blood sugar skyrocketed.
Within days I knew I was in trouble. I confessed to my husband, he rushed me to the hospital and the last thing I remembered was getting admitted. I went into a diabetic coma. If I’d gotten to the hospital even one hour later, I would have been dead.
Thank God for God and the medical team and my family and friends who stood in the gap for me. Four days later, I woke up.
Recovery was hard and strenuous. I was on thrice a day insulin. It took weeks for me to be able to walk unassisted. Months before I could see again (I am so grateful my sight loss was not irreversible) I came through it without any organ damage. God is faithful.
My husband took care of me all through.
When I was feeling more myself, I went to Ilorin to stay with my parents a while and give my husband time to recover himself. He worked hard taking care of me, our son and the home that period.
It was in Ilorin I spoke with my dad’s doctor and he opened my eyes to the fact that denying my diabetes status was no solution. I should instead learn all I can about it. Ignorance will only get me killed.
So I learned all I could about it. I researched. I asked questions. I attended diabetes clinic. I joined an online community for Type 2 diabetics.
Then I took responsibility for myself. I took control of my health. I started the Low Carb High Fat healthy eating and I started reading up on foods and how it affects our bodies in different ways. Thank God I’d always been a foodie so it was very interesting and easy for me.
I know many people will say – but all these foods you post are not good for diabetics na!!! Let me tell you something now – I am totally off drugs. No insulin. No oral tablets. With those same foods I post.
I love food! I love eating! I hate being denied food that I like! So I learned how to eat responsibly.
Number 1 change I made was portion control. You can eat anything you want in small portions. 1 small serving spoon of rice has less carbs than 1 cup of rice. – Secondly, sugar! The damage sugar has caused cannot be quantified. All these bottled drinks are sugar saturated. I’ve stopped them. Does that mean I don’t take sugar at all? I do. I can’t take Garri without sugar so I limit my Garri intake. Sometimes I take Garri only twice a month. I cook my own foods, bake my own cakes and pastries so I control what I put. If I bake an 8inches cake with one cup of sugar and eat only one or two slices, the effect is minimal.
Another thing is Balance. If I eat a high carb meal in the morning, I compensate by eating less or no carbs the rest of the day. If I eat cake today, that means no rice or bread or Garri for the next two or three days. The trick is to not overload my body with blood sugar elevating foods –
Exercise! Get your muscles moving. Thankfully I’m a very active person. I hardly sit in one place and I walk a lot. I sing and dance in my house. Those foods have to be used by the body to avoid stories that touch so I move my body – Rest and sleep. I was surprised to learn lack of good night sleep and adequate rest elevates the blood sugar. Now I try as much as possible to sleep and rest well. Somedays I overwork myself but I always try to make up for it.
I learned the difference in Carbs. Carbohydrates in moderation is good. Complex carbs are good and healthy and needful for the body. Too much of it is the problem. Refined carbs are bad news. See ehn, Nigeria is blessed. Too blessed. Our natural yams, potatoes, cocoyams, local rice etc are loaded with healthy complex carbs that help keep my blood sugar steady and stable. But you see, all those white rice, pasta, flour will not just allow me to be great. However, as I said – balance and portion control is the key.
I mentioned before I cook my food and bake my pastries myself. That way even when I eat junk, I know what is inside the junk. And the activity involved in cooking and baking for myself is exercise. Let me give you example – whenever I eat agege bread, I notice my blood sugar spikes. But when I bake and eat my own bread, the blood sugar rise is minimal and within expected limits. Even with the white flour and sugar and whatnots.
I test my blood sugar regularly. My Glucometer goes everywhere with me. Testing, especially before and 2-3 hours after meals helps me know what and how foods affect my blood sugar. That way I’m able to plan, adjust and create my recipes and meal plans. With that I control my blood sugar.
Healthy snacking is very important. I eat cake, pizza, puffpuff etc but those are not my snacks. The times I eat those, I have them included as the carb part of my main meals so I eat only small portions. That way I end up not eating double portions of carbs as food and snacks.
My snacks are carrots, cucumber, cabbage, pear, apple, boiled egg, cheese, tomato, nuts etc. Against such, there is no gluttony, Selah!
Discipline: because you can doesn’t mean you should. I’m a baker. I bake a lot. But the only time I’ve eaten cake this year was on Valentine’s day. I don’t know when next I’ll eat it again. I love white chocolate but I’ve eaten it only once this year. I also will not say because fish is good for me and I like fish, I should finish the two tilapia @nicsbutchery gave me at once. Discipline and self control are very important. Sometimes I fall and do ojukokoro eating, one those days I make sure I sweat the extra out. And as my discipline increases, those day reduce. My stomach sef can’t take overload again. It has shrunk.
I continue learning and adjusting and evolving. I’m healthy, my weight is beautiful, I eat well, I enjoy my sweet treats, my diabetes is under control and subject to the word of God and me.
Please, my people – Know your blood sugar levels. Eat responsibly. Eat homemade balanced healthy meals. And if you want sweet treats, make yourself or order from trusted homecooks or restaurants. Eat more of natural, less of refined. Stop carbonated drinks. Don’t be ignorant. Take care of your bodies. Be healthy!
I’m LagosHouseWife and I’m a product of Grace and Knowledge. I’m living healthy with Type 2 diabetes. And I love food!