Monthly Archives: August 2007

My (personality) type.

I’m an INFJ.

“INFJs, making up an estimated 1% of all people, are the most rare type (males even more so). They are introspective, caring, sensitive, gentle and complex people that strive for peace and derive satisfaction from helping others. INFJs are highly intuitive, empathetic and dedicated listeners. These traits tend to act as a “tell me what’s wrong” sign on their forehead, hence the nicknames Confidant, Counselor or Empath. INFJs are intensely private and deeply committed to their beliefs.”

What are you?

How it feels to be me.

What were the keys to success in losing fifty pounds and a full percentage point in A1C in the fifteen months following my type 2 diabetes diagnosis?

*Exercise. At least 30 minutes at least five times a week. Walking and yoga moves dominated.

*Diet. Limiting foods with more than 35 g of carbs (and encouraging foods with at least 2 g of dietary fiber, no more than 6 g of sugar, no more than 2 g of saturated fat).

*Water. Drinking lots of it, especially during hot & dry Colorado summers.

What are the keys to success now, two and a half years following diagnosis with a slight weight gain and a slight jump in A1C?

*Exercise. More aerobic exercise with elliptical three times a week. One or two walks a week for at least 40 minutes. One or two yoga or balance ball sessions a week.

*Diet. Same old situation. I try to include fruit as a snack, as suggested by a dietitian, so not always sticking to the 6 g of sugar rule. And, well, sometimes I let slip a meal of sushi or a Chicago-style pizza delivery.

*Still drinking plenty of water.

*Metformin. 1500 mg per day, not exactly what the doctor ordered at 2000 mg. It’s helping with the post-meal blood sugar spikes I was dealing with earlier this year, along with occasional decent fasting numbers.

*Stress reduction. I try to control work stress through breathing exercises and taking time to venture outside for even five minutes during the work day.

What is my frustration level with controlling type 2 diabetes?

Moderate. I thought by taking the metformin, I would be seeing spectacular blood sugar numbers. In reality, numbers are only slightly better than they were before the metformin. I know I haven’t gone to the full dose of metformin as prescribed, but I’ve been too busy with work and life to be able to deal with another round of met side effects.

Somedays, it feels like “what’s the point?” of all this diet and exercise if the numbers on the meter and on the scale aren’t changing much. But I know that even if the numbers aren’t changing, my mind feels better. Isn’t that enough? I guess I’ll know for sure in 10, 20, 30 years down the road.

Sweet dreams are made of this.

Played kickball at my company picnic yesterday. Muscles hurt in ways I could never imagined today, specifically the tops of my thighs. I don’t really get it – I work out on the elliptical, go walking, and do yoga moves on the balance ball throughout the week. Perhaps the kicking motion…or maybe running the bases?


Apparently, kickball stirred up some subconscious memories for me because I ended up having a dream about the elementary school I attended in a northwest suburb of Chicago. Not specifically about kickball, about the building and the grounds. About teachers and the principal, about my classmates. Then it just got too weird, as dreams often do.

Trying my best.

“Oooh, that hurts so much,” she exclaimed as I stuck her with the lancet.

“I know, I know. I have diabetes, too.”

“You do? Juvenile, right?,” she asked, thinking she knew how I’d answer.

“No, type 2, just like you.”

“But you sound too young for it. I hope you are taking care of yourself. You don’t want to end up like me, blind and wondering when they’ll take off a foot..or both.”

“I’m trying my best. Diet and exercise for now. I’m doing really well with it, too.”

“Keep at it, Rachel. You don’t want to end up like me.”


Those were words from one of the residents at my short-lived CNA job. I saw her blood sugar rise to 300+ before lunch on the few short days I had with her – I saw her problems with bladder control. Treated with insulin, her diabetes was not controlled. Blind, and always wondering when her foot problems would become too much of a problem.

I’m still trying my best at controlling type 2 diabetes. Controlling carbohydrate intake, attempting to consume no more than 90-100 grams a day. Exercising like mad with the elliptical and walking outside, 3-4 times a week for at least 30 minutes per session. Incorporating yoga and balance ball techniques twice a week, adding another 40-60 minutes a week to the exercise count. Taking 1500 mg of metformin a day.

I can see where someone might lose control, might lose hope. Despite all my efforts in the past several weeks, I have seen little improvement in blood sugar readings or in the numbers on the scale. Why do I bother? Why do I continue fighting the meter and the scale? Why don’t I go on an eating binge of dark chocolate and macaroni & cheese, like the college days? I know my control is still decent, still having an A1C under 6.0, but when will all these changes suddenly not be enough?

The voice of R still haunts me and is what keeps me going. I don’t want to be another statistic of one of the many diabetes-related complications. No, I really don’t want that.


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