Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My T-2 Day (at least in theory)

Here is what I do (or should do) about my T-2 diabetes on a daily basis.  I'll try to be pretty honest about what I actually manage to accomplish and what I don't by assigning a letter grade.

Note: take NONE of this as advice.  My sole goal here is to give a picture of what I do (or try to do).   Go forth, and discover what works for you.

1.  Medications (A)
It took me a long time to figure out how to be regular with my meds.  I now have one large 7-day pill sorter for morning pills and another for evening pills.  (I'd be a little better off by doing one for dinner time as well, since a couple of my bedtime pills would be better at that time, but I haven't implemented this yet.)  Using the pill sorters means I only have to think about the pills once a week.  This is a Good Thing.

I currently take prescription meds for diabetes, for blood pressure, for cholesterol, for glaucoma (not diabetes related), and for one or two other things.  I also take a number of over-the counter supplements which have been credibly (to my satisfaction, anyway) recommended at one time or another.

2.  Testing (B-)
Most Type 2s seem to be told to test once a day in the morning before eating.  That number is used as sort of the baseline for how your diabetes life is going.  I work at not letting myself be too up or down about a given day's number (unless it's way out of whack) but to watch the trend, expressed as "about how I've been running."

When I'm being conscientious, I test once or twice more during the day.  I don't have a set pattern for this: sometimes I'm checking on the effects of a particular food, if I've come down satisfactorily after a meal, etc.  If I feel weird physically or emotionally, I sometimes test to see if there's a blood sugar relationship.  (Usually, for me, there isn't.)

I'm not very good at all about testing my blood pressure, which I should also be doing on occasion.

3.  Food (D+)
Oh, boy, is there conflicting advice about optimal eating plans.  I try, when I'm doing well, to eat reasonably low carb AND reasonably low fat.  Eating this way, with exercise, helps me to lose weight.  But I'm not very good at it.  It's easy for me to feel discouraged about this area, but I have made progress in terms of laying off many of my worst choices or indulging only occasionally.

One thing that works very well when I do it is to plan a few days at a time, then hit the grocery store.  My basic approach for each meal is to plan for some veggies and/or fruit, a modest amount of carbs, and a lean protein source.  I try to lean in the direction of whole grain stuff for the carbs.  (In particular, I find that I do well on brown rice, while white rice is a spike food for me.)

4.  Exercise (C)
I'm off-and-on here.  The exercise I most enjoy doing is walking, but iffy weather and tiny injuries don't always allow for this.  I'm experimenting with other things.  I just got a Wii, but screwed up my order for a Wii Fit program.  Exercise videos tend to leave me feeling fat and clumsy.

I will tell you this: when I am exercising regularly, the effect on insulin resistance is very marked.  I not only see it in my morning numbers but think I have a much faster return to "normal" BG after eating.

That's my Type 2 Diabetes day.  (Sometimes.)


  1. I don't take a fasting blood sugar every day anymore. It's just too frustrating to see them up and down and all around. My endo says what's important is my A1C if I can't keep the fastings <120. I get a few before/after meal numbers, though, per week.

    Though I do agree that exercise makes fastings so much more regular and "better". That's been so obvious with my forced exercise break.

  2. That's interesting, about not testing every day. I occasionally take testing "vacations", usually out of discouragement. I suppose I can just ride with periods like that, maybe testing just often enough to assure there's nothing horrible happening. I don't think I'd cope well with accountability coming only every three months. :)

  3. I'd like to put in a vote for Wii Fit Plus. We just got it ourselves and are really enjoying it. The balance-oriented stuff is particularly good, and complementary to other forms of exercise.

  4. Paul, I'm really torn between the Wii Fit Plus and the EA Sports Active programs, the latter also receiving positive attention and is considerably cheaper. :)


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T Minus Two by Bob Pedersen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.