Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Most Awesome Thing

The topic for this month's Diabetes Social Media Advocacy Blog Carnival is: “The most awesome thing I have done in spite of diabetes is ...."

I've been thinking about this inaugural topic for the Carnival all month. I don't think I has a good answer for it when it came up during DSMA's "Fill in the Blank" night, I know I didn't have a good answer for it when I was the featured guest on the following evening's "DSMA Live" webcast, and for most of this month I've assumed I wouldn't be contributing a carnival post this month at all.

See, at the current stage of my diabetes, my disease isn't what's going to stop me from doing awesome things. I've got plenty of barriers, but right now diabetes isn't a problem in that way. I thought of some responses that were close, but just didn't quite fit.

Until now.

In spite of diabetes, I am getting healthier. That's right: I have a chronic disease, but I'm getting healthier.

Even though diabetes is not a huge interference in my daily life at this stage, the fact remains that my metabolism is broken. Hunger and fullness, food and digestion, energy to do all the things I'd like to do, even my ability to maintain my body at a comfortable temperature: none of these work as well as they did a few years ago.

Yet, despite these and other challenges, I'm markedly healthier than I was at the time of diagnosis. My blood pressure stays comfortably in the target range. Most of my cholesterol numbers are well within the target range: my "good cholesterol" is still somewhat low but is climbing. My A1c has been steady in a good place for almost a year. And, I rarely experience the tingling in my feet that I had almost continually for months.

My increasing health is not just in these results, it's also in what I do. Though there's a lot of improvement, I've made very significant changes since diagnosis. I walk for half an hour almost every work day. I eat far fewer carbs than I did even two years ago, I eat much less fat, and I consume much more whole grain and vegetables. I've put considerable effort into increasing my ability to cook healthy and tasty food for myself, resulting in many fewer restaurant meals and much less processed food. I also feel that my active participation in the Diabetes Online Community enhances my health care. Additionally, I've made significant advances in my ability to manage my emotional health.

Because I failed so badly the make the big, immediate lifestyle changes I felt were expected of my when I was diagnosed, I have a little trouble taking credit for the small changes I've made. But these small changes, taken together, have become awesome. And I've done them despite diabetes.

This post is my February entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at


  1. yay for being healthier bob! small changes DO count! great post! :)

  2. Anonymous8:26 AM

    Thank you for this post... I've felt like a failure since my diagnosis last June because it didn't 'scare' me straight to adpot & embrace all the changes that are critical to managing Type 2. Thank you for reminding me that, while I'm far from living the perfect healthy life, I have and continue to make baby steps toward being healthier :)

  3. Really good to read this blog. I came across it as a post on FB. I was diagnosed over 6 years ago when I was literally shutting down in an ICU because of congestive heart failure and acute renal failure among other things. I was 40 at the time. I now swim 1/2 mile several evenings and days per week and like you dramatically changed my food intake, etc. It also took 3 cellulitis infections in my right leg to scare me. Blood sugars average in the normal range now and I feel great. Keep it up!

    Sheri Cohen

  4. Anonymous12:08 PM

    I was diagnosed T2 in June 2010, was put on medication and carried on pretty much doing what I had been doing before until a check up in December. My BS levels were consistently high and the look of concern on the nurse's face was what finally got my full attention. Since then I've cut out the 'crap' (crisps, coke), I've started exercising more and have lost around 30lbs since. Now I feel better, more alert, my meds have been more than cut in half and my BS is normal.
    In my own mind now I actually feel that because of diabetes I'm healthier than I have been in many years. I'm inspired to carry on leading a healthier lifestyle by reading posts/blogs like this, makes me say to myself I can do it.
    Well done Bob.

  5. So true. I feel like we live a little healthier as well.

  6. Anonymous1:06 PM

    I have had type2 diabetes for 11 years and have been controlling it with oral meds.I have had to add insulin,starting yesterday,to get my blood surgars under better control.I started a better diet right away after being diagnosed and it helped a lot.Could do better with exercise and will once winter is over.I am 73 and dont want to fall on the ice trying to exercise outside.

  7. That's how I usually feel, too. Not lately, but usually!

  8. I am so glad you participated in the blog carnival. I love this you used diabetes and healthier in the same sentence. Way to go, Bob!

  9. I love that, although it is a drag to be stuck with a chronic illness (and those lancets - lol), it has turned into an opportunity for you to lead a healthier life. I'd say this is a most awesome thing!!


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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.