Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The obligatory Hey, I'm Blogging Again! post

Well, I'm back. Yes, it's been more than a year, but my life hit a couple of bumps that made me lose interest in blogging for a while. I was always going to get back on track next week or next month or...

If you ask me, few things are more boring than a blogger who goes on an on about what's been happening in her life and how that all has prevented her from blogging. But I'm about to do that for the tiny percentage of readers who don't think it's boring, so the rest of you might want to go ahead and stop reading right here. I'll understand. Hey, I'd wander off, myself, except that--Whoops!--I'm the blogger. So I'll just get on with all the explaining and forgiveness-begging and so on.

My warmest thanks to everyone who has e-mailed to ask if I'm still alive and still writing romance novels. Yep, I'm still alive, and I've started writing again (I'll talk about the writing in future posts). I've had a long, hard struggle with several health problems, including vicious and alarmingly frequent migraines and other headaches, a long bout with cellulitis that put me in the hospital three times, and the sudden onset of Type 2 diabetes. The diabetes was a real surprise because just a couple of months after a complete physical showed my blood glucose was normal, routine tests during my first hospitalization revealed that I was hitting close to 300mg/dL. ("Honey, are you diabetic?" the nurse asked. "No," I said. "Uh-oh," she said, and the next time I saw her she was holding a syringe full of insulin and asking which hip I wanted her to jab.)

Just a year before I was diagnosed, my beloved mother-in-law had died of complications from the disease. I'm a Christian, so death doesn't scare me, but I'm not a big fan of pain and suffering, so I started doing research on the internet. I read tons of articles about diabetes, and the more I learned, the less it looked like a death sentence. Diabetes can be managed; many if not most Type 2 diabetics can achieve fairly normal blood sugars (halting the threat of pesky complications like blindness, kidney failure, and nerve damage that can lead to foot amputation), but only if they're willing to make the dramatic lifestyle changes necessary to lower their blood sugar. (Medication can help, but is rarely enough by itself.)

So I made some dramatic lifestyle changes. I'm eating much more healthfully now. I'm checking my blood sugar several times a day so I can tweak my carbohydrate intake as needed. (For you carb-counters out there, I get 100-120 grams per day.) And I'm exercising for thirty minutes a day, six days a week.

I've lost more than 75 pounds. Family members and friends say they're "proud" of me, but that kind of bothers me because it suggests they were disgusted with me before. Just be happy for me, I tell them. I don't want to be praised or admired for losing weight, not when our society is so darned obsessed with how everyone looks. I have never hated myself for being fat, and if any of you reading this hate yourselves for being fat, please let me know so I can give you a stern talking-to.

I'm still fat, by the way, but at least now I can walk two miles and not die (unless, of course, I get hit by a bus or something). I don't have a "goal weight" because, again, I don't like everyone's preoccupation with size. I'm just plodding along, eating my whole foods and strictly limiting my carbs and trying my best to be unsedentary.

I'm now certain that being diagnosed with diabetes was the best thing that could have happened to me, health-wise. Because without that, I might never have gotten serious about things like weight loss and exercise and good nutrition. Amazingly, I'm far healthier now than I was just a year ago, before I had diabetes.

For those of you who know about these things, my first Hgb A1c test after being diagnosed in early March was 9.4. By the end of July it was 6.1. But since that time I've lost more weight and started exercising, so my daily blood sugars have dropped to the point that my next A1c result will probably be in the mid-fives, which isn't just pretty good for a diabetic, but normal. (I'm not on insulin. I'm currently taking 1500mg of Metformin a day, but will be cutting back on that after my next doctor visit.)

So. If that's way more than you wanted to know, I apologize. (But I did warn you not to keep reading, didn't I?) The thing is, now that the excuses and explanations are out of the way, I'm ready to start blogging again. Please tell any of your friends who might care.

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