Did It To Myself

August 18, 2011

I’ve been trying to decide how to say this since last Friday.  I don’t know that I have found the right words, but I’m going to give it a try.

When I am involved in a case, I forget about sleeping and eating and exercising.  I focus on the case at work and obsess about it at night.  Cases in which my client faces a significant number of years in prison keep me from going to sleep,  I am a pretty private person so having cameras shoved in my face is disconcerting.  I know it’s just a part of the job, but I still don’t like it.  You should all know that those who are the focus of a news story do not receive payment.  The time that is demanded is free time — no it’s not free — it is time lost.  In any case, the operative word is “stress”.

I have a doctor that is big on annual check-ups — taking blood, etc.  When I went in for my annual check-up, I had gained 15 pounds from the previous October, my blood sugars were greatly elevated.  I went into the exam room and the nice nurse took my blood pressure, temp, etc.  The blood pressure was normal.  Then the doctor came in, looked at the lab results and said, “You have diabetes.”  All I could do is stare at him.  Then he said, “Let me take your blood pressure.”  I said, “Raylene already did.”  He took it anyway and it had spiked 20 points.  He said, “This is not good.”  For Pete’s sake, what did he think my blood pressure was going to do?

He prescribed some meds and I wandered over to Sams Club Pharmacy.  There the pharmacist insisted on telling me how and when to take the meds — probably a good thing because I knew nothing.  She told me I needed to test.  I’m sure I looked blankly at her.  “You need to get a glucometer and test daily.  I bought the glucometer and test strips (which are very expensive).  She said, “Your doctor should send over a prescription and the supplies should be completely covered by your health plan.  That’s a good thing!

I called the doctor’s office after I left the pharmacy.  It turns out the medical group provides the glucometer and a starter kit, a nurse case manager shows you how to test, gives you books and hand-outs, gives you her card with a direct number.  I have no idea why no one told me that before I toddled off to Sams.

So, I am now engaged in daily self-mutilation.  I am by-passing the cookie and ice cream aisles at the store.  The dogs and I are going for a walk in the evenings — because of strays out here in the boonies, we just walk the perimeter of the back-forty.  I haven’t yet figured out how to reduce the stress.  Maybe I could be a WalMart greeter.  In any case, when you see me again, I will be a svelter version of myself.

I’ve learned the rules and hope it is not too late to turn back the time.


  1. Jenn says:

    Penni, it’s not too late. I ended up on blood pressure and cholesterol meds a few years ago, combination of genetics and stress. Exercise definitely helps, though I find it’s hard to fit it in regularly. Oddly, stress seems to fit in with no problems at all; I don’t even have to schedule it!

  2. Cheryl says:

    You can DEFINITELY turn back time! It is never too late to start taking better care of ourselves–I keep promising to start doing so myself . Cut the carbs and sweets, more vegies and lean protein and in no time you’ll be feeling better and the test results will be better as well. We’ll be there for you as a support group–I need to do the same thing so I can run faster with the Chaseman around the agility ring!

  3. Jean from NM says:

    Major bummer, Penni. Let me know if I can help. You don’t need this!

  4. C-Myste says:

    Ah, so that’s what the extra stress was. The good news that Type II is reversible. I know second-hand what a pain (literally) testing is. Diet and exercise . . . I think that many of us could share that with you :-[

  5. Julie says:

    I agree you can make major changes to your health by changing your diet.

    re stress: I strongly recommend you look for a mindfulness class in your neck of the woods. It made a major impact on my stress and anxiety. I am not kidding when I say it was life changing and I saw trickle down benefits (able to remember agility courses better!).

    This is where I attended the 8 week class I took – just to give you an idea of what it is all about.


  6. nancy says:

    Penni, I feel your pain. I do not have diabetes but I am morbidly obese. I am VERY lucky that my slightly elevated B.P. can be controlled with a water pill. I am losing weight but it goes off much more slowly that it goes on. I joined Weight Watchers and their support is wonderful. I have worked in the Public Assistance sector for 18 years and it is a real grinder. Best Wishes!!

  7. Taryn says:

    Oh, no! So sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I am more than sure your Cardis will be very happy to help you with the exercise. For that matter, I am sure they would be happy to help you diet as well. For every bite you take, give them two bites from your plate! Seriously though, I hope you get this turned around and feel better soon.

  8. One of the things that sucks about getting old is that things that we could do with no problem, when we were younger, start having serious consequences.

    I’m sure that being thinner would be good for almost all of us, but getting there is awful, and there’s no end to it — we have to WORK to stay that way. No resting on laurels when the weight is down……….


  9. Dawn says:

    You have a support group around you- it seems like many of us have been flicked with that finger. If you need help or suggestions, just ask. Hugs

  10. Susan says:

    I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I know how hard it is to change a lifetime of habits.

  11. Lani says:

    Aargh! That sucks, Penni.

    I have confidence that you can do it, though. Go, Penni, Go!

  12. Builder Mama says:

    Stress can be a terrible thing…the last four years of my father’s life were unbelievably stressful and it affected my sleep, my diet, my personality, and a list of other things. Since Dad died last August, I put on 30 pounds (according to when I logged into Livestrong.com to my food tracker the other day…eeep!). Now I’m working on the food part, my back is still iffy so exercise is on hold for now but I am eating so much better it’s ridiculous. And I feel much better.

    Quick story – almost 2 years ago my brother and I found out we have a genetic blood condition that makes us 60% more susceptible to heart attack and stroke than the average human. He controls his through meds…I decided after a while on the meds that I wasn’t going to take them any more because they weren’t helping. Ate like crap, no exercise…went in for my blood check and my levels were excellent. Go figure.

    Livestrong has a feature called “My Plate” that you can track food with – last I checked they have a “My Plate D” for diabetics…it’s free if you want to check it out!

    If you tackle this the way you tackle everything else, you’ll be seeing those numbers improve in no time. 🙂

  13. nancy says:

    I have a bum knee childhood jock) along with my obesity. My doctor suggested a stationary recumbent bike. It has helped my knee and I get 2X daily exercise that I don’t get sitting behind a desk. Funny thing is I live on a ranch and on the weekends, I’m busy and active. So, someday I’ll get to my goal, no meds. Good Luck Peeni, we’re with you all the way.

  14. DeAnn says:

    Sorry to hear that Penni. Up side, it makes you take stock and slow down to get healthy again.

  15. Traci says:

    Yikes! You can reverse it, but it takes work from what I’m told. We could form a support group here… those of us who need to eat better and drop some LBS. You’re in my thoughts Penni. I have no doubt that now that you’re aware of it, that you’ll beat it! 🙂 You can do it! 🙂