Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Life With Type 2 Diabetes: Part 1

[caption id="attachment_9853" align="alignleft" width="270" caption="Main symptoms of diabetes"][/caption]

Bob Ewing - Chocolate was once a driving force in my life.  Today, I can walk right by it and not even notice that it is there. Well, that is not completely true, I do notice but there is no draw, no urge to grab a piece, then another.   How did this come about?

It did not happen over night. I have Type 2 diabetes,  as did my father and his father before him. My doctors had warned me that unless I maintained a firm control over my diet and got enough exercise, my borderline case could explode.

I kept up the exercise. I walk every day. I gave up driving over 30 years ago and have been a walker ever since. This is good for me, my pocket book and the environment, a triple win scenario.

Permaculture education teaches you how to design systems and activities that provide three or more services. This is sound advice and often happens even when you are not planning it but it does require you to pay attention, which brings another permaculture principle into play, paying attention.

Being aware of where you are, what you are doing and what is taking place around you provides a grounding force and much useful information.

I did not watch my diet close enough, my love of chocolate, cake, pie and anything sweet and a tendency to overeat ruled my behaviour. This did not change until one day about four years ago.

We had just moved here when one morning I woke up and when I opened my eyes it was as though I was seeing the world through a thin grey gauze. After a trip to my doctor and an appointment with the eye doctor, I was told that I had floaters.

The Canadian National Institute for the Bind defines floaters as:

Floaters are dark specks in the form of dots, circles, lines, or cobwebs that seem to move across your field of vision. They are most noticeable when you are looking at a light-coloured background, such as a clear sky or a white wall. Floaters come in many sizes and numbers, and they seem to move when you look in different directions.

Floaters can diminish and today I only notice them now and then, usually when I am tired.

Now, as I have Type 2 diabetes, the doctor thought it best that a specialist, an ophthalmologist take a closer look. An ophthalmologist is a doctor who specializes in the branch of medicine concerned with the study of the physiology, anatomy, and pathology of the eye and the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the eye.

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of adult blindness. It is a complication of diabetes that results from damage to small blood vessels in the eye. This damage to blood vessels affects the nourishment of the retina which leads to visual loss. This condition can occur in both types 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Now by this time I had had three doctors appointments that combined lasted about three hours. This did not cost me anything. The treatment for this early stage was laser surgery. In all I have had four laser surgeries performed one ach eye and my vision is excellent.

Today, I do not eat chocolate, not even the sugar free; ignore most deserts even though a little sugar now and then cannot hurt me. Fortunately, peanut butter, another food love affair, is recommended in proper moderation.