Old habits die hard. And I’m still a fan of the network evening news shows, something that have been a staple of my life since I was a kid.
When I was 10 and watching Walter Cronkite, I don’t think I paid much attention to the commercials and what they said about the demographics of the show’s audience (and in those days, when everyone watched, they probably didn’t say much).
These days, though, they’re hard to miss. Who’s watching NBC Nightly News? Old people. Who have diabetes.
Oh, hey. There’s an eye-opener.
As some of you know already, since the previous post, New Doc has confirmed her initial diagnosis of type II diabetes. I take Metformin morning and evening. I give myself insulin injections each night. I constantly think about how many grams of carbohydrates are in pretty much everything I put in my mouth. And I’ve already been told that more meds are likely.
I am one of those old people. Who have diabetes.
It’s not all awful. I’ve lost something like 15 pounds since New Doc and I first talked about this. That’s come from running and not-frequent-enough yoga sessions. Giving up pop. Eating less. Eating vegetarian when I can. And not drinking much at all.
I’ve also let the full beard come back and scheduled a sitting for a second tattoo. Trust me — these things are related.
The dietary restrictions aren’t as bad as I had expected. A discussion with an RN who specializes in treating diabetes was a huge relief; basically, nothing is off limits, as long as I’m mindful about daily intake of carbohydrates. The vegetarian stuff isn’t even necessary, although it will make weight loss easier and that’s the single best thing I can do to keep my sugar levels — and my occasional A1C readings — under control.
It’s the other stuff that’s harder. If I let myself dwell on what I shouldn’t do, it gets depressing. I’m not digging telling our friends what’s going on and seeing them look at me as though I am damaged. I’ve chucked the Chucks, for the most part — I need to take care of my feet, in both the diabetic sense and so I can continue running comfortably — and even though I know it’s a little thing, it feels like a pretty significant concession to age and the disease. And there’s the scary — and very real — possibility that I could do everything right – everything – and still lose a limb, or my sight, or my life.
And finally, there are those fucking Nightly News commercials. Maaaaan, I don’t want that to be me.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always handle this well. But when I’m able to step back for a second – when I can see that this doesn’t have to define who I am – I can accept what’s going on. It doesn’t seem as overwhelming as it did back in August. It might even be that I’m OK. Even for an old guy.