Oh, me of little faith.
I thought all the crape myrtles I'd bought last fall had died. A few weeks ago, they were bunches of brown sticks with no leaves in sight. I snapped off a few twigs to see if I saw green. Nope. Only brown.
This morning, though, as I sat in the gazebo and read the morning paper (which doesn’t take long because the Roanoke Times has very little in it), I glanced up.
Was that a leaf I saw on one of the crape myrtles? I walked over and took a closer look. Yep!
Another one had leaves, too.
Wow! I thought. Two are still alive! Then I looked at the bases of the other sticks. On each one, leaves sprouted.
Even this one, that I'd been sure was dead, has a few little leaves coming up from the bottom.
All made it through the winter.
And I made it through the winter, too.
(Warning: Boring health-related info ahead.)
Three months ago, I had numerous health problems—fatigue, edema, numbness and tingling in my hands, bad leg cramps, and a bunch of other problems. I wasn’t as sharp mentally either; sometimes I had to reread a passage a time or two before I got it.
An A1C test in January revealed that my diabetes was a lot worse. My score: 10.4, which is pretty bad. My doctor wanted me to go on metformin, but I’d had a bad experience with it a few years ago (but not as bad as with Januvia, which put me in the hospital). She also wanted me to see a diabetes educator, which—based on my 1999 experience with diabetic education—I thought would be a major waste of time.
It was. After one meeting, in which the guy pitched the American Diabetes Association propaganda (including the infamous Food Pyramid) that I told him I didn’t believe in. After he "helped" me set a few goals (like I’m really going to weigh what I did when I was 18!), the educator informed me there was nothing else he could do for me and wished me luck.
I already knew what I had to do. I’d done it in 1999, but—when I became Mama’s care-giver in 2001—I’d slipped into eating like regular people (actually, the way the diabetes educator wanted me to eat). I decided that, by April, I could get my A1C down to 8.5, which was still diabetic but a reachable goal, I thought. An A1C under 8 is considered good control (an A1C under 6 is non-diabetic).
Thus, in late January, I started low-carbing. By limiting myself to 100 grams of carbs max (usually 75 or less) per day, I brought my blood glucose levels down substantially. By checking my blood four times a day, I also learned that the artificial sweetener Splenda, which I’d relied on for my sweet fix, causes my blood sugar to go way up. (I’m allergic to aspartame, so that’s not a sweetening option.) I learned that bread wasn’t something I could deal with, so sandwiches are a thing of the past. I already knew that potatoes, rice, and pasta—all things that I’d indulged in once in a while for the past five years—were now no-nos.
Three weeks ago, I took the A1C test again. My results: 7.9. Plus, I’d lost about 18 pounds.
Since then, I’ve lost a bit more weight. I figure if I keep pumping mulch the way I did this morning, I’ll lose more.
The book I used in 1999—the book I returned to three months ago—is Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. Besides telling diabetics what they need to do, Bernstein gives a pretty good explanation of how diabetes affects people.
I highly recommend the book. You can take a look at some excerpts here.
Meanwhile, like my crape myrtles, I’m getting better. Spring is a good time for resurrection and renewal.
If you're diabetic, or think you might be, check out this website.