Salad Days

I’ve become concerned about my health as of late. I usually try to take care of myself as best as I can under the circumstances, but of course when resources are limited (time and money in particular), one has to often choose less healthy option, particularly when it comes to food.

I am diabetic, as many of you (by that I mean both of you) surely know, so I have to be especially cautious about what I eat. Unfortunately, lately it has been fast food, or fast meal options that are cheap, and quick, but aren’t very healthy. I love salads, but the ingredients for a good salad cost about as much as the meal I can buy for 3 people. When money’s tight, spending 300% of your allotted daily food budget on yourself seems selfish and wasteful.

Fresh, nutritious food is expensive around where I live. We’re farm country, sure, but most of those fruits and veggies go elsewhere in the state, and rarely do we see any of it. We get stuff shipped in from elsewhere. So even though I would love to eat healthy (I was very happy as a vegetarian, when I could afford to eat as one), it’s just not easy, especially when considering the situation I’m in.

I don’t get to exercise much, because I am home, and our home is very small. 3 people live in a 900 sq. ft apartment, open plan, so that there’s really no privacy. I can’t exercise at home because the desk, bed, and shelf in my room take up all of the space. There is no hallway, and everything else is connected without walls, so I can look right into the living room from the kitchen, because if I take 3 steps away from the sink, I’m in the living room.

This, by the way, makes it hard for mom to exercise, too. A person learning to walk needs lots of room to move, and we don’t have it.

I love to go walking, jogging, and running, but even though we have a lovely park not two blocks up the street, finding the time to get out and go there, in order to use their track to walk a couple of miles a day which would be wonderful, is almost always out of the question. That kind of investment requires about 2 hours (unless I want to injure myself, which I don’t) of which no one is home to help mom should she need something. Someone who is bedridden should never be left home alone for more than a few minutes at most (to pick up dinner or drop something off at the post office, for example), at least not here.

So why the concern? Well, I know a doctor’s appointment is coming up soon, now that I finally got Medicaid (I don’t know how long it lasts so I’m going to get as much done as fast as I can), so I need to go while the going is good. The problem is that last time I was at the doctor (a year ago, though you should get it checked twice a year), my doctor was concerned about my A1C, which is the number that measures the long term effect of my diabetes. The best way to think about it is like this: If blood glucose numbers are the weather, one’s A1C would be the climate. It gives a better, more accurate picture overall, and shows the trend as to whether the diabetes is getting better or worse.

Well, when I went last time, my doctor said my A1C was 9.7. If you don’t know what that means, let me put it this way: Having an A1C of 10 is when you get put on insulin injections. So being concerned, he immediately doubled my dosage of Metformin, the medication I take to control my diabetes, in the hopes that we could bring it down. So I am very worried about what will happen when I do get the chance to go in and see him. He knows the situation I’m in, but he also knows that he’ll have to do whatever is necessary to prevent the diabetes from doing harmful things to me, which it surely would having an A1C as high as I did during that exam.

I am trying, I sincerely am, but I feel like my hands are tied. I talked to some of my family about this, and the response was “Oh, don’t worry, you get used to taking the shots.” Because, yeah, I was worried about taking a shot, and not about what diabetes does to your body, what it does to your extremities, what it does to your heart. Nah, that doesn’t concern me one bit. *sigh*

I feel like someone’s bound my hands and feet, and has thrown me into a great, wide, rushing river, and I’m heading towards a waterfall that ends in sharp rocks, pain, and death. I mean, we all die someday, but I wanted to at least live before I died, and now it almost feels like that’s being taken away, too.

So this week I’ve started buckling down as much as I can. Yeah, yeah, buckling down rarely works, but I have to do something, and so I have to apply this gigantic brain of mine to improving my condition, while I still have a condition that can be improved. Wish me luck, please. I know there are people out there who care, and you know who you are, so please, just wish me luck, and while I’m not a praying man, and don’t believe in gods, or an afterlife, or any kind of spiritual thing like that, your prayers would be appreciated, too.

All of my love,

John

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