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A day in the life of a type 2 diabetic

Is the life of a type 2 diabetic different from someone who does not have the condition? In a lot of ways, it can be exactly the same, but there are subtle differences. Let’s look at a day in the life of a type 2 diabetic. This is a day in my life. A day in my life will likely vary quite a lot from others with type 2 diabetes, but there will be similarities.

Morning

I try to get up by 7 a.m. every day. Mostly because I want to have a cup of coffee and get started on my job as a writer. coffeeSometimes I will write things for my “day” job working for a newspaper. Other days, I will work on a book that I am writing or I will work on a blog for this website.

Before I do any of that, though, I test my blood sugar.

I wash my hands thoroughly and dry them thoroughly. I set out my testing supplies and make sure my meter is working so that I can complete the test without wasting a test strip. Those things are expensive. I had been without insurance for quite some time and so I been buying my test strips from Walmart. They have a good and inexpensive meter and test strips and even though I now have insurance, I have still been using the ReliOn meter and strips because they are accurate and less expensive than the “name brand” choices.

After I check my blood sugar reading, I write it down in a handy little booklet my diabetes educator gave me.

After that, I clean up and eat my breakfast.

Breakfast

This meal consists of more coffee and the oatmeal concoction that I had mentioned in a previous post.

Here is the simple recipe that I use for that meal. Like I wrote in the other article, this meal is approximately 700 calories the way that I prepare it.

I got the recipe from the Eat to Live Quick and Easy Cookbook by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

No-Cook Strawberry Oatmeal To-Go

Ingredients

1/3 cup old-fashioned or steel-cut oats (I prefer the steel-cut oats)oats, blueberries, nuts, chia seeds

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2/3 cup unsweetened soy, hemp, or almond milk (I prefer almond milk)

1 cup fresh or thawed frozen strawberries, sliced (I use frozen blueberries and it is amazing!)

6 walnut halves, crushed

Directions

Place the oats and chia seeds (I also add one tablespoon of ground or milled flax seeds) in a portable cup or bowl or whatever you want to put it in. Add the non-dairy milk and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, stir in the sliced strawberries (blueberries, cherries, or sliced peaches) and walnuts.

I also add in some dried cranberries and raisins along with almonds which makes it a bit heartier and holds me over until lunch most days.

I usually eat this while I am getting started on working.

Two hours later…

I will test my blood sugar again. With hope, it will be lower than it was for my fasting test. It varies.

If it is higher than the previous day, I wonder why since the meal is the exact same thing… I worry because I see a pattern developing.

Lunch

My lunches lately have consisted of one bag of chopped salad with two tablespoons of ranch dressing along with chia seeds and flax seeds ground or milled.

I typically will add some chickpeas to the salad, too. Now before you start gagging because that sounds gross, let me assure you that it is actually very tasty and a great way to get in some protein!

Afternoonblood sugar, blood glucose

By afternoon I feel like I am dragging. I will typically test my blood sugar to see where I am. I record it. I work. I listen to music by Sara Bareilles. I wait patiently for my granddaughter to return home from school.

Early evening

I test my blood sugar before I eat supper and then it varies on what I eat.
I need a better plan for my meals after lunch. By the time supper comes around, I feel famished. I want to eat everything I see!

I usually have seconds of whatever meat and potato meal we are having. I overeat. Then I feel bloated and angry with myself for doing it.

Bedtime

I have to take an insulin shot before I go to bed. Currently, I am taking 80 units of Basaglar at bedtime. Basaglar is a type of insulin.

If I have done okay up to this point with my eating habits, when I get to my bedroom it all goes downhill—fast.cake, bed, eating

If we have chips, I will eat the chips. If we have chocolate. I will eat the chocolate. If we have cookies. I will eat them, too!

I do pretty well on my eating until bedtime.

Lately, though, I have been eating fresh green beans and that has helped a lot. I eat about 20 of them and they give me the crunchy sound and texture that I like. The only thing they don’t give me is the sweetness I crave.

My spouse and I will typically watch a couple of hours of TV and then get ready to go to sleep.

Since I have obstructive sleep apnea, likely as a result of being overweight, I get my CPAP machine ready, strap myself into the headgear and read for about 15-30 minutes before I start to drop the book out of my hands because I am falling to sleep.

I usually sleep for a couple of hours before I have to get up to use the bathroom. After that, I am typically up for another hour or so and go back to sleep around 4 a.m. Then it is up at 7 a.m. to start all over again.

The new normal

scale, weighing, weightThe new normal for me includes a lot of worries. I try not to worry about things, but the more I try, the more I seem to worry. A lot of my worry is about the potential long-term effects of type 2 diabetes. I am sure I am not alone with these worried, but I am working on alleviating them by changing the things in my day-to-day life.

A couple of years ago I had worked very hard at this reversal of the condition. I lost about 50 pounds and I was eating mostly veggies and fruit and had my blood sugar in control with only metformin. I am making plans to get back there. No excuses!

Until next time, be good to yourself and others!


Thank you for visiting my site. I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please leave questions or comments below and I will get back to you very soon!


Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert. The posts that I write are not to offer medical advice, but merely what I am doing on my journey and things that I personally have found helpful. I do a lot of reading and researching from an academic standpoint and will use some content that comes from people in the medical profession. If you have questions or concerns about anything that I write, please contact me at karin@diabeteshealthnuts.com. Thank you! 🙂

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About the author

Karin Nauber is a professional journalist who has worked in the newspaper business for the past 25 years. She is also a grandmother who, along with her spouse, is raising one of their granddaughters. Karin has nine grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending as much time as possible. Karin also was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 12 years ago and has faced many challenges with the disease. If you would like to contact her, please do so at karin@diabeteshealthnuts.com.

6 thoughts on “A day in the life of a type 2 diabetic

  1. Adapting to our new normal until it feels normal is a key point in our life now. My main goal is to keep away from unhealthy eating. And my wife and family have been very supportive. They also transitioned into a new sort of diet where they don’t “tempt” me. I greatly appreciate their effort.

    1. Thanks for visiting our site again, Abel. Healthy eating is so key to a healthier life. I am glad your wife and family have been so supportive. I am still working on getting my spouse to stop buying chips and cookies! There are days when I give in to temptation…

      To our health,
      Karin 🙂

  2. Hi Karin,

    Living with a condition can be quite disturbing for many. It never leaves your mind that a majority of other people out there are just doing good living healthy lives while you have to constantly keep your health in check. A single mistake in your daily routine in managing any underlying condition can be very costly–at times your life is at stake. Diabetes is no different to other conditions like HBP since you have to constantly check your sugar levels. Maintaining a healthy diet goes a long way in managing most of these health conditions. Always be on the lookout and stay woke!

    Thank you for the informative article!

    ~Sergej

    1. Thank you for visiting our site, again, Sergej. You totally have understood the essence of this post. Even on days when we are doing the “normal” things that everyone else does, we are still dealing with the reality that we have to keep monitoring our health all through the day.

      I truly believe that our diets are the keys to better health. My medical plan offers saving on healthy foods at the grocery store. I am so happy about that. Finally, the health insurance profession is emphasizing actual health through healthier eating!

      To our health,
      Karin 🙂

  3. May I ask, if you don’t mind me asking, what are your blood glucose levels mostly at? I have type 1 diabetes, and have been dealing with it for the last 18 years. I have also had a lot of complications due to a lack of support and child neglect so because of that I saw as normal having my blood sugar around 300Mg or more. Now that I’m an adult and I’m more capable of things now I know how to manage my diabetes and that’s also thanks to my insulin pump which has worked wonders over the last two years. 

    1. Hi Stephanie. My glucose levels have been ranging from 190 up to over 600 in the course of the past month. I’ve been dealing with a lot of changes including finding that I was allergic to one of the medications I was taking. It was causing my lips to swell up. It was miserable.

      I am sorry you have had to deal with type 1 diabetes for so long. I am glad that you are able to manage your diabetes so much better now that you are a little older.

      There is so much to think about when we have diabetes and it can be very stressful to manage it all. It sounds like you have things much better in hand. Perhaps you would consider sharing your story with us at some point? Let us know. I think your story could be very inspiring to people who have complications and have overcome them.

      To our health,
      Karin 🙂

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