First of all a little more about your host or guide. My name is Michael. I grew up in Upstate NY and am the oldest of four children. I have a brother and two sisters. My childhood was good. I did well in school and played soccer and hockey.
Diagnosed at age 14 and in ninth grade.
Parents came back from a vacation and found me incredibly thirsty and peeing all the time.
Father, a doctor, became suspicious and sent me to my doctor for blood tests.
Normal blood sugar is between 75 to 120 mg/dl.
I was in the 500’s.
Admitted into the hospital. Weight had dropped from 126 to 99 pounds in three days. Body had lost a lot of water and was breaking down.
After a few days of insulin injections gained it all back.
Spent a week in the hospital.
Was released on Thanksgiving day 1976.
Back then there were no blood sugar monitors.
I peed on a strip. It changed color and told me how much sugar I was “spilling”.
If the blood glucose(bg) readings were high – the doctor would up my insulin dosage.
If I got shaky or started to sweat I was probably experiencing low blood sugar and had to drink some orange juice or eat a candy bar.
I took one shot of insulin before breakfast. The insulin was extracted from a pig and worked over a 24 hour period.
It would peak between 4-6pm so I had to be sure to be careful at this time.
There was no way to know what my blood sugar was at any given moment.
The object of the game back then was to eat a low carbohydrate diet, take your shot every morning, try to avoid going low and try to not spill too much sugar in my urine.
About the time I went to college blood sugar monitors were invented. They took a minute to register a result and were not that reliable.
New and improved insulin was being created.
Insulin that lasted four hours and peaked at the 1 hour mark was introduced.
A new blood test called an A1C measured your average blood sugar over a 3 month period. No more fudging my blood sugar charts now.
I figured I probably averaged around 230 mg/dl most of my teenage and early adult years.
I had managed to find a way to survive even though I was often experiencing low blood sugars and staying high most of the time.
Testing my blood sugar only made me more frustrated and led to feeling helpless and hopeless.
Figured I probably wouldn’t live to the age of 40.
Was depressed and not that motivated.
Having high blood sugar increases the viscosity of the blood. It gets thicker putting pressure on the circulation system.
This is why the future complications of the disease are associated with the small blood vessels in the body; tingling in extremities, retina problems, kidney function, heart disease, stroke, etc…
It is only in the last 12 years that I have been able to gain a sense of balance with my blood sugars.
When I was first diagnosed this would have been impossible.
Consistently have achieved A1C results below 6.9.
It is widely agreed in the medical community that if a T1D can get A1C results below 7.0 they reduce their risk of acquiring the complications associated with the condition by 75%.
Most of my career has, ironically, been in the area of systems and procedures development and training.
In the past 10 years I have deepened my yoga practice and have become a certified yoga instructor.
In this series of posts I will show you and guide you through a process utilizing forty years living with diabetes, my career experience , my yoga expertise and other studies that will enable you to achieve A1C results below 7.0.
You will not only reduce your risk of complications by doing this you will also,
1.) Feel better physically. You will not experience as many lows or be in the high range as often.
2.) Heal others. Diabetes is a serious chronic condition. If you are not balanced you affect those around you. If you demonstrate balance and mastery of your condition you will ease the worry, frustration, depression and anxiety of those who love you, care for you and work with you. This may be the best result in the bunch.
3.) Achieve a sense of hope and control you never imagined possible. This will spill over into all of the other areas in your life. Your relationships will improve, your outlook will improve, your feeling of worth, confidence and responsibility will increase.
4.) You will transform your life. A great Zen master once said, and I am using my own words not his……..Life is not about getting from A to B. If you get to B then you can stay there or go to C or maybe back to A or even somewhere else. Life is not linear. It is more like being somewhere along a big circle. Does not much matter where you are just that you keep moving.
Diabetes is a chronic condition.
It is easy to get stuck.
You will begin to move forward and begin to realize choice in how fast or slow you want to go.
If you are already achieving A1C’s under 7.0 with few episodes of hypoglycemia (less than 3 throughout a month) then you have achieved mastery, in my book.
You probably have already realized many of the things I have discovered and will discuss in Transforming Diabetes.
If you are still not satisfied with your progress or are interested in further inquiry into these process and perspectives, then I encourage you to continue on.
If you are not achieving A1C’s below 7.0 or are not a diabetic but wish to learn more about it then you will benefit from this process.
In fact, when understood and applied, this process will assist anyone experiencing any chronic condition in moving forward whether that be depression, anxiety or addiction.
This series of posts is but one path. There are many. At this stage it requires that you understand and are able to find agreement in 2 areas.
1.) This is a very serious condition. I was only able to find the path to balance and mastery of Diabetes when I was willing to be 100% accountable and 100% responsible. And the only way to get there is to make a commitment. One of my training gurus once said…..”99% commitment is a bitch. 100% commitment is a cinch.” This process requires a 100% commitment for 21 days. For 21 days you must make diabetes your number one priority. Nothing else comes first. If you are able to establish that mindset for 21 days then you will achieve results. This means reading the posts, watching the videos, engaging fully in any interactive processes, doing the exercises and practicing, on daily basis, the yoga sequences suggested. If you are not able or willing to do this, I understand. I wasn’t able or willing to do it for 25 years. I wanted to be able to “take my medicine,” avoid sweets and live an otherwise normal life. I wanted diabetes to be in the background. It wasn’t until I brought it front and center that I was able to find balance. In order to benefit from this process you must be 100% committed for 21 days. If you are unable or unwilling to make to this commitment at this time, Stop here and come back when any time you want.
2.) For 21 days you agree to play the role of player and I will play the role of coach. It is critical we are able to establish this relationship. After 21 days we can change that. As coach I will provide you with your assignment. As player you will carry out that assignment to the best of your ability. We understand and are in agreement that we both have the same intention; to ease the suffering being experienced.
In the next post we will further define the objectives of the game we will be playing and begin to review some of the component parts.