My great-grandmother, Viola Sizemore Rayfield Maples, grew up in a hollow in east Tennessee. The same hollow that Dolly Parton grew up in. Ted Rayfield was Dolly’s uncle (which means her grandmother and my great-grandfather were siblings). Anyway, Granny Maples used to say that everyone was fine and dandy and healthy as horses. Until one day the guvmint shows up with their health folks. Turns out, diabetes was running amok. She says “We were all healthy until they told us we had sugar. Then we were all sick!”

Granny Maples didn’t have “sugar” but her daughter (Iva Rayfield Reno) did. And Mamaw Reno passed that gene down to her two kids. And Mommy Dearest had the gall to pass it on to all three of her kids. Nice of these women, ain’t it?

It may sound weird, but I was laughing when my bro said he was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago. Finally! Someone besides me has a genetic problem! One I don’t have! Then I heard through the twisted grapevine that my older sibling was diagnosed last year. While I don’t have the diagnosis of actual diabetes, I do have pre-diabetes. Whoo freakin’ hoo.

Pre-diabetes is also called ‘glucose intolerant’ and ‘insulin resistant’. Nearly everyone who has diabetes also had pre-diabetes and had it been caught then, they could have delayed or even prevented getting diabetes. Pre-diabetes can happen ten years or more prior to the body being no longer able to handle it and the damage cannot be repaired.

My goal is to lose weight (I need to lose 90lbs) and start treating my body as if I have diabetes. It’s the best plan of action. I visited a Registered Dietitian today and we got formerly started on that goal. We are starting off small, testing me and my glucose levels and my patience. First, I’m to stay between 1500-1700 calories a day. We may go lower later. I also am to keep carbs (that’s the biggie) to below 175 but not too far below. We decided the first step is to move my meals around. Since I am a night owl, when I first get up, I’m going to have a traditional lunch. Then when Lorna comes home, I’ll have dinner. Then, based on the glucose level 2hr after dinner, I’ll have some sort of “breakfast” no less than 2hrs before bed. We discussed veggies (I can have as much green veggies, except peas, as I can stand) and “starch” veggies (which include peas). Portion control is topmost followed by carbs then calories. The diet I am trying is the typical diabetic diet with exchanges and the like. It seems complicated but I think I understand it.

The dietitian and I liked each other. One, she was registered dietitian which means she is licensed and knows what she is talking about. The last time I saw someone, it was a nutritionist who gave me handouts on the food pyramid and said “eat the stuff on the bottom”. Nutritionists are not licensed so anyone can call themselves one. And she liked me because I had already researched, had bought a meter and was using it, and was ready to get started. Lorna took the day off and went with me. We all three enjoyed the visit and I see her again in March.

I’ve started doing a lot of things–I truly meant this was a wake-up call–and one of them was to join an online group called TuDiabetes. I’m learning a lot there and can talk to others about all this. Nothing like misery and company, eh? I won’t talk about diabetes much here but if you are interested in keeping up with me and this and that, you can check my page out over there.

American Diabetes Associationpre-diabetes info
Wikipedia – Pre-diabetes article
National Diabetes Information ClearinghouseInsulin Resistance and Pre-diabetes