Tuesday, November 15, 2011

EtsyBloggers BlogCarnival: November

Our EtsyBloggers Team Blog Carnival Host this time is: ME!

I chose two topics for my fellow team members that are close to my heart, and as such, I am going to answer BOTH!

1. November is National Novel Writing Month. As a blogger, have you ever though of crossing over and writing a book? Have you ever tried NaNoWriMo? Win or lose, tell us about your experience!

I discovered NaNoWriMo in 2007, and in both 2007 & 2008 I tried writing, but life was just too busy and I didn't complete either novel; in 2007, I wrote 4,274 words, and in 2008 I wrote only 1,692 words.  The following years were so busy I didn't even try, and this year is no different.  However, the rest of my family are all super gung-ho about it every year!  Even though we miss the first few days of November due to an annual trip, they all buckle down and writewritewrite!  Last year, our daughter Esme finished a really great story and one of the NaNo sponsors published it for her!  We all got to read her story in book-format; it was so exciting!  This year, they're all hoping to win and get a published copy...

2. November is also National Diabetes Month. Do you have diabetes or has your life ever been touched by it? Please share any stories you have...

About a decade ago, I was told I was pre-diabetic, and aside from telling me to lose weight - something I had been told at every doctor visit since my early teens - nothing else happened.  My doctor didn't make a big deal about it, and although my step-father had been a diabetic since age 17 and I knew the problems that could arise from diabetes, I didn't do anything about it.  I felt I didn't need to worry about it until I was older.

In 2007, after a few years of not seeing a doctor due to a lack of insurance, I went back to the doctor to find a solution to the problem I was having with irregular periods and infertility.  This time, I was told I was diabetic, Type II.  Well, now I had an explanation for my lethargy, as well as my infertility, and thankfully, it was easily controlled with metformin.  Then I was without insurance again, and my father was also diagnosed with Type II diabetes.  Things did not go so smoothly for him.  His blood glucose numbers were sky high, and he suffered many complications, including a forced early retirement because he could no longer work.

Then my step-father had an accident.  He blacked out from low blood glucose, fell & hit his head, then died after 3 days without ever waking up again.  He was 57 years old.  I decided that if I didn't want the same kinds of problems as my dad & step-dad - and if I couldn't get insurance so I could take the drugs - then I needed to take precautions to get my numbers down the hard way: diet & exercise.  So after a ton of research and a lot of playing with my diet while carefully tracking my blood glucose reactions, I cut my carbs way back, lost 50 pounds, and now have A1C levels back in the pre-diabetic range.  I can eat more carbs now, and still keep my blood glucose levels ok, but I am still trying to lose more weight.

I wish so much that when I was first diagnosed, that my doctor had warned me more forcefully about the problems that having diabetes can cause.  I wish that I had realized it on my own sooner, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20.  However, another saying tells us to learn from others' mistakes.  So if YOU are in the pre-diabetic range, or if you know someone who is, DO something; SAY something.  Don't just figure it'll be ok, you can work on it later... Talk to your doctor about cutting back your carbs, changing your diet somehow, exercising more, so you can lose weight and get your A1C levels down.

Here are some websites that offer information and community:
Head over to the EtsyBloggers team blog for all the other EtsyBloggers' links!

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