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  • favoritefeathermer

Kiss My (Shrimp n') Grits

The inevitable happened last week. I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. Truthfully, I'm surprised it took this long. I have been flirting with this disease for at least a decade but, like most of my relationships since my divorce, it just sort of came and went.

Whether it was the steroids I've been on and off of for the last four months, or the inactivity that is an inevitable result of back pain, my fasting glucose is now averaging 150. Throw in half a dozen Insomnia cookies at 10:30 at night, and it's 242. Needless to say, I'm not ordering any more Insomnia cookies. Except for that one time.

The good thing about Type II Diabetes, if there IS a good thing, is that it is reversible. With a commitment to healthier eating, increased activity, and steering clear of anything with a name ending in "-ose", I could easily get my A1c back below 6% before my next checkup. Easy as pie, right? Wait, did someone say pie?! Is it cherry?! Who has pie?!! (Maybe that's not the best choice of words.)

So, I'm now expected to go cold turkey on cookies, ice cream, cereal, Starburst fruit chews, that amazing cherry cobbler they have at work, and all the other things that have gotten me through COVID and a back injury?! Are you HIGH?! Apparently so.

I'm lucky in some respects. I don't have to take insulin, and my glucose levels aren't outrageous, but I do have some serious choices and major changes to make. Here's the thing about Diabetes, for those who don't already know. It can affect EVERY system in your body. If left unchecked, you can develop vision changes/loss, kidney disease/failure, heart disease/failure, delayed wound healing, decreased sensation in the hands and feet (which leads to wounds that won't heal because you don't notice when you've stubbed your toe until you see the trail of blood leading from the bathroom to the sofa, where you've been sitting on your fat ass eating Tootsie-Roll flavor rolls and bingeing South Park on HBOMax), and a bevy of other ailments that once they take hold are hard to shake. For those of you who know me well enough or have known me long enough, you know that I'm going into the vision aspect already behind the eight ball. I really only see well out of my left eye, so I guard it like Mary Hart insured her legs. If anything happens to it, I'm done for.

When you get to a certain age, one thing is always six degrees from another. Bear with me here - You hit menopause, and your metabolism evaporates. You start gaining weight, particularly around your mid-section, which puts you at higher risk for heart disease. So now you're overweight, putting a strain on your heart and circulatory system. Then the hot flashes hit (see previous blog for details on those), and out of desperation and against your better judgment, you start taking hormones. This comes with its own risks, though, so it becomes a toss up between whether you want to deal with the hot flashes or risk a stroke. Personally, I'm risking the stroke, and it's totally worth it (unless I have a stroke - stay tuned for updates). You're eating garbage without a functioning metabolism, so your pancreas can't keep up and you become insulin resistant, which I find to be a useless, politically correct term for "Put down the Krispy Kremes, you fat tart!" You see where I'm going with this? One thing just leads to another, and to another, etc., etc., until you're receiving sympathy cards that read "So sorry you had to have your toes amputated but here's a homemade banana pudding".

I will make whatever sacrifices I need to make, because I have a number of reasons to become healthier. Their names are Christopher, Katie, John, Susan, Isabelle, Robin, Alina, and all the other family and friends who I refuse to abandon. (I mean, who would cook Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner?!) Most importantly, my granddaughter Jolie, who deserves to grow up with at least one wacky, eccentric-but-lovable grandparent.

Now, if you think I'm going to start eating cauliflower and using low-fat mayonnaise, you're the one who's high. I will never give up my Duke's mayonnaise, I will always make my grandmother's spaghetti sauce, and if you happen to catch a glimpse of me at Savorez, eating my favorite shrimp and grits (actually it's goat cheese polenta, but let's not split hairs), just look the other way. You didn't see a thing.

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