Type 2 Diabetic, How To Be an Expert

Hi, I'm Martha Zimmer, a type 2 diabetic, and I'm honored by your interest in this website. Just so you know, I did not set out to become an expert on diabetes.

Even after my own father became a type 2 diabetic I didn't ask questions. His mom died when she was 49, and when he died at 54, someone said that they must have had the same thing, but it raised no questions for me.

In my deepest heart there was a fear that I might get diabetes some day, but that thought stayed buried.

Sure, I was overweight but I felt fine and never went to the doctor. I intended to keep it that way. Talk about clueless!

I hit 49 and it all came crashing down. I found myself at the hospital getting a CT scan and blood tests. Then came an MRI and a treadmill stress test. What on earth happened?

Knocked Over By Reality

The doctor said it was a type 2 diabetes with high blood pressure leading to a small stroke, a TIA he called it. He handed me five medications and said it was time to find a doctor.

Then he said something about low-calorie diets and exercise and checking blood sugar. If he mentioned diabetic education it didn't stick. Anyway, I had a plan.

Portrait by Rachel Kohanski

Pulling out all the home remedy books at my house, I wrote down everything they said would cure diabetes, bought all the herbs, and went on one of those quick weight loss diets. I took the medications too, but the plan was to cure it without them.

I was losing weight and feeling okay again. I had never heard of a honeymoon period with diabetes, but it didn't change the fact that this was what was happening.

Then the Honeymoon Was Over

Having no idea what a type 2 diabetic was didn't bother me. I didn't want to know. I just wanted it to go away. That period of denial lasted until a tick gave me Lyme disease.

It was another smashing blow. Now the doctor started me on insulin, because diabetes took a turn for the worse.

It meant I had failed. None of the natural diabetic medicine "remedies" had worked. The on-again off-again diets left me more overweight than before.

Depression took hold. I would just mark time until my dad's type 2 diabetic fate became mine. It was a decision made without even a struggle.

Me at 361 pounds, with one of those wonderful kids.

But my 54th birthday passed and I was still alive. I looked around at the family who had not given up on me even though I had, and something happened.

I decided to live. And an old dream given up on years before, an idea for a children's book, came back to life too.

I started writing. When I saw what it was going to take to help my little series find its feet, it was time to start looking at my type 2 diabetic condition. What was it? Could I write about it too?

How about all the diabetic complications - the early cataracts, heel spurs, leg swelling from bad medication, strange pains and intestinal problems? Searching the internet brought a lot of "Aha" moments, and type 2 diabetes came into focus.

Becoming an Expert

I found out that there is a cure, one that I completely overlooked. It would involve a complete overhaul of my diet, and it meant accepting that some kind of exercise has to be a part of every day whether it hurt or not.

So I gradually turned into a type 2 diabetic expert, studying its history, seeing my mistakes and taking steps to change. It is true that you can't fix type 2 diabetes, but you can lose weight and get off medications.

It gives me hope, and if it does that for you too, that would be beyond wonderful. So I'm going to keep writing about it, and I'll let you know how I'm doing. I would like to know how you're doing too.

At a book fair. Right before I started losing weight again.

But Diabetes Is Not My Life

Being a type 2 diabetic expert and working toward a diabetes cure is great. But it's not what gets me up in the morning. Not at all.

What motivates me is the wonderful kids in my life. But there is also that other goal.

I want to see the young people's fantasy series I started reach its conclusion. Until that happens, and the books have found homes, I'm not done.

Updates

If you're interested in knowing how my book writing is going, here's a link to it. You can also find me on Facebook, where The Smallborn series has a fan page.

And if you'd like to know whether I'm losing weight, you'll find updates on my weight loss page. I'm using myfitnesspal, a free website, to help track my calorie and exercise goals.

I'd be honored if you would share your goals and your journey with me. It's what my "your story" page is for. I promise I'll read it.

[Go back to the top]

Return to the home page for a diabetic life from about me, a type 2 diabetic.