Toni, who was diagnosed with diabetes in October 1998, shares her experience living with the disease.
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Coping with Diabetes - Toni's Story Hi, my name is Toni Griffin and diabetes has become a part of my life, scary, but a good part of my life. I was first diagnosed in October of ‘98 and at that time was having problems at work in the evening usually when I would get off, I would find myself very sluggish and between driving home, leaving work, driving home, I would sometimes have to stop and get something to eat and that was the only thing that seemed to work. And so I think maybe I’d better call my doctor and make an appointment and find out. Sure enough, I did a five-hour glucose tolerance test and at that time I found out that I was a diabetic, type 2, and also the thyroid problem, which was a surprise. Anyway, over the years, being a diabetic has been a learning experience about taking care of myself and the things that I need to do in order to take care of myself. Exercising; I finally learned that it really is the thing to do; exercise does more for you almost than a diet. A diet is eating properly but properly is eating maybe five small meals a day. Now they could equal, in my case they equal what I eat, three meals a day. So learning to eat five times a day has made it much easier to manage the diabetes, sometimes of course when you’re out shopping and doing all the things that we like to do we’re not at home where we don’t have our meter and check it but you know when your blood sugar is not where it’s supposed to be. And so that’s the only problem I would say I probably have with diabetes is, I am always out shopping, but I am learning. This year has been the best experience being in a part of diabetes care program, diabetes management with CareMore. They are trying to teach me how to pay attention and it’s really important that you pay attention to when you eat, what you eat and how you eat. And I know when you eat means you’re up in the morning, breakfast is what I try, breakfast is most important meal of the day. I don’t care whether you’re a diabetic or not, breakfast seems to rev up the body to get it ready to do all sorts of things that you need to do during the day but, we drink too much Starbucks so we’re up, and down. That’s that snack that you need that gets you through the next series of having lunch. When you eat lunch, again you’re up, and you’re down. That just seems to be a part of whether you have diabetes or not, that’s the other thing that I have learned, whether you have diabetes or not we do that to our bodies and I am trying very very hard not to do that, to eat every couple of hours is so much better. The days that I do eat a couple of hours, I would say a couple of hours but between two and three hours, I find that I have less ups and downs and if you’re aware, trying to manage it so that the kinds of food that you eat help stabilize, whether you have extreme highs or extreme lows, is also important. Having a piece of fruit is great, slice of apple pie with ice-cream, you’re up there.