Friday, April 27, 2007

Two Steps Forward, One step Back

Chapter 5: Sometimes On a Journey, You Double Back

My husband's resolve to be healthy paid off. He lost over 50 pounds and was able to cut down on his Glucophage. He felt fitter and happier.

Our little family was blessed in many ways. But there was the nagging pressures of debt, my inability to function in my job, and the growing demands of family.

I decided that a solution to all of our problems would be to move. We could be closer to family, cutting out the stress of traveling back and forth frequently. I could get a job in a different school district. We could afford to buy a house. Commuting would be less stressful.

I lobbied for this and my husband agreed.

We moved back to his hometown and settled in with our kids. (This was the 4th move in 5 years).

Unfortunately, the change of locale didn't improve my job satisfaction. I suffered immensely in my new position. The stress of dealing with me and two young kids and a big move led my husband away from his healthy habits. He snacked on junk food in his car or at school. We stopped working out regularly. Over the next 2 years, he regained 30 of the 50 pounds he lost.

His blood sugar climbed, so he stopped checking it.

We were thrilled when we bought a house! But my contract was not renewed and I decided I just couldn't take another teaching job. I decided that home daycare would be a good route for me.

Our debt became unbearbable with our sudden reduction in income. We declared bankruptcy. My husband's prescription cost money to fill, and we were broke. He stopped taking his medication.

Suddenly he began losing weight. We had started exercising more (having spent our tax refund on a 1 year gym membership), but we should have noticed the other signs that things weren't right.

At this point we were pregnant again, and I had a better pregnancy than the previous one, but had severe back pain. I also was hating daycare more and more. I had the same problems as I had teaching.

The one thing I took pride in was the healthy food I served. I knew that most daycares relied on poor quality prepackaged foods. I fed my charges "healthy home-cooked" meals with fresh fruits and veggies, not canned, whole grains. And it was vegetarian. I felt so proud of teaching kids about kiwi and broccoli.

My husband's health deteriorated. He had a severe infection in his finger that had begun as a hangnail. The doctor tested his A1C and it was almost 15 (should be under 6). He was put back on insulin and Glucophage. He also had a painful bowel obstruction.

I was concerned that his blood pressure was always high when they went to the doctor, but no one ever suggested that anything be done about it. As a teenager, he had been told he had "White Coat Hypertension."

We had a subscription to Diabetes Forcast Magazine. Every month, I dutifully read about all of the horrific complications my husband was sure to suffer if he didn't control his blood sugar, blood pressure and weight. I began nagging incessantly.

I really didn't give a second thought about my own weight problems or risk factors for diabetes.

No comments: