Last November 2016, I was at the office of my holistic primary care nurse practitioner, Kathleen J., when she started the appointment by asking me how I feel. I answered, “Great!” and I truly felt that way. She frowned then, and had to let me know that according to the blood tests she had me take, I had Diabetes 2. I asked her if she was sure it wasn’t pre-diabetes as my sister had been diagnosed with that. She said no, the levels were much higher. I went into shock and dismay! She proceeded to tell me that Diabetes 2 IS reversible. And told me I must start exercising regularly, suggesting walking daily since I do enjoy walking. She also gave me a stringent dietary plan, with no fruit, no grains and mostly vegetables and protein. After losing about 30 pounds (and keeping it off) in the previous three years, I knew how to eat in a low-carbohydrate way, and had been eating in that way, basically, before she talked to me. But this was even stricter.
She also prescribed some herbal supplements that might help, and told me about cinnamon and other spices that have a good effect on diabetics. She prescribed a glucose meter, and told me to check every morning to see what readings I got, and to record them and bring them with me during my next visit. She further explained how the pancreas stops working as well with diabetes and doesn’t assimilate sugars as it should.
I walked away feeling VERY depressed! However, I have great determination and I knew I would do everything in my power to reverse the situation.
When I got home, my husband said he wasn’t surprised, as being overweight is a big factor in diabetes. I found I felt shame and embarrassment about it, and even though I’m usually very forthright and can be confessional, I refrained from telling anyone else for several weeks.
In the end, talking to others did help me. Nobody I told was judgmental, and all were understanding and supportive, and shared diabetes 2 stories if they had them. To my surprise, one thing that I discovered is that several women who were extremely overweight had absolutely no signs of diabetes! During the first 4 months, I went to various healers, after reading about diabetes and holistic cures. I saw an acupuncturist, a sound healer, and also went to a couple of alternative healers who do light and energy work. In my study on the subject, I discovered that stress can really play into this malady. Aha! I tend to worry too much, and we made a big move in 2016 that was stressful – selling two houses and buying one, and releasing all kinds of stuff, because we downsized. The new place is sublime, but the journey here was fraught with many details and decisions that kept me up at night worrying.
I followed the diet as well as I could, with a smidgen of cheating but overall, stuck to it. I started walking every day, or almost every day for 30 minutes. The walks turned out to be a big blessing. I felt immediately grateful for that. My dogs were grateful, too! Previously, I spent time looking out the window at the beautiful forest we live in, and didn’t explore it. Now I could discover new areas and paths, and enjoy the beauty firsthand instead of gazing upon it. I took the herbs religiously. I pricked my finger every morning, and sometimes the reading would be higher than other mornings. I would get anxious when it was higher, and wrack my brain about what I ate to cause a spike.
Four months later, it was time for more blood tests, I took them and went back to the nurse practitioner. The results were better and I was encouraged. I could do this! She told me I could take the glucose tests a few times per week, rather than daily.
Then, I got a bit more lax in following the diet. I would actually eat carbs one day, not test my blood sugar, and then take it the next day when I had eaten better, thinking I was cheating the system but overall, tests for several months couldn’t lie. The next time I went back, the diabetes’ levels were higher again. I told Kathleen I had been eating just as well when upon reflection after the appointment, I became more honest with myself and realized I had been “cheating.” I felt weary of all my efforts to control diabetes, and I told her this was the best I could do. So we agreed that I would try Metformin, a common prescription pill for those with Diabetes 2. She told me it had a digestive side effect for some people.
After taking it, I would check my glucose levels and there wasn’t much difference. That was disheartening. Then I got the side effect to the extreme! I spoke to Kathleen, and she told me to go off it immediately. When I asked if there was another pill I could take, she said the next remedies are injections, rather than pills. I did NOT want that.
In my meditation time, I listened to my inner guidance, and vowed to start listening to my body better. I received the message that I should stop taking glucose readings since it upset me when numbers were high; that I should eat more fruit from time to time since I love it so much. I was also told that I COULD do this by myself, and it was my opportunity to rid myself of this diagnosis in a natural way. I felt empowered again!
After that, I continued eating in a low-carb way, but enjoyed grains, beans and fruit more regularly. I do love sweets, so would treat myself to dark chocolate and other low-sugar desserts sometimes. I ate less meat and more soy. I kept up with my joyful walks. I added another herbal supplement after talking to a girlfriend who also has Diabetes 2, and confirming the additional supplement with Kathleen’s OK. A healer I know suggested a concoction of ginger, lemon, cinnamon, and turmeric with warm water to drink each day. She suggested fasting, and after reading about it, I was convinced it would be helpful to bring blood sugar readings down. I often fast from dinner to lunch using the drink mentioned above in the meantime. Another friend told me about the benefits of CBD oil, for better sleep, less worrying and also to bring glucose levels down. I asked Kathleen about it, and she said although there aren’t enough scientific studies to prove its health claims, she was open to me trying that, as well, so I did.
In November 2017, I had more blood tests. I was feeling if my own remedies hadn’t worked, that I would go ahead and try injections. I was very tired of having this disease, and felt afraid the more I heard about how diabetes led to heart problems, strokes, and even cancer. Yikes. It really seemed crazy when I told others my plan for self-healing, and admitted that I hadn’t taken the glucose tests in all that time, but I also trusted my gut instincts.
Again, Kathleen asked me how I was feeling when I came in. I cautiously said “great” and proceeded to tell her how I didn’t get so tired in the mid-afternoon like I used to, and how I have a lot of energy and am sleeping better. She smiled, and let me know I was out of diabetic range!!!!!!!
I was thrilled! She congratulated on my own self-care to achieve this goal.
It feels like a dream come true. It IS a dream come true.
I am someone who has authored books on gratitude, and so I want to share with you how I could be grateful for a Diabetes 2 diagnosis. It has definitely changed my life for the better! As mentioned, I appreciate the pristine beauty around me as I take my nature walks, and they also calm my spirits if I’m having a hard work day. I am eating in a way that feels good and right to me, that I can easily sustain. I am 63, and I am sure I have extended my life, and since I’ve always wanted to live to be over 90, healthy both emotionally and physically, that feels wonderful and much more achievable again. I am a spiritual person, and I’m positive that my daily meditation and affirmative prayer time have helped. I am also filled with gratitude because I have learned how to be less distressed by examining worry (which never helps), and other fears I have, and letting some of it go. I am thankful that I can share my process and the good news with others, so that it may help and inspire someone who is feeling depressed about the same health condition, or another one. Most importantly, it has added to my self-love. I appreciate my efforts and celebrate the grand result.
Thank you, Life!
Deborah Perdue is the author of several books on Gratitude, www.graceofgratitude.com. She teaches workshops, classes and facilitates retreats. It is her passion to help others transform their lives, as she has transformed her own through her spiritual path, and the power of being grateful! Deborah lives in Grants Pass, OR in the forest with her husband and menagerie.