I’ve been home for a couple of days now, and am slowly settling into the new routine. To be honest, my emotions have sort of yo-yod. At first, there was the exhilaration of being home after three days in the hospital. I had a really good blood sugar reading – under 100, which is normal. I got this, I thought. Then the next day I had a couple of high readings, and that left me feeling nervous and depressed. Today, before lunch? 88. Diabetes is a numbers game, and I am quickly learning you have to look at the big picture rather than focus on each specific test.


One thing I have been doing very well is eating healthy. Lunch today was a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and a smear of hummus, accompanied by 10 whole wheat crackers and a handful of grape tomatoes, washed down with sugar free iced tea sweetened with Stevia™. Breakfast? Scrambled eggs with mushrooms and green onions and a side of chicken sausage. I’m countin’ carbs like a boss and have been averaging only about 30 a meal (I am allotted 60). I used to scoff at people who went to such extremes, so believe me when I say this is a huge attitude adjustment for me. Tara and Audrey are proud (and a little surprised) at how well I’m doing, but I am a Taurus, which means I’m stubborn. This can be good and bad. When I put my mind to accomplishing something, I do it. This case (eating healthy) is an example of good stubborn. Bugging Tara to go down to the Mini dealership even though I’ll soon have hospital bills arriving in the mail is an example of bad stubborn.

My new reality: healthy eating.
My new reality: healthy eating.

A drawback to this whole carb counting thing: grocery shopping takes forever. I spent over two hours in the grocery store yesterday reading the back of every single box and can I put in my shopping cart. And I hate the grocery store! 

Yeah, it's a pain in the ass. But things could be a lot worse.
Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass. But things could be a lot worse.

Since coming home, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect, and it really scares me how badly things could have gone for me. When I was last at work six days ago (is that all? feels like a lifetime), my vision was so bad I could not recognize the coworker I sit next to. There are plenty of horror stories about diabetics who go blind. If that had happened to me (and I honestly feel like I was close to that point), well…I’m a writer. Kinda hard to write when you can’t see. Right now, looking at the TV across the room, everything is sharp and clear. A few days ago, the laptop on my lap was an incomprehensible blur. I don’t know what I would have done with the rest of my life. As inconvenient as insulin shots  are, things could have been much worse.

You know what? I do got this.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

16 thoughts on “Yo-Yo

  1. Here is something I know for certain, testing blood sugar will no more fix diabetes than wearing a blood pressure cuff will cuff fix high blood pressure. One day at a time. One meal at a time. What a great opportunity you have to figure out what works best for you and that you know that sick care is not the same as health care. Being the foodie you are will be a huge benefit to finding a balance that works for you and those you closest to you. Health and happiness to you and your family.


    1. After just a few days I’m already beginning to discern patterns. And I’ve definitely learned to relax and not sweat a higher reading or two. Like you said, one meal at a time!


  2. Three years ago when my blood sugar reached 125, my doctor told me I was diabetic. I thought she was just trying to scare me. I’ve been on pills since then but never taken it very serious. I usually forget to take the pills and have been in denial. Your situation has really shaken me up and made me realize this is not something to just shrug off. If you, a true foodie, can get your act together, then I must too. I’m with you along this journey. I loved the photos of your food. I can always use some good ideas. Thanks for being so open about this.


    1. Glad I could help, Becky. Your diabetes, at least, is on the mild side compared to mine – it should be pretty easy to treat. Just be sure to stick with the program and take your doctor seriously!


  3. Mark, I admire and applaud you in willingness to accept what is; embrace it, and take the steps necessary for good health. You GO, boy!

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

    Great health to you, buddy!

    P.S. And I have to say that the meal you shared in that photograph looks yummy!


    1. I’ve always believed that because you can’t change what happens to you, you’re better off accepting it and striving to make the best of the situation. So, yeah…I’ll do what I can to make sure I’m as healthy as possible.


  4. You sound as though you’ve accepted the situation, and being a fellow Taurus, I know you won’t give up!

    I wasn’t impressed with stevia until I tried Pure Via, which seems a whole lot sweeter to me. I’m glad to hear hummus is on your list of good foods!


  5. Glad to hear you are home! I know it can be really tough going through something like this because frankly it is scary. But try and think of the positive. You are NOT blind. On top of that you got a little mini vaca from work. Not the best circumstances but we can all use a breather from the office and I am sure you will appreciate it that much more when you head back in.

    Sometimes we gotta take the negatives and make them positives so we dont lose our minds!


    1. I like your positive attitude. The only thing that really bums me out is, I feel like I missed out on the holidays this year. I was not feeling good at all, and failed to appreciate them as I normally would. Oh, well – Christmas/New Year’s 2015 are going to rock!


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