My Double D’s

Heads out of your bra’s ladies, I’m not talking about those double D’s. This is about something entirely different.On the 17th of May I suffered a fairly dramatic dip in my mood. I have suffered from depression for years so this wasn’t a new thing to me. But in the past my depression had a prolonged build up. A measured lead in before I got to the stage where I thought the world was better off without me in it. And while I had some stress indicators this time…it certainly hadn’t built up to the point where I was looking at the rafters in the barn and wondering if they would hold my weight from nothing. I was smiling and laughing like everything was normal, then bang. Like I was going 100mph then just hit a wall.

Staring up at those rafters thinking thoughts I promised I’d never think again, I was terrified. I did something then that I couldn’t do last time. I picked up the phone, called my dad, and he helped me through the night.

The next day I went to the doctor’s. Anti-depressants were prescribed and a blood test for the next day ordered just to “rule out anything like anaemia or B12 deficiency”. I had the blood test on Thursday morning, and the doctor called me at 7pm on Friday 20th of May while Louise and I were waiting for Bjorn Again to come on the stage at Keswick Mountain Festival to tell me I had the other “D”.


I knew diabetes could affect many aspects of a person, but I didn’t know that it could cause such dramatic shifts in mood, but a lot of other things suddenly came into focus and I’ve got to be honest folks, the signs and symptoms were all there. Thirst–I was drinking 6ltrs of water plus a day. But it’s hot and I work hard…a girls Gotta drink, right? Going to the loo…drinking that much it’s not surprising is it? Tired all the time, but we all work hard. Everyone’s tired right? Blurry vision. We all get that staring at a computer screen all day long, don’t we?

As I’m sure you can imagine I hit the Internet pretty hard then to find out everything I could about type 2 diabetes. What it is. What it does. The complications. The medications. What can I do to help myself? Is it curable? Everything. I needed to know everything.

Medical opinions are fairly split. Some say that variate if surgery is the only way to control or cure type 2 diabetes, others say it can’t be reversed at all, while yet others say it can be done with lifestyle changes. A lot of the information conflicts, but what I got out of my tons of research is that if I wanted to give myself the best chance I could of avoiding the complications like blindness, limb amputation, stroke, and/or heart attack…I had to make changes and fast. I was the one who knew my body best, and could monitor what I was taking into it and how that was affecting me. I had to be 100% honest in what I ate and drank, and what I did every single day. I was prescribed Metformin, and started taking it immediately.

I didn’t know or really think about getting rid of diabetes. I didn’t know if that was possible. What I wanted was to live as healthy a life as I can for as long as I can. And that’s down to me to manage. Not my doctors or health care professionals. Not my partner or my family. Me.

So chocolate–my love Galaxy–we are no longer on speaking terms. Every time I look at a bar now, I imagine how I wouldn’t even be able to find them on the shelf if I was blind. It stops me wanting it.

Lucozade. Syrupy sweet energy drink that was my biggest vice. Now I imagine having bottles of those instead of feet…and I don’t want one.

Pasta, bread, cakes, pasties…heart attack, stroke, death.

It’s truly amazing what fear does to a persons motivation.

In the past two months I’ve lost over 2 and a half stone. That’s 35lbs for my American friends, and almost 16Kgs for my European friends. I’ve changed my diet, my exercise regime, and pretty much everything about my life that I possibly could. I use finger prick testing to test out what foods at what amounts affected my glucose levels because everybody with diabetes reacts differently to different levels of sugars and carbs. And the only way to know how they effect you…is to test you. I tested it to see how exercise affected them, and I tested to see what stress, different sleep patterns, and so on had on my blood sugar. I decided to find what worked for me, then replicate it while figuring out the next price of the puzzle. Because that’s what it is. One giant human puzzle.

My goal was to be able to manage my diabetes without the need for medication for as long as I could. That means getting off the Metformin.

Today I got the result from my latest A1c result. I’m in the normal range. No longer in the diabetic range. If my next blood test shows the same result, I come off medication. If I stay in normal range off Metformin…I will have reversed my diabetes.

And at the same time beaten my depression too.

Those are my DD’s, ladies. Depression and Diabetes. And right now, I feel like I’m on top of the world!

Then and now pictures.

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9 Responses to My Double D’s

  1. dgm1952 says:

    Great blog. Being honest and facing what is a head. My 74 year old aunt has diabetes and is knocking it. She is up and walking at 4 AM and watches her diet like a hawk and is very proactive about anything that is amiss. She is also very stubborn so I think that helps. LOL You go girl and take care of yourself.

  2. Well done, Andrea. Congratulation on making such great progress. You are an inspiration. Keep up the good work.

  3. judy3929 says:

    I too have Type 2 Diabetes. I’ve had a Heart Attack and am currently on Metforman. My last A1C was 6.0. The normal range. I’m 71 and I want to keep on living. Congratulations and keep on fighting. Keep writing too as I love your books.

  4. Devlyn says:

    I have suffered from the double Ds for a while now, years in fact. It sucks royally some days but I need to remember, the same as you do, that the alternatives don’t bear thinking about. Sending you healing energy and hoping your next blood test is also in the normal range and you can ditch the meds.

  5. Kriszta says:

    Good for you. Keep up the good work and have a long, healthy life!

  6. thewanderingdiabetic says:

    Thats fantastic! Congratulations on the strides you have made. Its a big accomplishment and you should be incredibly proud of yourself!

  7. carolynmcb says:

    My mother has diabetes, but beyond cursory education, doesn’t try to manage it as actively as you do. Kudos to you for tackling this health issue head on, as well as reaching out for help!

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