I'm Carmean Collazo, I am 64 and I have Type 2 diabetes. When I found out in December of 2008 that I had diabetes, I wasn't too happy about it. Now I want to know everything about diabetes. I had no symptoms, but luckily I was diagnosed early after a doctor's visit and some routine blood work. My A1C level has stayed at 7, because I work hard to keep my blood sugar under control. My blood pressure and cholesterol are normal, too.
How I Manage My Diabetes
I had to change a lot of things about my life. I used to eat big plates of rice and beans. Now I don’t eat them often and my portions are much smaller. I live in Brooklyn and go to Woodhull Hospital's Diabetes Clinic. They have diabetes education classes and support groups that I attend regularly. You learn all the things you need to do to stay healthy. I like to hear what other people are doing to manage their diabetes. You get good ideas and tips to help you stay on track like the rule of 15/15. If your blood sugar is low, you need to get it up fast by eating honey, a sugar candy or drinking orange juice. Then you test again every 15 minutes until it rises. The information they give you to take home is good too.
Now I eat smaller, low fat portions of food, buy skinless chicken, eat fish, fruits and vegetables and cut down on bread. I make a big salad of lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, watercress, cilantro, garlic and parsley. I don't use sugar or drink soda. Instead, I drink a lot of water and use a sugar and salt substitute. To control my stress, I walk every day for at least an hour and try to keep busy.