Pretty Poison — My Battle with Sugar

© Photo by Brad Chisholm

This is the good stuff. Pure cane sugar. The stuff you drop into your espresso in some elegant café. Randomly shaped, so you can be confident that it didn’t come from some evil factory. In fact it comes from la Perruche, in Tereos, France, and they have been in the assassination business since 1890. They know what they are doing.

I never thought much about it until I had a bad medical about a year ago. I was feeling fatigued. So is everyone, I thought. Covid was still rampaging, no one had confidence in the government. Every morning the news was grim, the statistics were like sports scores when your team was always losing.

“You are pre-diabetic,” the doctor said cheerfully. . He figured that was better news than “You’re going home dead.”

He explained that one in three Americans is pre-diabetic, which means our blood sugar levels are higher than normal (this is bad). And 80% of the one-in-three have no idea. I certainly didn’t.

“Lose some weight, cut out salt and sugar, stab yourself in the finger every morning and take a pill. Exercise. If you are agressive now you can get back to normal before you develop Type 2 diabetes.”


© photo by Brad Chisholm

So I jabbed myself each morning, before coffee, before anything. Yes it hurts, but you get used to it. My score needed to be under 120. I was hitting 156, 140… and I wasn’t even good at it. My first three or four attempts just generated messages. Then finally a bad number. Not encouraging.

I started taking Metformin, the most famous of drugs for this problem. It’s been around a long time and has many fans and a few enemies. Two in the morning, two at night. I will drill into this another time, but my first and ongoing question was “How do I know I’m doing better and it’s not just the drug?”

“When you get stable you can cut down or stop the drug and we’ll see how your numbers are.”

I wish that was the end of the story. We have a young dog, so I upped his walks. But quitting sugar? Once you start looking, it is in . I cook, so at least I am able to make some adjustments, and I will post about that later, but for now I would like to leave you with two things:

  1. Start paying attention to sugar. Get your blood tested once a year. Take it seriously. Especially if you feel bad.
  2. If you are pre-diabetic, it is probably fixable. But temptation is everywhere. Sugar is the most insidious thing.

I am going to write about my struggles with sugar and temptation and I invite you to read along for amusement and I hope not necessity.



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Brad Chisholm

Brad Chisholm

Brad Chisholm’s novels include K-Town Confidential (2018), Kat & Maus (2018) and Dash & Laila (2020). He is published by Black Rose Writing.