According to The American Diabetes Association, 23.6 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. That is 7.8% of the population.
On Thursday, I officially joined their ranks.
At first, I was crushed. I had suspected it for a week or so, but to hear the doctor actually say that indeed, I was seriously ill, was tough to take. My family has been fantastic, as have the friends I have told.
But it has been a difficult adjustment in thinking.
It has knocked some of the immortality out of me. I have high blood sugar, but the past few days I have found myself feeling frail. I actually was afraid to bump into something earlier today because I felt like I would hurt myself. It is psychological, I know. But I have seen that I am damageable, and at times....not all day, not even everyday, but at times, it makes me afraid to live. It is ridiculous, and I quickly talk myself out of it.
I have had to immediately change the way I eat and drink. There was no final spaghetti dinner, then tomorrow I cut back. There was no one last bomber at O'Malley's, then I start drinking more water and sugar free. It was Thursday morning I could do it (even though I knew it was probably not the best), Thursday afternoon it was all over.
Good-bye Crazy Bread and Gumby's Pizza Rolls. Good-bye rum and coke. Good-bye Apple Pie with too much ice cream. Good bye Simply Pure orange and apple juice.
Now, in truth, I can have any of that....eventually. But for right now, I am on the wagon. I am counting carbs and watching fat and cholesterol. I am drinking diet root beer and passing on the Jimmy John's Gargantuan.
I have to stick a needle in my belly every night. It is a little freaky. It doesn't hurt, but it takes a certain amount of psychological strength to stab oneself in the stomach and force in fluid. The first night doing it I wanted to call a nurse and make him/her do it. Instead I manned up. But it is weird.
Oddly enough, it is harder for me that I have to prick my finger 4 times a day. The needle feels like medicine. The finger prick just feels like masochism. I hold the "lancer" and try to trick myself into doing it without noticing. Then I force myself to bleed. It is pretty much the worst game ever. But so far I am winning.
There were some "why me" moments. There is a strong desire to wake up tomorrow and discover I dreamed it all. There is a tiny inkling that ignorance was bliss, and why did I go get checked?
But then common sense and reality take back over. I am a diabetic. I must watch what I eat and drink, and I must get my body active. If I lose 125 pounds, I can get off the insulin. That is a motivator. If I eat right, watch my portions, exercise more than my mind and clicker finger, more or less live the way I should have been living the last few years, I can lead a fairly normal life. I may even be able to get off the oral medication.
So this is not a very cheery post, but the few readers I have know me, so I hope you know that I am not beaten or run down by this turn of events. As corny as it sounds, your support, even just through prayer, is hugely appreciated. I can climb this mountain, and indeed, will come over the crest a better man, but it is going to be tough.
Damn you Diabetes.....damn you.
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