Saturday, October 4, 2008

Well, Damn

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.


adam paul said...

when this is all said and done and your #3 kstate jersey doesn't fit anymore......dibs.

i just want to fit in.

karlie nicole mann. said...

my johnny bear, thanks for writing this and showing a ton of vulnerability. i will be thinking of you and praying for you! i'm proud of you and i suuport you. this all sounds like a bad greeting card, but i seriously mean it. if you need a pep talk, call me. i'm here for ya.

karlie nicole mann. said...

ALSO, please know that a certain adam cooper has my copy of the vonnegut book. it's totally yours to read if you want to borrow it after him. but i do recommend the purchase.

luke said...

damn you diabetes i heartily echo. i feel for you man, and know that you have my support in any way you need it. so, you can still smoke cigars right? the porch will call soon--though we have to find one since neither of us live on elaine anymore...

rachel rianne said...

johnny... I too am proud of you and your vulnerability. I'm so sorry that this is all happening but it'll be a huge growing experience for you too. Know that we're all here for you and if you want us to have lite beers and eat super healthy with you we're totally there. We'll have dinner parties. We love youuuuyuu

nick said...

Ouch. I'm so sorry. I'll be praying for you, man. And I second rachel's healthy dinner party idea.

Sara said...

John Creagar, you are my favorite.

I am sorry you have to stick yourself with needles.

You win a million burly points for being able to do so without fainting. (but if you do faint, I won't judge you)

Thinking of you friend...