Life Changes: Learning to Live with Type 2 Diabetes (for now)

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I am having trouble remembering which finger I used last; which finger was pricked with a needle to test my blood sugar. It has been more than a few weeks now, but I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

Shock, anger, and even disbelief were my first reactions. Looking at the symptoms for Diabetes, I had none of them. My soda intake wasn’t terrible (maybe two a week). In fact, I am eating better than I ever have (unless you count the candy that has been introduced at work).

Diabetes Symptoms

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Slow wound healing
  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling hungry (even though you are eating)

I had gone in for a routine doctor’s appointment. I needed some refills on medicine. Happened to mention that I have been losing weight for awhile now (about 10-15 pounds). The doctor started panicking, looking over past blood tests I’ve had, and then looks at me:

“I don’t want to alarm you, but I think you have Diabetes.”

We finished up my visit, and I was sent to go have blood work taken without fasting. I walked away trying not to panic.

The next morning, at work, the doctor called me:

“Your A1C tests, average blood glucose levels for past 3 months, are really high. You have Diabetes.”

He went on to throw out a bunch of medical jargon. Something about my liver being surrounded by fat, diet changes, and how he thinks I can be off medicine in 2-3 years. Never was checking my blood everyday talked about nor slowing ramping up the Diabetes medicine he called in for me to take. Once the shock, depression, and FEELINGS wore off, I made some phone calls. Had my doctor’s nurse call in a glucose meter.

Photo by Kate on Unsplash

Stabbing Myself

The evening I first tried lancing myself, I was soaked in a puddle of sweat. No matter what, I couldn’t press the button! Suddenly I was flashbacking to summer camp in high school. I remember waiting in a long line for the rope swing. I waited all this time in line to ride, got to the front, and I couldn’t do it. My fear of heights kicked in. So I stepped off the swing platform. Although their faces are fuzzy, I can still remember having to walk past the other kids waiting in line. Pure shame. Not being able to push the button on the lancing device, I went to bed. I had dreams about needles and woke up to pray many times. My anxiety threatened to swallow me as I lay there in the dark.

The next morning, I woke up exhausted. As I headed towards the kitchen table, where the glucose meter and lancing device were, I could feel my anxiety kick into a new gear. Thankfully, Tabitha started making breakfast. The smells of food cooking proved to be the motivation I needed. I finally pushed the button, tested my blood, and I went on with life. Not a big deal. Funny though how small things like momentary pain keep us from doing things.

Moving Forward

At this point, I’ve given up things like soda. I see my soda intake / liquid intake in general as something I can easily control–hello water!–. I am learning a lot about sugar in food.

HINT: Sugar is in EVERYTHING!

I am also learning not to freak out when my blood sugar levels vary from day to day (in this case, when they go up). I am trying to focus on collecting what I see as personal data points to a much larger picture. The medicine I’m on, Metformin, has been horrific. The side effects of dizziness, weakness, and nausea, early on, were very hard. I still have moments, but I can tell that my body is getting used to the half dose I’ve been taking (the doctor wants me on more).

Photo by Owen Beard on Unsplash

Since my diagnosis, I have learned that Diabetes runs in my family far more than I ever knew. I have also realized that this is not a death sentence. Checking my blood sugar, everyday, isn’t that big of a deal. I know that some have to check it far more that just once a day. What I need to do though is come up with a system as far as which fingers I use to test:

  • Left Side of Index Finger = Monday
  • Right Side of Index Finger = Tuesday
  • And so on

I am relearning that life can be trucking along, we think we have everything under control, and then something happens. In my case, my body decided to ambush me. But cutting back on sugar and watching what I’m eating (food, portion control), even more so, aren’t such bad things.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:28 (NLT)

Overwhelmed, Tired, Angry, Scared, Frustrated and Certainly Not Caffeinated

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As a blogger, I often write posts that end up being tossed into the void known as the “draft folder”. Perhaps I wasn’t comfortable publishing the particular post at the time or maybe even felt that it was too personal . The last thing I want for JohnnyBGamer to become is a place for me to serve cheese and whine (even if it is potentially of a high quality). With that being said, below is a post I wrote sometime back in September. Back then, I was on the verge of having my gallbladder taken out. I think the title says it all.

Call me a baby but this stuff is too strong!

The world feels as if it is grinding to an abrupt stop and I am not holding onto anything in order to brace myself. I feel unsteady on my feet, vulnerable to damage. Financial pressures lap at my legs like a cold pond in October. Which for some reason reminds me of birds migrating south for the winter. Isn’t that how life is. One moment we are flying free, traveling forward, unaware of the hunter’s standing below ready to fire.

My thoughts are dripping out like my coffee maker sputtering its last molecules of java into the pot. It seems that my visit to the surgeon yesterday has done nothing to help me focus today. Not that I thought that the visit would bring about any sort of epiphany. I do know now that I will soon be parting with a friend I have had all my life; a friend who is no longer pulling his weight. My gallbladder has got to go.

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like you stepped out the door at the wrong time? The skies suddenly opening up with a down pouring rain, destroying the hair and the clothing you spent so much time on. Certainly one of those days where it would have been better to just stay in bed. I kind of feel like that today.

We all have our ups and downs. Days where we feel that our lives have amounted to very little. In a way, on days like today, we, I, exchange the truth for a lie. We forget about all that we have accomplished and focus on the things we have yet to attain.

To think that I thought it prudent to excuse my morning cup of coffee this morning.