Life is a journey - this is mine.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Living with it.

As I've mentioned, I'm diabetic. Type II, to be specific - previously known as Adult Onset Diabetes. What it really means is that my body doesn't process sugars in my blood the way it ought to. Left unchecked, this can lead to all sorts of gory consequences and ultimately, death. With control, this can lead to all sorts of gory consequences, and ulitmately, death. The difference is the gory consequences can be prolonged or avoided altogether, and death can be staved off for awhile.

The stress of managing this can be overwhelming. There's the blood and urine tests by the lab, the home blood glucose tests, the doctor visits where you just know he's going to tell you that your foot, leg, toes, fingers are going to have to go, or that sexual function for you is now but a dream. There's the numb feet, the lack of balance, the loss of dexterity (incredibly frustrating for a guitarist). There's the worry that the disease will progress to Type I, which means all of the above plus the added fun of more closely watching the blood sugar and shooting insulin, a whole new level of managing the disease (I don't know how they do it). There's the constant worry about everything I eat - what's this going to do to me. Every single day there's something you read that makes you think you're doing it all wrong.

And that's just me whining, really. People live, and live well, with diabetes every day.

Everything I WANT TO BE says I should say 'To HELL with all that crap, fight this thing!' Yet, I seem to be unable to dredge up any enthusiasm to do just that. I was relieved when I went to the doctor this week and was told that my numbers were looking good and trending in the right direction. I was like, "great - thanks for the good news, can I go home now?" Why am I not elated? Why didn't I ask about my numb feet? My sore hands, the loss of dexterity? How can I just not care on one hand, and yet be scared to hear the answers to the questions I should ask?

After all that, there's the reality that I created this problem for myself. I'm very overweight, "morbidly obese" according the BMI scale. How's that for a motivating term? For me, it's not so much. I spent many years of my life in physically demanding jobs, then sat behind a desk for many more years. I drank gallons of soda, and ate whatever I wanted in whatever quantity I wanted. Then one day, I was fat. I ignored it then, but did pay a little close attention to what I ate, and my weight stabilized, in fact it hasn't changed but a couple of pounds for at least 5 years. For most of those years, I never saw a doctor, unless I was sick or injured, which didn't happen often. Then, when I was about to turn 40, I thought that I really ought to get a checkup. I learned then that I was diabetic and that my thyroid hormone was very low, which means lowered metabolism, complicating the weight thing.

Sometimes, I wonder if I should just stop and let the disease take its course - and hope for Jesus to come back before it gets there.

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