Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What is wrong with me?

I've been feeling off for some time now. Fatigue, aches and pains, chest pains and recently dizzy spells have been added to the list. Back when I had the scary chest pain, my doctor sent me off to be drained of blood in the name of testing.

Late yesterday afternoon, the doctor's office called. Nope. Not lupus coming back. Not cancer.

I have diabetes.

As you might imagine, this diagnosis means a major life-shift for me. Gone are the days when I could indulge in classic Southern Sweet Tea (my absolute favorite drink that's not water). Sorry to all you sugar replacements - you just can't beat real sugar in sweet tea. Gone also are things like Phish Food (Ben & Jerry), Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate chips, birthday cakes, Krispy Kreme donuts and mocha lattes. Not that any of these things ever had a regular spot in my life, but it was nice to be able to have them every once in a while.

I have to go to a Diabetes Education class on Monday to find out about food and how to prick myself, and what other lifestyle changes will be in store for me. I'll find out about medication (I am going to need a bigger pill box if I don't get myself straightened out soon!) and insulins, which I hope won't ever be a factor in my treatment. I get stuck enough with needles as it is now.

But being the information maven, I stopped by Barnes and Noble last night on my way home from work to scarf up a few books on the subject. In "Tell Me what to Eat if I have Diabetes" by Elaine Magee MPH, RD, there is a list on page 11 that gives the warning signs of Type II diabetes. They include: Frequent infections, Blurred vision, Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal, Tingling/numbness in hands or feet, Unusual thirst, Frequent urination, Extreme hunger, Unusual weight loss, Extreme fatigue, and last but not least, irritability. OMG - I have all of those - except "unusual weight loss" (which figures since I've been trying to lose weight for years). Diabetes can also lead to high blood pressure (check) and cardiovascular disease (check) and renal failure (not yet, phew).

So, armed with a little information, I'm starting to make some of the changes that I know are coming. My sugar consumption will go WAY down. I'm walking the dog every night for about 40 minutes, which is good - and a relatively recent habit. It's a start. I'll know more on Monday, but until then I'll keep reading and start making recording my food and drink intake a habit - because keeping track of that stuff is going to be REQUIRED now.

Honestly, I'm a little bit relieved. Diabetes is a big deal, but not nearly as scary as what I was imagining I might be facing. So I'll do the things requried of me, incorporate them into my life and get on with living now.


Felicia said...

Good for you for taking the bull by the horns and wrestling it the ground.

Sandy said...

It's always easier to battle the devil you know!

Glad your diagnosis is something manageable.

Mel said...

Well, shit. Sorry there had to be anything amiss at all - and especially sorry you have to give up sweet tea - but I, too, am glad it is something manageable.

Factor 10 said...

Sayre, I am so pleased it's the big D as opposed to some of the other options...

The list of possible reasons for your symptoms included some big and scary things. Diabetes is the most manageable of those. Knowing WHAT is causing it means you can now treat it, and the stress of not knowing had to be huge.

{{hugs for the loss of your sweet tea and Ben & Jerry's, though!}}

karisma said...

Im sorry to hear that, but at least now you know whats up.

Im not a big sugar eater myself but use honey in my tea if I want it to be sweet. You should see some great improvement in your health now that you know whats happening.

Kaytabug said...

Oh this sucks, but at least it is manageable,and treatable. I dread the day I develop Diabetes. My Dad and his Mom and her Dad got it all late in life.
I think it is awesome the way you are handling this.

Anonymous said...

Glad to know its something so manageable. It is diet control-able.

I think mine is the start of menopause.

love and hugs,

apricoco said...

sorry to hear about any diagnosis. i wish you well and glad to hear that it is Diabetes and not cancer. =)

karatemom said...

Hey sayre..its okay ..sorry for the diagnosis but it is also a manageable disease.
I was gestational diabetic and withthat comes increased risk of becomming an insuline dependant diabetic later in life.

I was told 40% chance within 5 years and 60% chance within 10...

it has now been 17 years but..i have some of those symptoms...the circulation in my hands and feet has gotten realy bad..and I know i have to make an appoint for that blood pressure has been high ever since i had the diabetes..

sooooooooooo...anyways..i love that you are taking a pro active approach and you will be fine.

flutter said...

I have it too, babe and it is manageable.

I am thinking of you.

loopymamain06 said...

So sorry to hear this news, but you are on the right track.
2 years ago my mother was diagnosed with the same.
I promptly went out and bought her 5 books on diabeties, and 5 books on reciepes for diabetics.....she still rreads and referances them.
hang in there.

nikki said...

That sucks. Diabetes runs in my family so I get tested for it often. My dad has it and by diet control and a pill (can't remember name) and does not have to do insulin shots.

I hope things get easier for you soon.

Anonymous said...

I'll take it a step further...


Life is about overcoming obstacles, which is much easier once they are identified. Now, the feeling of hopelessness and the fear are gone.

You also know exactly what to do to get where you want to be. Go get 'em, Sis! :)


Jeff said...

Just another item on the list, eh Sayre? I will pray that you maintain the will to manage your new distraction and that you have the peace to deal with all you are dealing with in your life now.

SwampAngel65 said...

Diabetes...yup it could've been much worse. But I'm glad to hear you're approaching it with your eyes wide open and in a pretty positive way. My husband is diabetic (Type 1 since he was about 8 years old) and has to inject insulin. Hopefully you can control yours with diet, exercise and whatever pill they give you.

It's hell to get old, ain't it? (Hey, I'll trade you my MS for your diabetes!...just kidding)

HoosierGirl5 said...

Oh my gosh, you poor girl. Hang in there.


HoosierGirl5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alice in Wonderbread said...

It runs all through our family veins too; considering 2 of 3 USA citizens are overweight and therefore susceptible, I have a feeling diabetes is going to be the A-number-1 everyone's-got-it diagnosis.

Way to go on stepping up to taking care of it and yourself!

Alice in Wonderbread said...

It runs all through our family veins too; considering 2 of 3 USA citizens are overweight and therefore susceptible, I have a feeling diabetes is going to be the A-number-1 everyone's-got-it diagnosis.

Way to go on stepping up to taking care of it and yourself!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sayre, there are so many people with type 2 diabetes now, even kids. But yay it is manageable. Follow those guidelines and you will be healthier than ever.