Turns out if you’re having problems falling to sleep or getting too excitable over the day the answer lies in overloading and permanently damaging your pancreas. Then wait at least five years before getting treatment.
The longer you live without getting treatment for diabetes the more your body gets used to the crap diabetes does to it everyday, and the less obvious the symptoms become. I was diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago. A month ago I was prescribed Glyburide, and two weeks ago I saw a nurse who specializes in diabetes care.
She had gone through my “permanent record” and found evidence in my old blood tests of my having had diabetes since 2005. But I’m pretty sure I’ve had it since at least 2002 because, just to see what would happen, I convinced my diabetic friend to let me do a test on his monitor. Normal is in the four to seven range (of what I’m still not sure), and I was an eighteen.
When I started doing the tests a few months ago I was averaging in the high twenties, with a 30+ at least every other day.
Yet, because I had been untreated for so long, I wasn’t exhibiting any of the symptoms. The manic depression and the medications I take to treat the disease also have side effects and symptoms somewhat similar to diabetes, so they probably masked some of the diabetes stuff, but according to my nurse it’s not unusual for the body to just adapt.
The problem I’m having now, and over the past week, is this first round of Glyburide has brought my levels back down into the “normal” high range of twelve to fifteen. And my body is now reacting badly because those levels are completely new.
So now I’m hungry right after eating a meal, my vision is blurred about half the time I’m awake and I’m just dead tired most of the day. But not in a good “I’ve been up forever and now I need some sleep” tired. I’m fairly sure I’ve also lost some weight, but I haven’t been on a scale in over a month.
I think I’ve also been drinking more often… which is weird because I thought I was already drinking about as much as a human being could possibly drink in a day.
Something I’ve been doing since April to avoid drinking litres of juice and pop everyday is fill a glass almost to the top with Club Soda, then top it off with a low sugar (no fructose) juice. It’s healthy pop. Blueberry is probably my favourite, but raspberry juice is really refreshing.
I’m getting better at taking the Glyburide, it’s meant to be taken twice a day just before a meal and I’m getting closer. I do carry it with me in my too-cool satchel. I haven’t actually changed my diet yet. I am eating healthier, but my diet is still “normal” and nothing at all what I expect it’ll be once I see the dietitian later this month… actually I see her on Thursday.
From what I’ve been told the diabetic-diet will consist mostly of cardboard and bugs. And I’ll have to use a scale to measure out portions. The good news is the disability program (Ontario Disability Support Program) I’m on pays for the whole thing.
The bad news is I think I’ll have to start saving receipts, and my memory sucks huge for stuff like that. ODSP allows me to recoup the costs of taking a taxi to my doctor appointments, as long as I bring the receipts to the disability office… it’s $38 to his office and back. I see my doctor twice a month, I may have brought in three receipts. I just get lost in thought, I’ve actually written a note on the back of the hand I used to pay the driver and forgotten anyway. Thankfully I’ve managed to arrange a regular ride since last summer.
Diabetes is a strange club to be inducted into. Buck, a good friend of mine, just lost a foot to diabetes and someone else I’ve known almost forever has pretty much totally given into the disease. Walter’s not monitoring his blood levels anymore and is eating whatever he wants. I ran into him a few days ago at the grocery store. He was in intensive care for two weeks back in May/June over heart issues brought on by the diabetes.
Walter lost fifty pounds while he was in there. He’s in his late 60’s and lost his wife a few years ago to a long battle with cancer that sucked his bank account dry, and I’m pretty sure it did the same to his will to live.
It’s a strange thing to be warned about this stuff after living so long with the idea of dying. Like the nurse and Walter and Others are laying out the consequences of diabetes on the table in front of me and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to react.
It’s like they’re telling me “you could lose a foot” and I’m thinking “in a lot of my fantasies over the past twenty years I turned out a paraplegic”. Or “you could die from heart disease” and I’m thinking “depressive episodes knock years off your life so I’m pretty sure I’ve got until next Tuesday”.
I am taking this disease seriously… at least as seriously as I can. Maybe as seriously as I take most things. I’m taking the pills, and planning for the diet but I haven’t used the meter in over a week. I’ll be changing one of my medications in a few weeks because of the diabetes, as one of its long term side effects is diabetes… my doctors have me ditching the Seroquel, they’re just trying to find a substitute.
It’s just strange that now the manic depression’s under control — and for the past year it has been — I still have to relearn how to care about living. Or start doing things which will ensure I’ll continue to live into modest old age and beyond.
Getting the diagnosis wasn’t a surprise. As soon as my doctor said “blood test to confirm” I was sure I was diabetic. It’s just weird that of all the things in my life right now it’s basically only diabetes that has me looking into the future.