Unusual thirst; frequent urination; weight change (gain or loss); extreme fatigue or lack of energy; blurred vision; frequent or recurring infections; cuts and bruises that are slow to heal; tingling or numbness in the hands or feet; and trouble getting or maintaining an erection.
“Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes”; Public Health Agency of Canada
Swollen gums; bright red or purplish gums; gums that feel tender when touched; gums that pull away from your teeth (recede), making your teeth look longer than normal; new spaces developing between your teeth; pus between your teeth and gums; bad breath; bad taste in your mouth; loose teeth; a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
Symptoms of Periodontitis; MayoClinic.com
[A]t least five of the following must be present for at least two weeks and must be present most days all day: depressed mood; marked loss of interest or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable; weight loss or gain; insomnia or hypersomnia (oversleeping); apathy or agitation; loss of energy; feelings of worthlessness and guilt; inability to concentrate or make decisions; thoughts of suicide (which should always be taken seriously).
Understanding Bipolar Disorder; Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
…difficulty sleeping, or want to sleep more than usual… changes in eating habits; feelings of hopelessness; low self-esteem; low energy levels; restlessness; loss of interest in normal activities; decreased sex drive; feelings of guilt for no reason; difficulty maintaining relationships; difficulty concentrating… may have thoughts of death, or may attempt suicide.
Symptoms Of Chronic Depression; Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Finding out who I am without the diseases and conditions I’ve been living with has suddenly become a potential reality. This is not something I expected to ever happen. It’s not even something I’ve prepared for.
Recently, like two days ago, my diabetes went from being something I thought was going to kill me sooner rather than later, to suddenly being something I can manage. My blood sugar levels, which had been averaging 26 last February, with at least one daily spike into 33+ territory, dropped to an average of 20 in June, then 14 in September and are now — thanks to diet and medications — within the “normal” range.
I’ve decided what I’m going to miss least, right after spending so much time wanting to kill myself, is the “trouble getting or maintaining an erection” thing. Yeah… that’s going to be cool.
…this could be the first time I’ve ever written about sex issues here.
Since I moved back to my home village four years ago I’ve had five ‘girlfriend’ relationships, four of which became intimate. Only in one did anything ever end with me ending properly… but still not regularly. And that was the first relationship I was in after moving back. Since then it has been frustration after frustration, to the point where I haven’t even thought seriously about a relationship in almost a year.
“In some cases, sexual performance can be affected by diabetes. Up to fifty per cent of men and twenty-five per cent of women may experience some kind of sexual problems or a loss of sexual desire as a result of the condition.”
“Diabetes And Sex”; Diabetes.co.uk
Even going back to when I was still living in Toronto… I basically stopped dating because everything just felt futile.
It’s one of the more difficult symptoms, and something I’ve kind of grown comfortable being without. The depressions, both the bipolar and the clinical stuff, kill the sex drive. Then, when you do want things to… progress, the diabetes kills the instrument. After a while it’s like, what’s the point of going through the explanations and the embarrassment.
…women who are diabetic have similar problems as men in terms of a general lack of interest in sex, but there are other problems specific to women… a lot of what doctor’s know about diabetes comes from research involving men, something which can be said of most women’s health issues, so there’s still a lot they don’t know about diabetes and women.
Diabetic women are also more prone to problems with decreased vaginal lubrication. In addition, some women with diabetes may suffer from recurring vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina, as a result of yeast infections, which can make sexual intercourse painful.
“Diabetes can take toll on sex life”; Women’s Health Matters
A study published just a week ago in the Canadian Medical Association Journal also found a commonly prescribed medication used to control Type 2 Diabetes, raised a woman’s risk substantially of “hip, arm and other bone fractures.”
Globe and Mail: Rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, sold under the brand names Avandia and Actos, seem to accelerate bone density loss and create a heightened threat of fracture among women – especially seniors – who have taken them over a long period of time. The same risk was not seen in men, or among women who took other drugs to manage diabetes.
There are some duplications, but with four conditions under control I’d be taking thirty or forty symptoms out of my life which have been a major factor in who I have been for the past eighteen years… some have been with me since I was a child.
Obviously the clinical depressions, the chronic depressions, are still in me. It’s not like I’m sitting around crushed all day, but only because after you live in a condition long enough it becomes most of who you are. I’ve never recognized myself, for example, when I read the symptoms of diabetes, yet I’ve had it for at least eight years. And not at low levels either, I was toxic for at least five months. But probably for years.
Which means, without my awareness of it happening, I adopted the symptoms of diabetes as “just shit which happens to people.” Just like the other symptoms from the other conditions and diseases I let go for so long.
I’ve been living with the clinical depressions since I was a child… being taken away from my friends and family when I was eight, never knowing my father, not being able to make friends here, having a mother who worked eight-to-eight. The other stuff. I’m still working through that. But I was only able to start after getting the symptoms of the manic depression out of the way.
Until I was able to make the decision to get the manic depression treated I couldn’t see what depression was real and what was something being forced on me.
But last year, just as I was starting to work on the clinical stuff, I was hit with the diabetes diagnosis, and then the periodontitis diagnosis. So for the past year anytime I started thinking about one I had to deal with the others. And this stuff isn’t like mending from some broken bones. My body can heal three broken bones at once, but the symptoms of diabetes and periodontitis just hooked up with the depressions to work against me like I was trying to walk through a tunnel filled with pudding.
They just made me want to quit dealing with anything. To stop moving forward. I wasn’t getting suicidal because I couldn’t “get it up”, or because my teeth are loose, but how many times can you test your blood sugar when all you see is “toxic” on the metre? What’s the point in flossing your teeth if the dentist is just going to be pulling all of them anyway?
I wasn’t getting suicidal, but I had decided there was nothing else to do but wait to die.
Thing is, because of how long the clinical depressions — from how I was raised and who was and wasn’t there — have gone untreated, waiting is a decision I made before I hit puberty.
It’s something I’ve become pretty good at… I was, until a couple of days ago, perfectly prepared to wait out the rest of my life. But the more symptoms I get out of the way the less I find myself inclined to wait. At least that’s what I’ve decided over the past 48 hours.
I got the manic depression out of the way, but the clinical depressions have similar symptoms. Basically the only differences are causes v. random, and the clinical stuff can be reasoned with. So I had progressed in my recovery without feeling as though I had progressed in my recovery.
But the diabetes is different. It proves recovering from a disease, or a condition, just takes time and a willingness to put one foot in front of the other (10PRINT”RECOVERY”; 20GOTO10). And, I expect, it will take a lot of symptoms off the table. And since my dentist tells me my gums and teeth are getting better, the same with the periodontitis.
It’s like studying for a test in a room with lights switching off and on at random, then there’s a neighbour down the hall playing the bass line to The Lemon Song at full volume, a stranger is sitting on your couch watching the Weather Channel in French while he tells you about his day and, for some reason, your cat’s on fire.
Getting rid of one is a relief, but does nothing for your chances of passing a test. But the lessons you’ve learned after you figure out how to stop one then make it easier to figure out how to fix the next problem.
Eventually you find yourself studying in peace… then, after you pass, the chances of you having sex with the Teacher’s Assistant rise exponentially. Which is, I’m starting to think, pretty much the objective for all of this.