| Dec 07, 2012
Last Friday, I went to my doctor with some weird issues:
- Increasingly-frequent lower-leg cramps
- Thirsty ALL the time. (Yes, really. I was getting up at 4AM to drink two bottles of water or more.)
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
I thought that maybe my eyeglass prescription had changed, I needed to eat some bananas and I was dehydrated, but since all of this started at the same time it seemed wise to get checked out.
I stopped to see Dr. Doug on my way to work on Friday, thinking I'd have a quick chat, maybe get a prescription, then head to the office. Instead, after talking for five minutes, he said, "That's diabetes."
A urine test revealed that there was more sugar in my urine than, well, urine.
The doc sent me to the ER. They used one of those blood sugar testers that we've all seen to get a more accurate glucose reading. The monitor started emitting smoke and screaming (ala R2-D2) and reported a friendly "Out of range" error.
More blood taken and sent to the lab. 30 minutes later the results came back: 741 dg/ml.
That's high. Like, really, really, high. One of the nurses said, "I'm not sure how you're even walking and talking right now."
So, I got to spend the night in the hospital getting insulin shots every four hours, until they got the glucose back down to a sane(r) 150 dg/ml. Still a little high, but not much more than you'd see in a non-diabetic that was eating a lot of sugar. (Such as green beans, bread, pasta.)
Now I take an insulin shot every night before bed, and some medication in the morning before breakfast. I have to check my blood sugar levels several times a day. There's a chance I'll be able to go off of the insulin eventually if I eat right and keep things under control.
After a week of living with this, I've found that diet drinks and sugar-free stuff are actually pretty good after having been off of real sugar for a week. (Before, diet stuff or anything with artificial sweetener had a weird after taste.)
The biggest problem is finding things for lunch that I can eat. Fast food is completely out. Most real restaurants don't have anything I can eat. Fortunately I love steak and sushi, but a lot of restaurants use marinade that is high in sugar and/or carbs, and it's pretty expensive.
So, this sucks.
I'm pretty attached to my vision and legs. I'd like to live past 50 and see my kids grow up.
And, apparently I'm now far-sighted. I drove to work this morning without my glasses because they made everything blurry.
If you don't know me, I should put this in context. I'm 36 years old, 5'8" tall, and weigh about 155 lbs. I've always eaten whatever I wanted and never really had a problem with weight. I lead a reasonably active life style. Whenever I'm in a walking city (London, Cambridge, Munich) for more than a few days, I lose a few pounds just from walking, and have to wear a belt when I get back home. In short, I'm not what people typically think of when they hear "diabetic."
And, although this has been an unpleasant curve ball, I'm really glad that it was diagnosed. I could have wound up dead or in a coma. There are a lot more things I want to do with my life; I'm glad I'll get the chance.