Sunday, 7 May 2017

My Diabetes Was A Mess

My diabetes was a mess. This seems like the most appropriate place to start this post. When life circumstances take over, it's really hard to maintain control and believe me, at that time, I had no control. Over many things.

I continued to be heart sick over the situation with my dad's health. He needed to be safe. Mom was not coping well. I was really afraid of losing her too, terrified. It was a time I could not have imagined. Dad and mom live 2 and a half hours away from me. Even further from either of my brothers. Dad was sent to Emerg a few times by ambulance and the doctors could never seem to find out what was wrong. Oh, they were trying, but whatever was going on, hadn't surfaced. They were trying to determine a diagnosis on top of the diagnosis we already knew. I found out in hindsight that this is not uncommon. Dealing medically with the elderly is not as simple as you might think. The elderly are very complex. In my mind, as complex as babies. I had no idea.

My brothers and I talked, and emailed, and emailed some more, and texted, multiple times a day. I cannot say again how truly grateful I felt and still feel to have the two brothers I do. So many times I'd heard how crisis can tear a family apart. It did not for us. It drew us together. Strengthened us. In crisis, I really saw how we cope. That's not to say we didn't hit a few speed bumps but we always managed to get back on the same page, quickly. I tear up even now thinking about how strong we are.

Christmas time was here. I promised myself I would get my diabetes back on track. And I tried with as much energy as I could muster but there were so many things in my life I could not control. Despite any feeble attempt I made at controlling my blood sugars, there was no impact. They were high. Very high. So high, I was afraid to test. I was afraid of what I would see. I was scared but I just didn't have time to think about myself. I had no energy left for me.

In my diabetes journey, I have never had the 'signs and symptoms' of diabetes. It truly was pretty silent for me. Until now. I was so thirsty I couldn't stand it. No matter how much water I drank, I couldn't get a head of the thirst. Then I'd feel sick because I was waterlogged. I woke up at night so thirsty I couldn't get back to sleep. I was not just tired, I was exhausted. My clothes were not fitting well, I had gained weight over time, 25 lbs. I had bruises or minor cuts that seemed to take forever to heal. I even noticed some occasional tingling in my feet. I saw a couple of 18 mmols when I tested. I was now pretty sure 18 was not the highest my sugars had gone. I was probably somewhere in the 20's. Holy crap. I didn't have the energy to deal with it. Mom and dad still needed support.

From January to mid February, things finally moved forward for my parents. Diagnoses were determined. Dad was moving to a safe place. Mom was getting, and finally accepting, help. Things were finally settling and it was all good.

It was time to deal with my health, my diabetes. I headed to see my family doctor. He'd known for sometime the stress I was under. I'd been to the office in tears a few times. I told him what I had experienced at Christmas with my diabetes. What my numbers were. That I was ready to deal with me. We sat and talked about the meds I was on. Janumet wasn't bringing my blood sugars down. We tried doubling it previously, still no results. We talked about diet and exercise reinforcing the control I could get from lifestyle changes. For the first 8 years of my diabetes, I was controlled beautifully by diet and exercise. He encouraged me to use that capacity again. I was terrified he would tell me it was time for insulin. I didn't want that. I wasn't ready for that. He agreed it wasn't time for insulin but it was time to get specialists involved. It was time for an endocrinologist and a cardiologist. The referrals were made. I was on a new path.

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