Sunday, November 1, 2009

Used to be running through my mind Now you're jogging Now you're just walking

Today's post title comes from the song Heartbreak Collision by Dolla (sadly murdered earlier this year). He is singing about someone that broke his heart but I like to compare this one line to things that take over my life. When anything major happens to me it becomes the main focus of my life and it is hard to get out of my mind. In time, things go back to normal, for the most part. Right now, brca is running through my mind constantly but eventually I hope that it is just walking, footsteps lightly...

Happy November.  Pink October is finally over! November is National Diabetes Month. I'll try not to bore you with all the nitty gritty details. Basically, there are a few types of Diabetes: type 1(aka juvenile), type 2 (aka adult onset) and gestational. Most important thing to know is that type 1 and 2 can occur at any age despite their aka names. It is fairly easy to tell if you are having symptoms of type 1. Increased thirst, increase in appetite eventually turning into a lack of appetite and then nausea, increased urination, rapid weight loss, fruity breath smell. I think the symptoms are the same for type 2 but happen more gradually and maybe not as extreme. I don't know much about gestational but I would think that they would test for it at your regular pregnancy checkups.There are so many diabetics in the world and most of you probably have at least one in your family. It really isn't a 'silent' killer like ovarian cancer for example, but there are tons of people walking around not knowing they have type 2. The symptoms are probably there but easy to ignore. It's a good idea to listen to your body once in awhile. Peeing too much? Do you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Maybe it is just part of getting older but it could be something else. Not a bad idea to mention it to your doc.

Diabetes can reek havoc on your body. You are at risk of heart disease, strokes, blindness, amputation, kidney disease and as every tod keeps reminding me, we just don't heal as well. There is no cure but we have come a long way in controlling blood sugars and using preventive medicine against some of the risks mentioned above. Not a disease that you can eventually snuff out of your brain because you have to deal with it at every meal, every outing to the gym, every time you get behind the wheel of a car. But it is something that you learn to deal with and get used to.

I was 16 when I got it. I missed a week of calculus class and I never did recover from that! I didn't flunk but just scraped by. It was hard for me to accept diabetes. I was a shy kid who wasn't looking for any attention. Last thing I needed was for anyone to think I was different or for my coaches to treat me special. I never told anyone that I had it but some people would find out. I'd say it took a good ten years before I really accepted it and gave it the attention it deserved. I've been real lucky that I haven't had any major complications considering that at one time in my life I went three years without seeing a doc or testing my blood sugar. That was after college when I was working at a ski resort and I didn't have insurance. It can be a financial drain having diabetes. Test strips cost over $100 bucks a month if you aren't covered so that is always the first thing to go. Syringes are cheap and can be reused if necessary.  Insulin is a must, but sometimes even then, you may have to squeak out a day or two waiting for the paycheck to arrive. I haven't had to do that in years. Since I've been with dw we have been covered by one or the other's work policy. We have been lucky to work for companys that offer partner benefits.

When I was in college, I worked at Pico Ski Resort on the weekends. Great gig, I got free ski tickets and a paycheck! I wrote a poem once, when I was alone in the little hut at the top of the t-bar lift on a little used run. All alone and in my lair, I plunge the needle with despair. I don't feel like that anymore, don't worry! I was just a kid. Things do get better, we adapt. Diabetes mostly just walks through my mind these days. As one day I know that brca will too.

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