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I have Diabetes, Now What?

Updated on November 7, 2012

When was the last time you had your blood tested?

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It was a just an ordinary day at the office with not much going on. I smiled and said a few hellos as I made my way through the maze of cubicles on my way to obtain my much-coveted second cup of coffee. Little did I know that in a moment my life would change forever. As I made the last turn before I hit the elevator bank I saw our receptionist, Carol, sitting at her desk testing her blood with a glucose meter. Carol shot a smile at me as she gestured for me to stop and summoned that I give her my hand so that she could test my blood. Startled, but not wanting to seem squeamish, I quickly complied as if it was no big deal.

Carol went to work daubing my finger with an alcohol swab and within seconds I felt a small sting of a needle. She then guided my finger to the meter strip. What happened next was an image that would be burned into my memory for a lifetime. The meter beeped softly indicating the test was complete as Carol slowly raised her eyes to meet mine. I could tell there was a look of concern in her eyes. Carol then asked me a couple of questions that seemed irrelevant at the time such as when was the last time I had eaten. She then stated that she would re-do the test. After repeating the procedure I learned that my blood sugar was 487, whatever that meant.

At the time I didn’t realize that this number represented such a bad thing and was about 4 times the norm. I was instructed to schedule an appointment with the doctor immediately. The funny thing was that I had not seen a doctor in over 7 years! I did have a full physical when I turned 40 but other than an occasional cold I was never really sick.

Within a couple of days I found myself fidgeting in the doctor’s office as I was asked a battery of questions and poked and prodded. A few days later I received the results of my blood work and it was confirmed- I had Type 2 Diabetes! Had could this be? Surely there must be some kind of mistake!

As it turned out I actually had many of the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes which I just never realized it. You would think that someone experiencing weight loss, sweating, fatigue, frequent urination and occasionally blurry vision would think they were extremely sick but quite the opposite- I felt fine and it never occurred to me that I was ill. To make matters worse I was also diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol! The good news was that now I knew and could work on keeping it under control.

The first thing I realized was it was not the end of the world. I read all I could read about Diabetes. Fortunately there is a ton of information on the Internet. In the first few months I was a great patient and the medications prescribed by my doctor quickly brought my glucose levels under control. This combined with a new diet quickly brought my blood pressure and cholesterol down to acceptable levels.

Now 3 years later I have come to terms with my Diabetes and have come to realize that it does not have to ruin your life. I religiously check my blood twice daily and take my medication but I will occasionally cheat with a sweet or my favorite- Chinese food! The most important thing is that you monitor your blood levels closely and go to the doctor for regular follow up visits.

If you have not had your blood tested recently, please do so. Take it from me; it is better knowing than not knowing! There are millions of people in the world today living undiagnosed with Diabetes- do not be one of them! I still have my coffee each day- but now without the sugar!

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    • KevinC9998 profile imageAUTHOR

      KevinC9998 

      6 years ago

      Update: Sadly enough, the receptionist "Carol" in this story passed away a couple of weeks ago. Along with her diabetes she was suffering and lost her long battle with emphysema. Since my diagnosis, she had also identified 2 other people in our office with diabetes and served as a true guardian angel to all of us. Carol was 61 years old.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Wow, Kevin! Cannot believe your blood sugar was up over 400 and you didn't feel sick. Good thing you caught it before you ended up in the hospital. Great article about diabetes. Glad you are doing well, Steph

    • Phyllis Warren profile image

      Phyllis Warren 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      What a great experience. Like you I had no idea I had severely elevated blood sugar until it showed up on a routine blood work up. It was not in my family, I was not overweight, I was not a big sugar eater. Your story brings home how many people out there have diabetes and don't know it. Thank you for sharing!

    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 

      6 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Kevin really well written and informative hub voted up and useful. My mother was a diabetic type 2 for most of my 20's up until I recently lost her in Aug 2011 at 77. She struggled at first but with proper diet and exercise she kept the "beast" in check and U and loved ones will help do it too. It is a manageable disease which is as said beautifully above perhaps on the verge of a cure coming 4 type 1 down the line-attitude goes a long way you have a good one and remember: "Reader's Digest? (my mom's favorite bathroom buddy) Laughter is the best medicine!

    • wordscribe43 profile image

      Elsie Nelson 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Wow, thank goodness for Carol, huh? What an interesting story, Kevin. The scary part is you had no idea... that's what alarms me. It can be such a sneaky, covert disease. Kudos for sharing your story, no doubt it's cause for people to pause and consider their own risk and symptoms.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 

      6 years ago

      So sorry for your bad news. I'm a type 1 diabetic and it is a difficult but manageable disease. I'm thankful for all the new foods and treatments and for the promises of more future research studies so that hopefully a cure is found soon. Thanks for the hub!

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