I have Diabetes, Now What?
When was the last time you had your blood tested?
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!