Friday, December 28, 2012

No Comment

I like looking back on posts from the past that no one commented on, why did these posts get no comments? I have no idea and it really doesn’t matter, this one is on a serious subject and a 100% true story about yours truly.

Chronic conditions a lot of us deal with each day, how we deal with these conditions differ with each person, so without further introduction here is another post from the past that got no comments.

Jimmy You Have Sugar

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of fifteen; this was back in 1975 the so-called “Olden Days” as the kids tell me, I was a normal teenager, very active and worked hard when not in school. I started with the usual diabetes symptoms, excessive thirst, going to the bathroom a lot, and I lost about thirty pounds which is quite noticeable on a 15 year old, not knowing a lot about diabetes just prolonged the diagnosis, I was taken to see the doctor when I got so weak I could hardly do anything much less stay awake, after a couple visits the small town country doctor tells me “Jimmy, You Have Sugar” he went on to tell me that I was his first diabetic patient and he would learn all he could to help me, I was given a prescription for some pills he said might help but that shots were inevitable.

The first several years were very hard due to the lack of knowledge on the condition, after finding out the pills just wouldn’t work I began injections with NPH U-100 N and R insulin that was made from beef and pork insulin, my new diet consisted of “No Sugar” so no more cokes, cookies or anything sweet, cokes were substituted for fruit juices which did not help my blood glucose levels. I tested my urine sugars at home although I didn’t know why at the time, my insulin doses were decided by the doctor when I had an appointment to see him and my diet even though it was no sugar was high in starches and fruits that may be healthy but is not good for someone with a high blood sugar level.

Words of wisdom I received and appreciate from that country doctor who diagnosed me with diabetes: his answer to a question from me was “Jimmy you will know far more about diabetes than I ever will because you are Living Diabetes and I am not” I respected this answer better than if he had said I don’t know.

The NPH Insulin worked well for me in spite of the things against me, then all of a sudden this type of insulin was no longer made, I was switched to a synthetic Humilin insulin which works well for some but did not for me, it was almost like I was not using any insulin at all on most days, my blood glucose levels were extremely high for quite a while resulting in very high A1c level, this lack of proper control of my blood sugars was the beginning of my diabetic complications.

After about twenty eight years of no complications I began getting the burning and sharp pains in my hands and feet which are signs of peripheral neuropathy which I was diagnosed with soon after, this and a few TIA strokes resulted in muscle weakness and loss of sensation in all limbs which soon ended my working career, I am now retired disabled. I check my blood sugars several times a day and my wife injects me with insulin before each meal, I also take an injection of Lantus every morning which is a base line insulin that keeps my blood sugars level along with Novolog injections before meals. The injections and medications have become part of my daily routine and although not something I prefer to do, it is something I have to do if I am going to live a somewhat normal life.

The diabetes care was very limited then, knowledge and education was kept under your breath because it almost seemed as if you had to be ashamed of being diabetic, I remember hiding to take my insulin injections and still feel that old fear of someone seeing you when I get my supplies out but that was then, now we have good education and new treatment options suited for whatever type of diabetes you have.

My wife and I fight this condition daily in an attempt to control the glucose levels and prevent more complications, all in all we are winning, but this is a battle we will always have if I want to have a long life. Thirty-five years since my diagnoses has taught me that you can never stop learning because the rules and condition of your body is always changing and if you want a long life then you will always have this fight.

Do you have a chronic condition that will not go away?

26 comments:

  1. It is amazing how much better we've gotten at treating illness's after so many years.

    I don't have any regular aches and pains but my wife makes up for that for me. She has Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's (Thyroid) and most recently was diagnosed as a diabetic. Like I said, she makes up for my lack of diseases.

    It's definitely an everyday fight with those. I hope you stay on top of your battles until we can find a way to win the war.

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    1. Hey Jeff, Yes I know you and your wife both know what it is to fight these conditions, I say both because even though she is the one diagnosed it sure takes a good partner to deal with them at times, teamwork sure makes it better.

      Yes Sir it is an everyday battle and like you and your wife I plan on staying on top because losing is not a option in my opinion.

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  2. I remember when I was young, people rarely talked about diabetes and if someone had it and you knew about it, it was like, oh my, that poor person is doomed. Thankfully, knowledge and medications are doing more and more to dispel the stigma attached to those once taboo conditions, that nobody dared to discuss.

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    1. Hey Ms. A, It was like something you only talked about when the Diabetic was not around, most people thought it to be a death sentence so to say and hiding to take your insulin was normal because heaven forbid that you treat yourself where someone may see it.

      I am happy with the education efforts toward conditions like this now because before it was easier to just not discuss it, it's a wonder we ever learned anything at all.

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  3. I have a mild case of Tourette's, the twitchy thing. It is something that i have learned to disguise as most people do not understand this condition.

    Not nearly as difficult as diabetes.

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    1. Hi Joe, You are so right in that so many people simply do not understand Tourette's, we have a nephew who deals with it also and I am proud to say he has done well with it as it appears you have also.

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  4. II diabetes. I paid attention for about a year and then my depression got sick of taking a back seat to this so it again became my top complaint. Then I was like -screw it!- I want to be able to eat like normal people. I can feel the effects of my recklessness and need to get my act together.
    My grand daughter was diagnosed at the age of 7 with type one. She uses an insulin pump. She is monitored closely but is doing well. God Bless you Jimmy!

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    1. Hey MC, We all get that screw it attitude about these conditions once in a while but in the long run as you know it's easier on us to just do what we are supposed to :)

      Insulin Pump Therapy has become more prevalent in the last few years, your Granddaughter will have to continue to keep a close watch on her numbers especially with her age, body growing and changing and insulin needs changing all the time, but yet that part seems to never change :)

      Thank You my Friend I pray she continues to do well.

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  5. This is one of those times when we can appreciate the progress the world has made, particularly with regard to medicine. It sounds as though you're on an even keel right now and I hope it stays that way. Hubby has Diabetes 2, and I pray daily that it stays at that figure. Mind you, I have to bite my tongue when I see him eat chocolate. I tried nagging, but it didn't help.

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    1. Hi Valerie, It is amazing how much our treatment and education has progressed over the years, that indeed is a blessing.

      I am sure your Hubby does well for the most part and that in itself will keep him out of trouble, an occasional piece of chocolate you will have to bite your tongue on because nagging rarely changes the fact, this coming from the man you grabs an occasional piece of chocolate :)

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  6. I have Diabetes II and also take Lantus in the morning. I remember my grandmother having diabetes and how it was thought to be a death sentence back then, even though Grandma made it to 84.

    It is a sort of treasure trove having posts from the past that few if any people commented on. I love reading your opinions and look forward to them. Happy New Year.

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    1. Hi Stephen, I had a Great Grandmother who taught me a lot about diabetes, she lived to be 77 so as you pointed out it was not really the death sentence everyone thought it to be even then.

      Thank You Sir I appreciate having you around my Friend.

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  7. A friend of mine has a 19 year old son who was diagnosed with Type I at age 17. What a struggle it had been. Like most of these diseases, it's usually genetic, and there wasn't anything you could have done to prevent it. I have been on meds for hypertension for six years now. People are always shocked by this, since I don't smoke, work out everyday and my weight is below average. Genetics!

    I'm sorry you have gone through this for most of your life, Jimmy. I hope you are having a good holiday and that Cindy is feeling better.

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    1. Hey Bijoux, Yes Genetics is the main cause of many of these conditions, no matter what you do you cannot change genetics, so you and I do the next best thing, we deal with the conditions genetics gives us the best we can.

      Cindy is doing a bit better now, a few more weeks and all will be back to normal again :)

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  8. My sister was not diagnosed until she was 17 with type 1. There was no history in the family, ever, so they were lucky to catch it. It's been a LONG road, but she is healthy and well now.

    I have type 2, along with another issue that makes me insulin resistant. So basically, even after all the weight is lost (26 more pounds) I will still need the metaformin. I also have Ceiliac, so no wheat, oats, barley or rye for me or Youngest. In the beginning it was real challenge, but the food industry has come really far in new products... and I've gotten better at improvising. :)

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    1. Hi Juli, Being an insulin resistant diabetic makes it a real pain I can imagine, and along with the other issues it is a good thing that the food industry has come around with more products to make life a little easier.

      Improvising is a must when it comes to preparing a meal :)

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  9. I'm also going to say that we have learned so much more about how to deal with diabetes in the last few decades. And with the internet, it's a lot easier to find ways to deal with it and suppport groups that provide advice. It sounds like you have learned a lot since your diagnosis and are dealing with it.

    A good friend of mine had a heart attack at age 30. He quit smoking, lost weight, watches his diet, takes all his meds, etc. But every once in a while, he just complains about having to always be so mindful...sometimes, he says, he just wants to eat and live with reckless abandon.

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    1. Yes the education and treatments have changed so much since I was diagnosed it is unreal, the internet also helps with support groups and more, something we didn't have when I was first introduced to my new lifetime of fighting the condition.

      Like your friend I can understand his statement because after a while of following a strict regimen you really want to throw your hands up at times and eat like you want to.

      Although not a good answer for the long run.

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  10. As you've found out "knowledge is power". It's good that you've learned all you have about how to take care of yourself.

    I take a blood pressure pill and a cholesterol pill daily like all the men in my family do. I had a series of detached retina's in my left eye years ago, and today that eye is rather f---ed, but you learn to deal with it. And just a month or so ago I had several skin cancers removed. All in all I think I can stay glued together a while longer. Thank you God! :)

    S

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    1. Hey Scott, I know you have dealt with a lot lately but like you said knowledge is power and I have a feeling staying glued together is in your plans for a long while yet :)

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  11. You must have shared this post long before we met because I don't remember reading it.

    Fascinating post and thoroughly interesting post!

    My father had diabetes, but very mild. He only had to watch what he ate, but never got to the point where he took insulin shots.

    "Thirty-five years since my diagnoses has taught me that you can never stop learning because the rules and condition of your body is always changing and if you want a long life then you will always have this fight."

    I applaud you, buddy!

    Hope Cindy is healing well. Give her a hug for me, okay?

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    1. Hey Ron, It had to be before we met because I know you would have remembered it :)

      Glad you enjoyed it Ron and your Dad handled it well if he controlled it with diet and kept off the insulin.

      Thank You Buddy I appreciate you my Dear Friend, Cindy is doing better and I will be giving her a hug from you.

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  12. Wow, Jimmy. I didn't realize you were only fifteen. Jason was twenty-three. And I thought that was rough. Sheez. Type 1 Diabetes is a really cruddy disease. I have Grave's Disease. Jason has hypothyroid and Lupus. Our pharmacy bill is outrageous.

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    1. Hi Angelia, Yes Diabetes is a cruddy condition and after thirty something years it does not get any less cruddy Ha Ha

      Any condition like this sure runs up the pharmacy bills and add a couple more into the mix I can just imagine where yours is at.

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  13. I'm lucky enough not to have a chronic illness.

    My father-in-law suffered diabetes, along with the associated complications. He lived an active life well into his 70s.

    I wish you continued good health Jimmy for 2013.

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    1. Hi Bryan, I pray that you remain healthy and without any chronic conditions.

      Your Father in law remaining active sure helped keep his diabetes in check I am sure, today with the better education and treatment of these conditions sure helps prolong our lifespans.

      Thank You Bryan, I appreciate you my Friend.

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