Friday, July 1, 2011

It Was Inevitable

I don't think anyone is going to be "Oh no, I am so shocked I need to sit down" surprised by this but I have diabetes.
Type 2  Hopefully controlled by diet (OMG) and exercise (WHAT????) kind of diabetes
I still have to poke my finger and bleed onto a strip that a little machine can read, but so far I don't have to give myself shots.
I do not have heart problems so that is good.  I was having chest pains last week but that must be from my job which is making me want to drop dead.
Click to show "pancreas" result 16
Boring Medical Picture
Some of you may not know a lot about diabetes but I will carefully explain everything to you.  With pictures.  This is what my nurse practitioner did for me the other day.  I had blood work a few weeks previous and when she walked into the examining room with a Big Color Book that said something like "So, You Finally Have Diabetes:  Do You REALLY Want To Die?" I knew that my life was going to change. (By the way everything else looked good and I am not pregnant after all-- what a relief!)
I know a fair amount about The Diabetes because my niece Rebecca who lives with us has Type 1 diabetes as well as her brother who lives with his dad.  I also just did a research paper on the subject but since I didn't want to be a smarty pants I let her go through her whole spiel.

Here is how it goes:

Your pancreas produces a hormone, called insulin that your body needs to have in order to turn carbohydrates (carbs or glucose or sugars) into energy that your body and brain need to function.
Here is a happy, healthy pancreas.  It happily does it's job and keeps the glucose level in the bloodstream at a workable level that is neither too high (producing all kinds of horrible things) or too low (which can cause other bad things).  Happy Pancreas keeps things Just Right.

Hi I Am Mr Happy Pancreas!!

I don't have one of those, neither do my niece and nephew.

RIP Mr Pancreas

This is a dead pancreas.  Researchers are trying to figure out why this happens. This is Type 1 diabetes and commonly strikes children and was once called Juvenile diabetes. A person with a (basically) dead pancreas will be dependent on taking insulin all their lives.  This is a very difficult condition to manage as you need to poke your finger and check your sugar many times a day every day.  If this condition is not managed well many bad things will happen which I will explain a little later.

This is the pancreas my niece and nephew have.  Not me--- not yet anyhow.

I Am LeAnn's Pancreas 
 Here is a Type 2 pancreas.  He works some of the time and his host body has become insulin resistant which means he acts like a teenager:  He is moody.  He doesn't like to work consistently. Sometimes he works.  Sometimes he don't.   He wants to just be a slacker.   He resists attempts to do his job.  He drops his wet towels right next to the hamper and then sighs loudly when you ask him to put it IN the hamper.  He is like "Why is it MY job to make the insulin?"  He asks to drive your car and moves the seat up so you can't sit in it decently.  Plus he uses all your gas but doesn't fill it back up.  He cares only for himself.
How did he get so tired and worn out and resistant?
More than likely his host body looks like this:
(Not actual pictures of me but a very very close proximity)

photograph of manatee

My NP then told me various stories about people who did not take care of their diabetes.  First we had the guy who fell asleep smoking a cigarette.  When he woke up later he had burned a large hole in his foot.  Since his feet have bad circulation he didn't even feel it.  Sooner or later he will lose his feet.  Her bother also had the disease and she described his prolonged death in a nursing home. I can also look forward to glaucoma, cataracts, hearing loss, hypertension, ketoacidosis, strokes, kidney failure, neuropothy, coma, gum disease, depression, skin infections, gastroparesis, perifial arterial disease, rabies, gonorrhea, ringworm, prostate trouble (in women only), malaria, excessive flatulence, mad cow disease, did I mention rabies?  Parvo, elephantitis, blackheads, werewolve syndrome, walking-backwards-syndrome, foreign hand syndrome, hoof and mouth disease, hemorrhoids, and even rabies.

And most of all you will lose your limbs... bit by bit by bit.  Until there is nothing left but your head.

But I am afforded the opportunity to try to reverse my disease or put off the worse of it for as long as possible.  I need to lose a few pounds (eh probably 160 or so) and get regular exercise (YIKES) and manage my blood sugar level.  So far I don't seem to be able to eat anything. 
I am praying that the very real prospects of having body parts fall off bit by bit (I feel like a leper or a zombie) combined with the thought of having to shoot myself up will finally give me the motivation nothing else has been able to give me-- to not only lose the weight (as I have so many times before) but make sure it doesn't find me again.

So, you can feel sorry for me if you want to.  I know that I have earned this disease and I alone can do something about it now.  Since I can't use chocolate to numb the pain I will accept gift cards. 


ltlrags said...

Leprosy. That's the one thing you forgot to mention.

JC said...

I'm sure there's diabetic chocolate.

LeAnn said...



Diabetic Chocolate! An oxymoron if ever I heard one, lol

critterlover said...

Well, there is "sugar free" chocolate, but I really wouldn't recommend it as it will likely leave you doubled over in tummy pain and or running for the loo.

You can do it girl, I know you can. I believe in you!

Smooch - there... a carb free treat. :0