Health is wealth 

So they say. The closer I get to becoming a senior citizen (you choose your number) the more true this becomes to me. In the indestructible days of youth, I could stay out all night, drink beer till the cows came, eat as much and whatever I wanted and then get up and work a ten hour day.

Unfortunately there is a cost to all that and for me it started in my late forties. I had never had a problem controlling my weight, I didn’t even worry about it, my weight never really changed until it did. I was aware that getting older I would probably have to eat a little better and get some specific exercise and cut down on the beer but it seemed that wasn’t enough. 

Health can slip away quickly

I seemed to really start to fall apart health wise quite rapidly and all of a sudden. My blood pressure went insanely high, to the point that I was hospitalized for it and the hospital staff called in all the other staff to see the guy who set the new high score on the blood pressure machine. 

I was both fortunate and unfortunate at the same time. After three days in the hospital, multiple blood tests and two MRI’s they could find nothing wrong with me. My organs all tested “great” as they said. After a few days my blood pressure came down to a level below the “your gonna have a stroke any second” level and they sent me home with some blood pressure pills that seemed to do nothing.

Stress is a killer

By this time my weight had gone from the svelt 175 pounds that I had been all my adult life to 240 pounds. I was under a lot of stress. I was going through my second divorce. My business was failing. My corrupt business partner had gotten me sucked into several legal battles. I was irrational, emotional, easily angered, could not reason things out and was having trouble remembering things. My family and friends had taken note how my personality had changed and tried to talk to me about it but I thought they were turning on me as I felt everyone was.

Along with these emotional things, physical things started to happen. The skin on the bottom of my feet became very hard and rough.  When I got up in the morning my feet were so sore I could hardly walk. I got toenail fungus. My eyesight was getting blurry. I was getting boils on the back of my neck that were getting so infected that I was going to a doctor to get antibiotics every couple of months. My joints were sore. I could not climb a flight of stairs without getting chest pains. I was always hungry. I could not eat enough food. I was always thirsty but I did not drink water instead I drank orange juice, milk, diet soda and beer. 

The importance of getting tested

I did not have a regular doctor as he had retired a few years earlier, so I had just been going to random walk in clinics to get pills for the infections otherwise I would have gotten the help I needed earlier. Finally a doctor told me he would not give me any more antibiotics unless I got a blood test for diabetes. I did not know much about diabetes at the time but I did know about the constant thirst as a symptom. I suspected it might be diabetes but I was pretty much in denial about everything in my life. I gave in and went for the blood test.

A few hours after the blood test the doctor personally phoned me to tell me to come see him immediately. I had just guzzled a couple beers so I told him I would see him in the morning. He told me if I had shortness of breath or chest pains, I should call an ambulance. If the object was to scare the crap out of me, I can safely say “mission accomplished”.

I thought it was a death sentence

I visited the doctor the next day at which point he said he had some bad news for me. He said my glucose level was “quite High”. He told me I had an A1C of 23 mmol/L (414 mg/DL). I asked if that was high? He said that if I didn’t take the ten pills a day he was prescribing me, I was a walking heart attack. 

The blog posts that follow are my experience dealing with the diagnosis and learning to deal with Diabetes. Check the posts on diabetes and diet. Leave a comment or question that I will be happy to answer.