Confessions and complications

Here we are. Dreams are finally happening in life. Happily married to a wonderful woman, we own a beautiful home, have a good paying job, and doing quite well.

And then there's my diabetes.

I'd like to say I'm healthy - but that would only be continuing a pattern of denial that has entailed more than a decade of my life and is now becoming more "complicated." So, no more.

The fruition of these dreams mean it's a time in life where I finally must face the reality of a disease that I've too often ignored and shrugged off. But those crimes of my past are finally catching up all at once, and it's unfortunate that it's taken this long to push away the denial that has created this twisted, unwanted relationship with diabetes.

It's been 23 years with type 1 diabetes.

  • Neuropathy has nudged slightly, sometimes more forcefully, in recent years. Those tingling, numb, and fire-like feelings in the feet have become more common. It's come and gone, but sometimes been enough to keep me awake at night away from my beloved wife and comfort, sitting up in the dark or even just twitching on my side of the bed. Pain in the feet, upper legs is becoming more common and intense - Today it struck me on the upper inside leg leg while making a usual walk on lunchtime in downtown; had to stop for a moment and relax. Side effects of neuropathy (sweating, etc.) are noticeable.
  • Learned this year that retinopathy has finally hit, though about as minimally as it can at this point. This has been a longtime fear, one that I've dreaded my entire life. I grew up hearing that I'd go blind if I didn't take care of myself. And then, to hear the words "retinopathy" said by my eye doctor.... cue Niagra Falls as soon as I was in my car.
  • Then there's the heart. Have also started notice some pain and discomfort on the left side, even underpart of left arm - which causes concern. Getting that all tested.

Years ago in my mid-teens, the doc warned: "If you don't..... You won't live to see 20. Well, I may be on borrowed time now, but it doesn't make it any easier.

What's wrong with me? What's my mental block? Another blogger asked recently in a rhetorical manner... "What makes me so special that I can beat the odds?" It's not about beating odds; none of us can. Laziness, lack of willpower, a spoiled life that now hinders my ability to adhere to the basics of diabetes management. Only recently I've started testing at least 6 times a day. Using the OneTouch UltraSmart. Averages are still way too high, but it's a start. A long overdue one, but nonethless a step in the right direction.

So here goes. Getting to that point where I should have been all along. But a place that is where a healthy, well-managed diabetic needs to be. Cheers to lower A1Cs.


Anonymous said…
Sometimes the first bad complications (for me it was my eyes) will really wake you up and make you try and do the right things from now on. I got my only set of laser treatments on my eyes five years ago and since then haven't needed more.

You can only do your best from now on and not worry about what you didn't do in the past. If you try really hard every day, you can slow down the process, hopefully.
George said…
Hey Michael! I just found your blog on the OC website. I am a Type 1 on a pump and I am about a year into tryin to get my stuff together as far as my "D" goes.

I also suffer from Neuropathy in my feet and legs so I know how awful that can be!

Here's to lower A1C's and I look forward to reading your blog in the future!
Minnesota Nice said…
Welcome. The OC is a spectacular group of compassionate, funny and smart people.
I firmly believe that it is never too late for good control - that the body will respond in kind with even the tiniest effort on our parts.
Nice to have you on board (we're practically neighbors)

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