Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Mystery Post

Last week I was diagnosed with a life-changing disease. A disease that will make me think constantly about every single thing I do to my body for the rest of my life. Every move I make, every bite of food I eat. How I feel now, how I felt an hour ago, how doing something now might make me feel later.

Ironically, a complete lack of regard for my body is how I made this mess. And now… now it’s all I think about every single second. I overreact (internally – I’m not screaming in public or anything) to every little feeling.

“What’s that? Did my foot just tingle? Is it going numb? Do I feel nauseated? Should I eat something? Why do I have a headache? Is that normal? Will this scratch on my foot ever heal?”

I have diabetes, and I’m still in my 20’s.

Lots of people have diabetes. Lots of people are worse off than me. I can control this, potentially for the rest of my life, with just diet and exercise. I don’t have to give myself shots, I don’t have to test my blood sugar, I don’t have to have anything amputated.

Yet.

I think I’m overreacting to everything because I don’t trust myself to take care of myself. I’ve put nothing but bad things into my body for 29 years, how can I be sure that I’ll change now? Why can’t I just do the things that I know are good for me and walk away from the bad? My body is finally, dramatically, telling me to STOP, but I can’t guarantee I won’t eat my mother-in-laws Christmas candy.

(Hell, that candy might be worth it. It’s freaking good. Homemade peanut butter covered in homemade chocolate? Gee, okay, I’ll eat ten of those.)

I feel bad for my husband. He didn’t sign on for this – he signed on for a healthy, happy, slightly chubby girl. Now he has an overweight, moody woman. He didn’t think that someday his wife might have to have something amputated because she just couldn’t put down the Fritos.

And bean dip. Great googly moogly, I do love me some bean dip.

I have a blog on a weight loss website, and so far it’s been surprisingly helpful. I’ve lost some weight in the last week and a half, and it’s inspiring me to stay on track. So far, things are looking up. But I’m afraid of failing, of falling back on my bad eating habits and doing more damage. Maybe that fear is exactly what will keep me in line, but who knows.

I’m afraid to talk about this thing, this diabetes, and yet at the same time I feel the urge to shout it out to everyone. The few people that I have confided in have, for the most part, had very casual responses, like, “Oh, that sucks. Let’s talk about me now.” At first that really upset me, but now I think maybe it’s just a reaction to finding out we’re not invincible, we are getting older, and we all need to take better care of ourselves.

So maybe that can be the good that comes out of this – a message to everyone… PUT DOWN THE FRITOS AND BEAN DIP. OR YOU MAY LOSE A FOOT.

13 comments:

lizgwiz said...

Oh man, Mystery Poster, that just sucks! I have diabetes on both sides of my family...so far it hasn't come for me, but I think about it. I hope everything goes well for you!

3carnations said...

Thanks for sharing that with us. I know it's difficult to share things like that. Believe me I know.

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over a year ago. I dislike telling people because what I get are reactions of excess of sympathy. "Oh no. I'm so sorry. That's terrible." I DO get shots everyday, and it's not so bad. As far as being sorry...What I want to tell people, is I'm NOT sorry. When I was having all those MRIs, I was just praying that it wasn't a brain tumor. My prayers were answered. I've told very few people. Family, about half of my coworkers, a pastor. That's it.

I have two nephews with diabetes. It's a challenge for them, being so young. I'm confident that with time, you will find your way with this, and take good care of yourself and you'll be just fine. I'm hopeful that your husband will be a wonderful support system. I'll keep you (anonymously) in my prayers.

Sorry for the huge comment. :)

Sauntering Soul said...

Mystery Poster, my dad has diabetes and does not take care of it like he should. But he kind of approaches his entire life like that. He's only 67 but told me last year he hopes he doesn't live much longer and he never thought he'd make it this long. What a great attitude, huh? Please take care of yourself.

3carnations, I had no idea you have MS but it sounds like you're dealing with it in a very healthy way. Way to go!

sognatrice said...

You can do it! In my experience with losing weight, it's imperative thatWhile you're trying to take care of your physical self, you take care of your emotional self as well.

For me, a lot of the issues surrounding why I had put junk in my body for most of my life got cleared up once I started dealing with some emotional issues, so maybe that would help you too.

I still love all the bad stuff, so it's not always easy, but I love feeling as healthy as I can be just a bit more.

Great post :)

nancypearlwannabe said...

This is a rough situation, I'm so sorry about your diagnosis! I have to fight the urge to eat crap every day too, it's sobering to think that it could affect me in the long run. It's definitely not easy though, is it?

Anonymous said...

I know people who have diabetes, and I never really thought about it. I'm just like, oh well, that's too bad. I never thought about how it changes your whole life. Try not to be so hard on yourself; just take care of yourself and deal with the diabetes the best that you can!

Sarah said...

Mystery Poster, please take care of yourself!

My father and grandfather both have diabetes, and I was diagnosed around age 20 as being pre-diabetic. I took Metformin, a diabetes drug, for almost 5 years, and while it helped control the insulin resistance I had, it made me nauseous most of the time. I finally managed to lose the weight I need to in order to go off the drug.

My best advice is to cut out most of the sweets, but not all. Same for other unhealthy junk. I've found the more you restrict yourself, the more you want stuff. So, small amounts and not very often. Not only did I try to limit the junk, I just started eating smaller portions of stuff in general. In the last year, I've lost 30lbs.

I know that diabetes is still a constant threat, and there may come a time when my insulin resistance notches itself up to full diabetes, but I've come to terms with it, and you will too.

It take changes, but it can be handled. Speaking as the third of three generations, I know it can be.

That said, PLEASE take care of yourself. It can be handled IF YOU HANDLE IT. An uncle-in-law used to overeat, skip insulin injections, the whole nine yards, and he recently died at a fairly early age. So please, take baby steps if you have to, but you will overcome this if you try.

Good luck in learning how to deal with a new lifestyle! It will only get you if you let it.

Stefanie said...

Oh, man, that DOES suck! I always think if you have to get a disease, that's not a TERRIBLE one to get, as you're right--diet and exercise should keep it in line. From what I know, it's not just minor diet changes, though, so I know if it happened to me, I would be devastated. In fact, I'm terrified it IS going to happen to me... Both my parents have it, and THEIR parents almost all had it... I know none of them took very good care of themselves and therefore developed it late in life, so I like to think I'm safe, but obviously heredity plays a part.

I actually just had a physical last week, and I've been very nervously awaiting blood test results, hoping they don't tell me I have it already!!

Good luck to you; it sounds like you're doing the right things and are motivated to stay healthy.

nabbalicious said...

Holy crap, I'm so sorry! But it really sounds like you're on the right track. Please don't be so hard on yourself, girl. Take care of yourself.

Stinkypaw said...

Best of luck dealing with this, it won't be easy but I'm sure with the help of your husband you'll do just fine... as long as you don't stuff yourself with your mother-in-law's Christmas candy.

Noelle said...

As far as people telling you their stories, I'm going through the same thing. I'm currently rocking a broken ankle, and I now know the story of the injury of every other person I've talked with. It's natural for people to talk about themselves, it's actually done so they can relate to you, not to brush you off. Believe me, I know it's annoying, but try not to take it personally. Especially the way that I just did that to you!

Great post, thanks!

L Sass said...

There's nothing better reason than your health to lose weight! I know you can do it--and be a great example for other people struggling with diabetes.

Gwen said...

If it would help you at all I'd accept the MIL candy on your behalf. Seriously, though, take care of you. You're the only one you've got. It will be hard but it will be easier than losing a foot.