It's been nearly two years now since my original diagnosis.
That story is much like others' replete with the usual misdiagnoses, terrible weight loss and diabetic complications.
At present, my glucose is largely under control thanks to the Omnipod pump that I've been using for about a month.
My life has changed radically since this began. The loss of 65 pounds of hard-won muscle forced me out of the weight room where I had been accustomed to spending two hours a day, six days a week for years. The physical strength I once enjoyed is gone and at 62,I'm not sure it can be regained. I've begun to feel old.
Several of the complications that arose during the long months of high glucose continue. Notable among them are the neuropathy, both peripheral and autonomic, that have left my hands and feet numb and swollen, my vision deteriorating, my gums degenerating, and my whole body shaking with spasticity. The latter is under some control by means of four different drugs all of which are sedative.
Amazingly, despite all the tests, two hospitalizations, and on-going treatments, I still find myself doubting the reality of the disease; thinking that today I could turn off the pump and just go back to normal with no repercussions. It is an appealing thought, but irrational.
Like many of us, I spent my early months reading extensively about diabetes. I largely, however, skipped over the bits about the emotional impact thinking it was obvious and inapplicable to a gentleman of my age. I did not realize how big a part this would play in my life as well as for those around me, especially my wife. The problems arising from the chronic daily struggles, fears, and frustrations have been unexpected, difficult and depressing. There is no way these could be generalized in any book regardless of its sophistication insofar as they are entirely individual to each of us, reflecting our personalities and relationships.
Diabetes is relentless in its demands. Today, like every day, I wonder what will come next. Will it be health or illness, success or failure?