No, I’m not going to give you the typical symptoms like thirst, peeing a lot, losing weight, blurry vision and fatigue. I’m going to give you my 10 ways I know I have diabetes. Those 10 things I find myself doing only because I have diabetes.
- I find myself screaming, “How many carbs are in that pancake? You don’t know?! Can I see the box?!?” My day is filled with stuff ordinary people never think about.
- Shit, shit, shit! (and really I don’t usually curse) I wasn’t going to walk this morning because they predicted rain and now the sun is out! Walk? Don’t walk? Will I risk going low? Will I then have to eat when the last thing I want to do is burn calories only to have to eat more? Damn! How many other people beat themselves up for wanting to take a walk?
- I am afflicted with a terrorist torture — sleep deprivation. “I’m so tired, can’t I just lie here and fall asleep?” No, gotta get up, go into the kitchen and stick a needle in my finger to check my blood sugar.” Sunday morning replay: “I’m so sleepy, can’t I just lie here just a little longer? It’s only 6:45 a.m. for goodness’ sake.” No, gotta get up and stick a needle in my finger, and then two more to take my insulin.
- “Hmmm… That’s a cute designer diabetes accessory. It would carry all my syringes, vials, test strips.” God, did I really say that? I want out of this club, never mind the cute accessories.
- Wiping blood off my counter, my cupboard, my shirt — yuck, my food — with absolutely no notice, hesitation or dismay.
- “When’s dinner? When? You sure? Really? You’re sure?”
- Glucerna has a cereal for diabetics — a product just for us. Hmmm, I notice there an “us.” I don’t really want to know there’s an “us.” Yet now people with diabetes are worthy of marketer’s attention. Right up there with Lexus drivers.
- How often do I really have to go to my endocrinologist? I just found a prescription to get lab work done from July 30, 2011. Oops.
- Sneaking lunch into a noon movie, no sweat. Taking my shot in the dark, not so easy. Last time, I think I stuck the guy next to me.
- I just checked my blood sugar and forgot the number! Alzheimer’s? Dementia? Is it really true that lows cause dementia? Who cares, now I have to do it again!!
If you don’t know if you have diabetes, find out. Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include family history, being overweight, having a sedentary lifestyle, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and having given birth to a big baby. You can take the risk test on the American Diabetes Association website.
If you have any of the risk factors, have your health care provider give you a simple blood test. While there are times I’d rather forget I have diabetes, there is never a time I wouldn’t want to know that I have it.
If you find out that you do have diabetes — seven million Americans have it and don’t know — you can write your own list!