A Very Private Diabetes Complication

A Very Private Diabetes Complication

I received my pickle over 60 years ago. I have had it all my life. Shortly after others saw my pickle, it was shaved and after that, my pickle pretty much just grew along with me.

At times my pickle seemed to have a mind of its own. It seemed like it wanted to explore anywhere and everywhere. It tried to roam near and far mostly with me in tow until I was 18. Then my pickle settled down and became less important.

Things like backpacking, cars, work and family became important to me. Over the years my pickle would seek attention and then it might drift away. I suppose looking back on it, like most men, my pickle has always been important.

After I was diagnosed with diabetes, my pickle seemed alright. The doctor warned me that someday my pickle might not be resilient if I did not take care of my diabetes. Of course, I didn’t listen. I had other things to worry about. Then in my 30’s my pickle stopped being so crisp. When that happened, I went to see a pickle specialist. This person took an interest in my pickle and offered a solution to my pickle problem. This pickle specialist offered an AMS 700 to solve my increasingly annoying pickle problem. The AMS 700 is a special type of pickle packer which helped my pickle be crisp again without using painful injections. My newly packed pickle was great because I hated putting needles into my pickle.

While all this worked, it was not an ideal pickle solution. My pickle was not as crisp as it was when I was 20. But regardless my pickle did function. I enjoyed my new pickle possibilities. Even a specially packed pickle is better than a pickle that is not crisp.

The pickle specialist always reminded me to take care of my pickle. I was warned to practice caution while I went about my life. The pickle specialist said it was possible to bruise my pickle and if I did it may no longer be stout. I was cautioned to keep my pickle out of unwelcoming environments. But most important of all, I was reminded that I had to watch for a special pickle blight called infection.

Bad toe and more
Things went along well for over 20 years and then on December 21, 2017, I encountered a bad toe. I took all appropriate actions. I informed my doctors of my special pickle arrangement, and I took care to follow the instructions of the surgeon. All seemed well with my pickle and other parts when I went home the very next day to celebrate Christmas.

After I got home, I developed two red patches on my back. Then my mouth became infected. But still, I did not worry. Surely my many parts would be fine. I had these types of things before, and while these minor infections are annoying, it was routine for a person who uses powerful medication to control his Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Then on Christmas evening, my pickle started to look different. It took two days to see my new pickle specialist. When he saw my pickle, he admitted me to the hospital immediately. I had a night of special medicine, but my pickle was not responding. Then on December 28, I had emergency pickle surgery. It turns out my AMS 700 pickle packer had developed the dreaded blight of infection. It was a difficult evening.

The good news is I still have my pickle. My hip, heart, toe, ankle, and pickle are all infection free. Recovery has been a long road since the start of 2018. But I am getting better. My pickle will never be the same, and that will be alright. Someday I may have another packed pickle, but I must wait at least six months or maybe more. In the meantime, I have an unpacked pickle that remains very important to me. Even if it is not as crisp as before.

This post was originally published on RADiabetes.com.

Rick Phillips
Rick Phillips

Lawrence ‘Rick’ Phillips was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age sixteen in 1974 while at Disney World (proving it is not always the happiest place on earth. Rick started his career in Local Government in 1979. He eventually served as a City Controller and Development Director for two Cities and Director of Business for two School Districts in Indiana before his retirement. He earned a Doctor of Education in 2013. Rick writes about his life with Type 1 Diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis at RADiabetes.com. Rick and his wife Sheryl live in Central Indiana. Rick speaks about their grandchildren often, and their sons occasionally.

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Sharon Kabbes Chrisman
Sharon Chrisman
5 years ago

Pickles are important. A person who talks about his private pickle matters should be congratulated on sharing his story. Respect!

5 years ago

Thanks, Rick, for sharing something so personal, but pertinent to Diabetes life. My daughter is the T1 diabetic, so she won’t have to deal with this particular issue, but it’s a good reminder of the risk of infection in diabetes that may not be as well managed as it could be or if you have to take immuno suppressants for another AI disease, like RA (that I know, as I have RA). My grandmother had Type 2 andnit was an toe infection that spread into her bloodstream that eventually took her life. So important to keep a close eye on… Read more »

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