I was diagnosed at age 30 (in Dec. 2005) as a type 2 after having excessive thirst and polyuria. I had the nurse at work stick my finger and I had a BG of 350. Having 3 type 2 grandparents and being overweight I can’t say I was surprised that this was happening to me, but I was surprised that it was so soon. When I went to my doctor that afternoon he matter of factly told me that I was a type 2 diabetic, ordered some labs, and put me on metformin. He suggested I find a diabetes education class and sent me on my way. Being a Ph.D. neurophysiologist I shunned the idea of needing a diabetes education class with a bunch of people who don’t even have a rudimentary knowledge of basic physiology, I could manage this by myself. I have spent the last 4 years trying to figure out how to “cheat” the disease. I’ll get my blood sugar under control and then convince myself that I can start eating whatever I want again. I have handled diabetes the way I handle everything in my life: all or nothing! The rules don’t apply to me and neither do the consequences. Such personality traits have jeopardized many aspects of my life; school, relationships, and now my helath. My wife must be a saint, because she sticks by me in spite of such a self centered attitude. Wanting to change, but like a child I make the same mistakes over and over again.
As a Southern boy, food has always been a big part of my life and my culture, and now that culture threatens to take me from my wife and three children. My wife continues to be frustrated that I “choose” that piece of pecan pie or those fried oysters over her and the kids. I equate my problem to smoking (although I don’t smoke). I seem unable to control myself around food for any significant period of time.
I have finally decided to go to a diabetes specialist. There is a nurse practitioner in town that runs a very successful and popular diabetes clinic. She’s better than any endo around and she is my hope of getting myself on track. She is the first person to tell me that this is not my fault and that we are going to figure out the best treatment to get me healthy. She understands that I should be able to eat cereal and bread and an occasional piece of pie. She is also the first to suggest that I may actually be a type 1 and has ordered labs to properly diagnose me. She has started me on basal insulin and added Novolog as well. That was a big step for me because I have always heard and believed that once you start insulin you are at “the end” and can’t expect to live long, and I’m only 34 afterall. I realize, however, that not getting the proper treatment is what’s going to kill me. It’s only been a few days and I’m not seeing any effect from the insulin and I’m still waiting for my labs to come back. I realize I don’t have the right dose yet, but still I am frustrated and even depressed.
I once heard that when we pray for patience that God doesn’t give it to us; instead he gives us opportunities to be patient. Surely that is the anwer I am getting to my prayers. Just like everything in my life I am expecting a quick fix, all or nothing, immediate gratification. I am not getting it. Maybe, just maybe that is a good thing. Is this one of many crosses that I have been asked to carry in the past year that are causing me to examine greater issues in my life and personality and making me a better person?
So here I begin my journey, again. This time I begin it as a person of greater maturity, greater insight into my personality and how some of my character flaws have effected many aspects of my life. Most of all I begin this journey with even greater faith than ever and a realization that only through the grace of suffering and an emptying of oneself that it is possible to reach closeness with God. It may be trite, but also true that today is the first day of the rest of my life and a long life it will be