Hi there. My name is Charles, and I have diabetes type 2.
That’s how I introduced myself in my first blog post. So, why are you repeating yourself, I can hear you ask? Well, firstly, the first comment to my first every blog post made it clear that I had left some key information about me and my diabetes out of that posting, important stuff necessary to set a proper context to a blog like this. Secondly, and quite honestly, I simply didn’t realise that there was an “About Me” page in a WordPress blog site! Pretty stupid huh! I could of course blame my stupidity on my diabetes, but I believe the former pre-dates the latter.
Talking about myself is much harder than I thought it would be. I guess being oneself is a bit like driving a car – you know that you got from A to B, but the details of every journey aren’t so clear. I guess that, when you think about it, talking about yourself and your life is never really going to be the easiest thing. I’ve only ever been me, and only every lived my life, so have nothing to compare it to. That is my only frame of reference. The same goes for my diabetes type 2. I know that there was a time when I didn’t have it, and I know that I now have it – but how I got it is something of a sugary mystery to me to say the least. How did I get diabetes? How did I become obese? How does one lead to another? How come most everyone else I know doesn’t have the relationship with food that I have had all my life? All interesting questions, to me anyway. But cutting through all the bullshit, only one question remains – What am I going to do about it? That’s what this blog is all about. Its the beginning of a journey, a life or death journey, one that I am told millions of other people have involuntarily embarked upon. If you would like to join me on this journey, I would appreciate the support. In return I offer full disclosure of everything I think, discover, try, succeed and fail with (when I can be bothered to write it down) on my road to health, or self destruction.
I didn’t mean to sound too negative in that last sentence. Personally, I am optimistic with regard to my chances of reversing my Diabetes. There is so much going on in the world of diabetes, so very much hope for all of us. Besides, I have always had an irrational optimism, along with something of a no-sense approach to life in general. That’s right – no sense! After all, I wouldn’t be sat here writing about being a diabetic in the first place if I had any sense. I would be sat on an exercise machine, or reading the blog of some doctor with an ideal BMI who is an known expert on diabetes type 2, a condition that they have too much sense to have ever had first hand experience of. Most surely, this blog is not from a doctors perspective, but one from the guinea pig’s.
Anyway, what follows are my vital stats, for completeness if nothing else..
My name is Charles (yes, I know you know that). I am married and live in the north of England, the UK. I work as an IT consultant (no relevance whatsoever except that it might suggest the truth of my preferred, highly sedentary lifestyle). I am not impressively overweight, but I am about 50 pounds heavier that I know that I should be. I was diagnosed with diabetes in December 2012. I had been working abroad for 5 years up until that time, and had just returned back to the UK. On my first visit to see my parents, I remember watching my mother test my father’s blood sugar with a monitor that his doctor had given to him. He has diabetes type 2, but isn’t what you could call overweight, and was only diagnosed a couple of years ago at the age of 80. Given such a late diagnosis, and the fact that my mother, brother and sister do not have diabetes, I guess I can’t blame it on a hereditary condition, damn it! On the other hand, if it was hereditary I would feel less foolishly optimistic about the prospects of my kicking it’s butt! As to whether this suggests that a hereditary diagnosis would mean that I was less foolish, I can’t figure out – I guess that’s whether the stupidity kicks in. Anyway, back to what I was saying about that visit to my parents. I casually asked my Mum if she would test my blood sugar. So she did. We’ll just before the monitor blew up, it came back with a reading of 16.5 1 mmol/L (I believe that’s 297 mg/dL, in case you’re state side). And that was the beginning of my beautiful story..
Since then one visit to the doctor has followed another, the first most scary of all. I am currently on 500mg of metformin twice a day, along with one ramipril tablet once each day. I don’t have high blood pressure, but for diabetes the doctor tells me that its better for it to be a little lower than normal in order to protect the heart from the vascular ravages of the condition. As scary as it was at the beginning, fear was eventually replaced by distraction, which itself was replaced by complacency – that was until recently. Last time I went to the diabetes nurse I mentioned that I have a tingling sensation in my hands. The nurse looked rather sombre and replied, “Yes, that’ll be the neuropathy.. How are your feet?” I thought to myself, “Hang on! I thought I had diabetes? What is this neuropathy nonsense?” I suddenly felt a somewhat harassed, like when you go to by a car, and the salesman pressures you into buying a warranty, new floor carpets, and a furry dice for the window. The nurse continued to explain that neuropathy means nerve damage, caused by reduced oxygen levels. Reduced oxygen levels in diabetics is caused by high levels of sugar in the blood. Complacency suddenly switched right back to Scared, but I know this wont last because soon Stupid return. So I decided to write this blog to keep me focussed, to get some encouragement from people going through the same thing, and hopefully offer some hope and encouragement back. So that’s me – just some guy with diabetes type 2 who is determined to get better, and in the process find a few allies in this war against a common enemy. In words from Shakespeare’s Henry V, Act III, “Once more unto the breach, Dear friends!”