I was diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 in 1998. Its not a surprise, being an offspring of pure line diabetics, coupled with my dietary preference for sweets.
It was not such a big deal for me early on in the disease until I started getting all the weird stuff. Nagging headaches, numbness in my toes and hands, dizziness and increased sleepiness. My endocrinologist had to keep me in the hospital for 3 days because of dehydration (apparently I had more sugar in my blood than normal).
I was put on home medication (Metformin 500 mg and Pioglitazone 15 mg) for a good 5 years, and then I was shifted to Metformin 850 mg because I was rapidly gaining weight with Pioglitazone. And then I was fine.
Until two weeks ago.
I started having chest pains, breathing problems and nausea. I was extremely thirsty all the time and no amount of fluid would quench the thirst. I was ordered to have my blood chemistry done, together with a urinalysis and 2D echocardiogram.
Wake up call.
My blood sugar is out of whack again. Way too high. The doctor is amazed I did not have any episodes of losing consciousness. She ordered for a new set of medications because she wanted to decrease my sugar level rapidly to avoid damage to my liver and kidneys. I have to take my blood sugar reading twice daily - after I wake up in the morning and another one two hours after dinner. (Ack! Those glucometer strips cost a fortune!)
My urinalysis revealed a 4+ presence of sugar. I guess my body can't contain all of it and starting throwing it out in my urine. Another sign that I really need to start taking care of myself.
Lastly, my blood cholesterol levels are unbelievably high too. In Type 2 DM, increased blood sugar levels impairs the function of the liver to break down fat in the diet. This fat (specially the Low Density Lipoprotein of "bad cholesterol") may be deposited in the walls of blood vessels putting me at risk of a heart attack. Hence, the request to have a 2D Echocardiogram done.
During first few days of drastically altering my diet, I was practically in tears every time I would sit down for a meal. I totally shunned rice and replaced it with complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes. I had boiled vegetables instead of stir-fried, and I had my favorite spicy pork adobo with nothing else. Can you imagine a Filipino having adobo without any rice? What a bummer.
I shifted my love for packaged snacks to boiled peanuts. White bread to wheat bread. Water, water and more water. The only thing I haven't done yet is to start an exercise plan. I can't do it yet without my doctor's approval.
So now, I go along each day with the feeling of a hatchet hanging over my head. That things can go wrong anytime.
Until such time that I get assurance from my endocrinologist that everything is under control, I would have to do my part to manage my sugar and cholesterol levels in the best way I can.
I have drafted a strategy to accomplish this goal:
1. I will eat healthy.
2. Doing housework will be my exercise.
3. I will stay away from stress (Avoid the undesirables at work who do nothing but cause stress)
4. I will never fail to measure my blood glucose levels at the appropriate time
5. I will take my oral medications regularly to avoid having to shift to using an insulin pen
6. I will do calming exercises. (Blogging IS my calming exercise)
7. I will always be "HAPPY HAPPY." (Just like Coach Ty Bundit tells his team when they have their backs against the wall - "You play happy happy!")
So there. I am now on the journey to get back to the pink of health.
God willing, I will get through this.