Diabetes

I was told that I had diabetes on the day before my 30th birthday. I wasn’t obese, and there wasn’t much that I could have done to avoid it. In fact given my family history, I pretty much expected to get Diabetes one day. I just thought it would be at least another ten years further down the line.

The doctor that diagnosed me also reassured me that with modern treatments I could still expect a reasonable life span, and I would not have to go on a diet of pure lettuce in order to survive. The other medical staff that treated me said much the same. Unfortunately no one told the diabetes that. This disease is not sticking to the plan.

My cholesterol was already below average, at 4. (The target for a healthy person is below 5.)  The first change I made was to my diet. My new diet did reduce my average blood glucose (HbA1c) down to about 10. The target for this is 7, though, and so I started taking Metformin. Metformin is like the wonder drug of diabetes. Someone taking Metformin can expect to extend their expected lifetime by as much as fifteen years, and as such it is now given to nearly everyone with diabetes.

At first a 500mg dose of Metformin got my blood glucose back in the desired range of 4 – 7 mmol/l and my HbA1c back to 7.1. After a few months it had all crept back up, and my dose was increased to 1g per day. That kept is down for a little while longer, and then my blood glucose went back up again and my dose was increased to the maximum of 2 grams per day. My next checkup found my HbA1c to be around 8 and so I was given Gliclazide in addition to the Metformin. 40mg per day seemed to be very effective – too effective, in fact, and I had several hypos. (Hypoglaecemia, where the blood glucose drops below 4mmol/l and results in shaking, dizziness, even fainting and coma.) Despite the hypos, my HbA1c was STILL not below 8 so I ended up increasing that to 80mg per day.

I have been ill in bed through most of December and all of the time from January onwards with fatigue and pain from what is probably an M.E. relapse. In that time whenever I have checked my blood glucose I have found it to be up near 10 – 15 mmol/l which is very bad. My GP put it down to me being immobile and prescribed an increase in my Gliclazide dose to 120mg per day. In the few weeks that I have been taking that dose, I have rarely measured less than 10 mmol/l.

During that time in bed I have been in intense pain on a whole new level from my previous aching caused by the M.E. The pain seems to be neuropathic in nature, with lots of burning sensations and stabbing pain in addition to the aching that I have had for years. There are several potential causes of this, with one suspect being fybromyalgia, which often accompanies M.E. Another possiblity is diabetic neuropathy which is caused by deterioration of the nerves as a result of high blood sugar but my doctor did not think this likely as I have only had diabetes for 30 months. I am undergoing lots of blood tests to try and get a diagnosis.

Then today I got a letter that I really didn’t want to get. At my recent diabetic retinopathy screening, background retinopathy was found in my right eye. Retinopathy is basically damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye caused by prolonged high blood sugar levels. It eventually causes blindness. Nobody would expect to get diabetic retinopathy until they have had diabetes – and uncontrolled hyperglycaemia – for many years. It seems that I am already starting to be effected. The level I have at the moment does not receive any extra treatment but it must be monitored closely in case it deteriorates further.

So there we have it. I have had diabetes for a mere two and a half years, at least ten years earlier than anyone expected, and I have already exhausted the possibilities of two medicines used to treat it, am already getting eye problems, and I have a crippling pain that is potentially caused by the diabetes too. This is progressing at a staggeringly fast rate. If it carries on then I will soon be injecting insulin, may well go blind within a few years, and could well have neuropathic pain for the rest of my life.

I am crying as I write this. I’m scared. Very scared. I want to live to see forty.

Author: Latentexistence

The world is broken and I can't fix it because I am broken. I can, however, rant about it all and this is where I do that when I can get my thoughts together. Most of the time you'll find my words on Twitter rather than here though. I sometimes write for Where's The Benefit too.

8 thoughts on “Diabetes”

  1. Wow dude that is double harsh *HUG*. I know about living in fear of your life, and about the pain, and I know there’s not much people can say to make it go away. I CAN tell you I respect you tremendously for how well you’re handling it (I know it may not feel like it but trust me, I’ve known people go to pieces for far less, so please accept some heart felt Kudos at least). On a practical note is there anything myself or those around me can do to alivate some of your troubles. This isn’t just a ‘i wish i could help’ thing, think long and hard for a moment, is there anything we can help out with, such as researching stuff? Of course I’m more than happy to sit down with you and talk you through some of my own pain management systems. some may seem a lil nuts BUT they’ve worked for me so far.

    I know things seem to be progressing far faster than they should, and i know you are suffering far more than you should (hell does ANYONE deserve to suffer this much pain?) but the one thing i also know is you have tremendousness strength of character. I’ve seen that pull people through a lot, even if they wish it didn’t at times. So please, think a bit, and if there’s anythign we can do ask (some ideas include… cheacking up on any ‘miricale diet’ theories, or researching ways of incorporating exercises or nutritiional thigns into your life whilst takign your other health issues into acount-again soemthign i’m used to) to somethign to helop the spirit more, such as running through some basic magic tricks as a hobby to help keep you saine and focused whil’st your astuck at home, right throguh to just being there to chat on line at times
    *HUG* or maybe even hauling my huge hairy but over to see you guys :0
    take care ok mate *HUG*
    stay strong, even though life is often easier if you don’t *HUG*
    Dean

  2. Thank you all. I am feeling really down and stress is taking a physical toll too, maybe I am overreacting and panicking. I need someone that isn’t having trouble thinking to tell me what to expect.

  3. my father’s  age is 50 i has diabetes, he has dizziness for 4-5 times in day what its sign?

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