Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Diabetes Diaries

Indi's post here reminded me that I haven't told you the state of play with my whole peeing in a test tube and diabetes thing. Well, basics, as my kids would say, because to say the word basically is just so time consuming, the results came back and are that I've got type 2 diabetes, something I take as good news.

It's good news because I now know the illness that's causing the symptoms and can get on with treating it and moving forwards, in my own little backwards way. I heard on the radio the other day that there has been a fifty per cent increase in people with type 2 diabetes in the last five years in the UK. I also heard that the chances of getting it if you're a South Asian male over forty are about as high as the chances of a lead singer, in a gig, forgetting to go to a chorus and then turning round and glaring at the rest of the band as if they've played the wrong thing. Which is to say, pretty much a dead cert.

So having this type 2 diabetes thing means that, and please forgive me if I get the technical stuff a bit wrong as I'm not Jennifer Aniston or one of those other scientific types, my body isn't particularly talented in the field of extracting sugar from my food and making it into energy. I think that's because the RD body in question isn't very good at producing insulin, which is what helps it to do all the converting sugar into energy stuff.

Apparently fellows can have it for months, maybe even years before the symptoms accumulate and they got to their Doctor's because they're concerned about them, exactly what happened in my case. If you know me then I think you'll agree that it's fair to say I'm not a fat bloater type of chap. I eat a reasonably balanced diet, I get a fair amount of exercise from drumming and I don't drink much alcohol.

So I'm now on drugs, to do stuff, and after about a month I'm getting a full night of sleep without a barrage of toilet trips. I'm not getting through an ocean of Evian water each night, bad news for the mineral water industry but good news for me, and I'm not getting cramps in my legs at the most inopportune moments; drum solos and the like.

I'll tell you what, sleeping through the night after months of nights feeling as if I've had a dozen short naps, is exhilarating, luxurious and a teeny bit of a mindfuck. It's much harder for me to wake up these days as the alarm clock has to do the job of raising me from deep instead of light, might need to get up and pee at any moment, sleep. Then, once I'm up and have done the whole scratching my balls, rubbing my eyes and farting ritual, I'm all bright eyed and bushy tailed. I hit the day with the enthusiasm of a forger who's just been asked to do a load of new Lankan Rs 1000 notes.

I have to eat breakfast, something I'm not used to and therefore a large change in the routine. Each morning, were you to be one of G's many sexual partners, you'd be able to witness me in my apartment munching furiously through a bowl of cereal, a couple of Ryvitas or some natural yoghurt.

Just in case you didn't know G is the bloke who lives in the apartment directly opposite me, with a boat, a 911 and more girlfriends than Hugh Heffner in a good year. I've discovered that he's also a captain of industry and sold one of his companies some time ago for many millions. Frankly I don't understand what these girls see in him.

Cereal, Ryvitas and natural yoghurt are somewhat girly breakfasts but this has to be done. I'm talking about cereal that doesn't even have a plastic toy in the box as well. No dinosaur or tiger anywhere to be seen. I've always liked ryvitas and natural yoghurt is just curd but made under hygienic conditions, so there's no big hardship there but I could kill for a big English brekkie or some strings though.

And that is the state of play. It's also been quite a good reminder to me of the many good things about the UK National Health Service. The treatment has been good and serious, though I do get a bit annoyed with some of the red tape and bureaucracy. On Friday I'm going to an all day thing where they teach us about diabetes, what to do, eat and all. It might be a bit boring but I reckon it will be useful information. I've been given a flu jab, a swin flu jab and I now get free prescription medication. How cool is that? The drugs are on me!

It sounds all good and it largely is.

Except for my Mum. You know her, the Sri Lankan mother who's also a Doctor.

I shake my head in despair, you can probably imagine what I'm going through.

By the way, did you know that the word "yoghurt" come up as an error when you run the spellcheck thing here? That's Americans for you!


crystal flame said...

my dad too just got diagnosed with the same.. I was wondering whether I should send him the glucose meter etc.
are you using it? or not at that stage yet?

good to hear the meds are working.. =)

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

CF - thanks, my blood sugar was very high but I've decided not to get a meter for myself as I think I'll end up monitoring too frequently. I'm having regular check ups at the Dr's so it's looked at there. Maybe it would be a good thing to give your Dad though, I don't know what the monitoring situation is like in Sri Lanka/

Anonymous said...

Good to see u've taken charge of the situation and surprised that the NHS seems pretty good! You are lucky! I'm borderline diabetic and don't do much abt it...perhaps I shd take ur example,and take more care!


Rhythmic Diaspora said...

F - I've been surprised too! Frankly the symptoms had got so bad that I had to do something about them alone.

I've found out that South Asian men in their 20s are as likely to get diabetes as their western counterparts in their 40s are, a scary fact. One thing I don't understand is if it's genetic or because of the diets we eat. I don't know if the same applies to women though. x

Anonymous said...

OMG that sounds scary! Perhaps it is our diet,but one can never tell! mine is probably hereditary...both parents had them, and I've had it since my late twenties, post delivery...hmmm! it's pretty case to case I assume!


LG said...

Its better to check with a glucometer. So U get an idea which food makes ur blood sugar level goes up and down.
And it also helps u decide, how much exercise u need to do, and u can do!
The first days of discovering diabetic dilemma is so freaking out experience. But you will get used to it soon and it will be like a normal thing- taking pills, checking with glucometer once in a while, watching out ur diet, etc

Just don't let this affect u in a negative way..diabetics is not that bad ;-)

Dee said...

ohhh my mum has that :( Just keep off the sweets and exercise, should be ok :) Also don't forget that ur in control coz my Mum now has to take insulin shots when she previously only took the pills