I recently discovered a fun new life adventure. I started having to go to the bathroom frequently. Now, I know, you thought, “Wow, that DOES sound like fun. Where can I sign up?” I would be perfectly fine a few minutes away then suddenly have to pee like I had been holding it for hours. One day, I had to sprint in my house and leave the keys hanging in the doorknob. This became very embarrassing. Nothing says, “professional” like trying not to do the “pee pee dance” in front of a client. I started looking for adult diapers in size “king Hippo”.
With this new found superpower, I decided to put my symptoms into WebMD. Never, ever, ever, for the love of all the is holy, never do that. The first thing that pops up when you type ‘’frequent urination” into Google or WebMD was “kidney failure”. Then “bladder cancer” pops up. Last, “diabetes” shows up. All of these made a fine anxiety stew to just about cause a panic attack. I read a little more and decided to go to the pharmacy and get so strips to find out if there was glucose in my urine, and there was. Then I Googled/WebMD’d “frequent urination” and “glucose in urine”. Again, never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever do that.Again, the first thing that popped up was “kidney failure”.
I decided to schedule an appointment with a doctor. There was just one issue…I did not have a doctor.I had to call my insurance to find a doctor. One nice thing about our health care today, you can call an insurance company and after a mere 65 minutes on the phone you have the phone number of a doctor. Actually that should be “doctor” because I got the number of a massage therapist who accepts my health insurance. Now, I am a fan of a nice liniment rub as the next horse-sized individual, but I didn’t think that Rubby McRubberson was going to give me the diagnosis I wanted. So I got to call my insurance company again. If you think more than one phone call to an insurance company is fun, well, you probably enjoy the DMV on “free chili and hard boiled egg” day. Eventually, I found a doctor and scheduled an appointment for the next day. I took the day off work and went to the doctor’s office. As I walked into the doctor’s office, the receptionist/appointment taker said “Oh, our office is closing”. I told her that I had an appointment, but I didn’t mind coming back after lunch. She said, “No, not closing for lunch. Closing. We are no longer practicing medicine.” Total time since I made the appointment, 11 hours. If you think three phone calls to an insurance company are fun, then we can’t be friends. I finally got 7 numbers for doctors. On the sixth number I called, I found an individual who matched all the criteria of: 1) being a doctor 2) being a doctor of medicine 3) being alive/still in business 4)Accepting my insurance. As luck had it, they were also accepting new patients. It took six phone calls to numbers received from my insurance company to find a person who matched all the criteria. I can’t wait to file bankruptcy for medical bills, sure to happen with such a fine and “on the ball” insurance company. That, or II go in for a sinus infection and come out with a different gender.
I finally got a hold of a doctor, and got an appointment two weeks from the day I called. “ Two weeks? But I am sick now”. I Googled/WebMD’d again. (I don’t know if you heard, but that is a bad idea. ) It suggested that one of the causes could be drinking too much coffee. I decided to quit caffeine right away. If you want to stop caffeine, I do not recommend this particular method. I thought I was dying. Not “man cold” dying, but “if I call 911, maybe they will cut my head off for me” dying. I was nauseous, had a migraine that was not only a mother but a father and a whole series of subsequent generations, was worried about my impending kidney failure/bladder/cancer/ovarian tumors (turns out I don’t even have ovarians), and every single joint in my body hurt. Every knuckle, toe, wrist, knee, elbow, shoulder, neck, and most of my back hurt. Somehow I survived. “Somehow” being mostly sobbing and asking to be waterboarded instead. Eventually, after a mere 72 hours, I only had a migraine.
I finally made it to the doctor and had to get blood drawn. I had an initial interview with the doctor. I asked about the caffeine because I wanted/still want/may always want coffee. He asked how much coffee I drank. I know I told him the wrong answer when he shouted ‘Whoa!”. I told him the truth that I drank 8-10 cups a day. That is only the truth because in order to drink 12-14 cups of coffee a day, one must first drink 8-10. He told me “No caffeine and no alcohol” and I had to come back in 48 hours.
I went back to the doctor. The medical assistant left me in the room with my lab work. Since my lab work said “For Doctor blank”, it never even occurred to me to read it. Ha, Ha Ha Ha. I had that lab work open before the door was shut. It said, “dear fatty, you have diabetes. P.S. I know you are reading this without the doctor”. Actually, it had a breakdown of all my numbers and the one that tells if you have diabetes is a measurement called A1C combined with a lack of a certain protein showing kidney failure or other markers for cancer. A1C is supposed to be below 7%. Mine was 12%. Personally, I think the doctor left the lab work in the room on purpose, knowing I would read it. He also sent me to an endocrinologist to get some medicines. The doctor was actually a pretty great guy. We talked about my depression and how people diagnosed with diabetes often fall further into depression. ( I am not sure why. I mean, I can’t eat almost anything that is prepackaged, I basically brought this on myself with my diet and weight, If I am not careful I could slip into a coma or destroy some organs, and no matter how much I get it under control, I will eventually need more and more medicine. What about all that would depress anyone?). He also told me I shouldn’t call diabetes “the sugar hiv” (hiv said as one word, not letters).
I left the doctor’s office and tried to call a bunch of people. Most people didn’t answer the phone, so I sent out a mass text. I was told by many people that my text wasn’t funny. They are wrong, I am always funny. My text said, “Good news, bad news. I gave myself diabetes, but at least I don’t have to worry about my 401k.” I visited the endocrinologist and got some medicines.
One medicine is called Metformin. A very small portion of people get digestive problems from Metformin. What are the odds that I would fall into that group? Apparently 1 in 1. The first three days should have been called ‘Sorry you thought you had other plans” instead of ‘digestive distress”. On the other hand, in 6 hours I had met my three week weight loss goal.
I have had to deal with the anger of the disease. Unlike almost all the other diseases, I pretty much brought this on myself. I have struggled with self negativity in the past. In fact, a counselor had me count how many times I thought a negative thing about myself and I lost count after 167. That was pre-diabetes. Now, that number is laughably low. Now, in addition to work stress, financial stress, the inability to make and/or keep friends, being terminally single, being one of the few people who actually liked the Green Lantern movie, and having no hobbies, I also have a disease I gave myself. Also, the medicine seems to be making me lose my hair.
Since my diagnosis, I have also found out that a lot of people in my life already have diabetes. That is making it easier, though I don’t really want to be in that club. Our secret hand shake is pulling sugar packet out of a pocket.
So now, I have to adjust my life style. Every pain in my body causes me to be certain that I have messed up too much and now organs have failed. I got an exercise tracker that cost $250 and could track my heart rate. Then, three weeks later, I got to buy another one because I lost it. I have started dieting, always fun. I still am not allowed to drink alcohol. I am also not allowed to drink coffee. I coffee barely coffee even coffee notice coffee the coffee lack coffee of coffee delicious coffee coffee coffee. The worst part of the disease so far is the fact that I am continually having songs like “Pour some sugar on me” go through my head. I guess there wasn’t a big market for ‘Pour some artificial sweetener like sweet n low or splenda on me”.