Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Does Diabetes Hurt?

Ian asked me yesterday if diabetes hurts.

The short answer to that is: if you don't monitor it like an SOB, yeah, it hurts, and it eventually breaks you down and kills you. As does life. So.

When my sugar runs high (above 180 or 200) for a few hours in a day, I have a lot of problems with my feet. They start to throb, and then I get these shooting pains sometimes that go up my legs, usually when I'm trying to get to sleep at night. It means I have trouble sleeping. And I get sugar-high headaches, which are fucking annoying.

There are other symptoms of malaise as well - muzzy thinking, bitchiness, tiredness, trouble seeing - but I suppose these aren't actual *pain.* When my sugar's low, I start to shake and if I'm real low my vision starts to blacken. But, again, these aren't actually *painful* things.

The shots hurt about a third of the time. Sometimes there's burning when the insulin on the syringe goes into your skin. Sometimes you hit a blood vessel. Mostly, though, you're injecting into fat, and if you do it firm and fast, it doesn't hurt much. If, like me, you have to reuse needles, it probably hurts more than it should, and generally toward the end of the day when you're taking your third shot with the same syringe, which is now duller than it was during the first shot in the morning.

And, you know, I have some reservations about saying "if you take care of it, diabetes isn't so bad," because you know, you can do everything "right" and still have fucking bad days. There's nothing more frustrating than doing everything right and hitting 226 and feeling like shit (for physical *and* psychological reasons; ie guilt). There can be stress, unexpected sugar syrup in a latte that was supposed to have sugar-free, a haggerd schedule with no room for exercise... in other words, Life can come between you and The Numbers.

Which is kind of ironic, if you think about it.

1 comments so far. Got something to say?

Jackie M. said...

I think the "if you take care of it, diabetes isn't so bad" is somewhat more applicable to Type 2 folks, whose bodies are still capable of doing some of the regulation. In your case, I've been really struck by how HARD you have to work to get your numbers under control... if my Dad goes home and eats well after eating like crap on vacation, his body will help damp the swings and he'll have his numbers back down in under a week. But you have to do it manually. And poking yourself with a goddamn needle three times a day almost just doesn't seem like enough...

But you are staying on top of it. And I think it will get easier with experience.