Thursday, May 5, 2022

It's All in the Blood Sugar (Day 125, Year 2)

If you would have told me two weeks ago that I'd be (indefinitely, probably forever) checking my blood sugar multiple times a day, I would have told you that were a lunatic. 

But, here I am, celebrating a blood sugar under 100 and mourning all the others that did not meet my expectations (which is all of them, except for the one under 100). 

It sucks, really. When I've told people about my Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, they've been shocked. I've noticed some subtle and not-so-subtle micro assessments of my person and quick calculations about my lifestyle choices. One person said to me: "BUT YOU ARE NOT OBESE!" And I said, "Well, thank you, I guess, but so what if I was?"

I know we've all been told that chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high-cholesterol are the result of bad lifestyle choices and obesity. And while living fast and loose and being overweight or sedentary does absolutely impact your cholesterol and blood sugar and blood pressure; it is just one piece of the puzzle. 

We are not always to blame for the health conditions that befall us; we just have to try to do our best to take care of ourselves and every last insane, imperfect, horrendous condition. 

Of course, this is easier said than done. Having Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and borderline high cholesterol all scares me. But, I've controlled my hypertension with medication and lifestyle, so I know that the other things can be managed, too. I started medication for my borderline high cholesterol, so it never becomes high. And my diabetes, well that remains the biggest shock. I am working on understanding it, easing into my medication protocol, meeting with a dietician and getting familiar with my blood sugars.

I never gave my blood sugar a thought before. Now it is all I think about. 

And this is all a big deal. Uncontrolled diabetes increases your risk of high blood pressure (as does having a history of preeclampsia). High cholesterol also increases your risk of high blood pressure. And having high blood pressure increases your risk of it getting higher. And the higher it gets, the higher your risk for heart attack, stroke and even things like dementia. 

High blood pressure feels me with terror; so in turn I spend my days thinking about everything that raises it. 

It's overwhelming. And then I also feel like a loser talking about the overwhelm; because chronic health conditions like diabetes and hypertension and high cholesterol are not rare. I am not the first 44 year old who isn't "unhealthy" to experience these chronic health conditions; even though it sure feels that way because I don't know very many others talking about it. 

And then, of course, I feel like a drag droning on and on. But, here I am with an endless loop of blood sugar thoughts in my head. So for now, friends, it's all in the blood sugar, until, well, it isn't. 


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