I’ve had a lot of people call, text, and email me this weekend to ask why I was suddenly off the radar and in the hospital last week. I figured it would be easier to blog everything once than it would be to respond to each and everyone separately, so here goes…
I have secretly been battling a few things (won’t go into detail) over the past few months that we couldn’t really find a solution for that I had just chalked up to “Oh well, I’m turning 40 this year, time for stuff to start hurting”, but it turned out to be much more than that. Early last week I started having sharp pains in my side followed by nausea, it hurt to sit down. Donna called Dr. Rook and he said for me to come on in. While I was explaining to him some of my symptoms he had one of the nurses come in and prick my finger, that’s when things got real. My blood glucose levels were off the chart, Dr. Rook looked at me and said, “You are going in the hospital for a few days!”. For the sake of time I will go with the abridged version of this past week from here on out. For the next few days I would experience the gamut of unpleasant things that Diabetes has to offer, vision loss, numbness in extremities, extreme leg cramps, headaches, extreme thirst, etc. I bet I’ve had my finger poked a thousand times since last Monday and no telling how many insulin shots. A few times my blood sugar was so high the handheld glucometers that the nurses carry around w/ them wouldn’t read my blood sugar so they had to call someone from the lab to draw my blood to take w/ them to get a reading. All the while a few of my nurses would offer up encouraging thoughts like, “if your sugar doesn’t get down you can lose your hands, feet, legs or arms before you know it!”
The verdict was that I have type II Diabetes, which is actually sort of a relief to us because when we were admitted they said that it sounded like I had type I, which meant that my pancreas was completely fried. In addition, my pancreas, liver, spleen, and kidneys are all enlarged partly due to the fact that this has gone on for a little while apparently. The sharp pain that initially led me to call Dr. Rook was my spleen, and it might have actually saved my life. The symptoms that I have been dealing w/ for a few months now are all directly related to diabetes so hopefully as my diabetes comes under control all of those crazy things will go away (a few already have). Before I went into the hospital I was getting up 15-20 times a night to go to the bathroom and that was making it increasingly hard to get rest (which likely made things that much worse), well I’m happy to report I only got up one time last night!
While at the hospital we met w/ an awesome Diabetes specialist (are they called Diabeticians?, I’d like to think so), anyway, she really helped me get up to speed w/ what all I have to look forward to for the foreseeable future and answered a lot of questions I had about the disease, since I was completely blindsided by it. While we were still getting used to the idea that I now have a “disease”, someone asked me what I was thinking, and how was I handling the verdict? My response was that I was initially intimidated because the temporary vision loss had really gotten my attention and nothing scared me more than when my arms and hands went numb, it’s always creeped me out. I also admitted that it wasn’t the idea of pricking my finger a few times a day and making myself bleed or giving myself injections that bothered me, instead, it was my lack of knowledge about the disease that was making it hard for me to sleep. My good friend, Neil Greathouse, also spent a lot of time w/ me and carefully went over my dietary plan with me, which helped a lot, he’s a pro! Since exercise is going to be just as big of a part to my management plan as the diet I leaned on my friend Pete Tanguay to bounce some ideas off of related to my workout / wellness approach. I thank God everyday for all of the wonderful people that God has put in my path, and trust me I know I’m going to beat this thing w/ God’s healing power, but there are a few things that I have to do to meet him halfway (not that he needs to be met halfway, but you know what I mean, I want to do my part).
I want to thank the staff at Dr. Rook’s office and Conway Regional for taking care of me, I have it on good authority that I might not have seen Christmas this year had this thing not been addressed when it was and you guys were on top of things around the clock! Not only do I have a wife and a 9 month old son to keep me motivated along the way on my wellness journey, but the idea of dying in my 40’s isn’t high on my list of things to do. I am happy to report that the insulin / pills really helped me to feel better and I’ve been able to workout for a couple of days now and while it has hurt, I can accept the fact that this is my new lifestyle and I know that over time it will get easier. Diabetes picked the wrong guy because not only am I going to beat this thing, I’m also going to be an advocate toward early detection and education. In fact, I’ve already tested my families blood sugar since we’ve been home from the hospital.
In closing, I want to thank each and every one of you for your texts, emails, calls, visits, thoughts and prayers over this past week!!
PS: I’m sitting down to an inbox of 500+ emails this morning and probably a couple of fires that I need to put out, so please bear w/ me for a few days while I get caught back up, I promise to respond to each of you as soon as possible!!