Friday, November 10, 2006

I Never Liked Needles

When I was young in the late sixties and early seventies, I experimented with drugs. Nothing heavy, mind you, just the simple stuff like marijuana. Back then, the government and police said that marijuana leads to other drugs, such as cocaine, LSD and heroin. It's probably the same message, but I've been out of the loop for so long, I couldn't tell you. What I can say is that I would never do anything with a needle. I hate them. As a kid, I was scared to death when I had to get shots. I could never be a heroin addict. I never wanted to try it anyway. Besides, what good could ever come out of tooth-rotting drugs like the big hits of today, crack, heroin and crystal meth?

I like my KitKat bars, though. Around Halloween, I go buy a bag for the trick or treaters that never come. Oh, I'd better go buy another bag, just in case. I live in a neighborhood where only one kid resides. They tend to go to areas where there are lots of other children walking the haunts. Safety in numbers, I guess. A lot go to malls now, where it's a very safe haven for getting treats. With all these child predators and molesters around, who knows? And because of Disney, there are plenty of hotels. Some advertise to bring your children here. They probably supply candy to their guests to hand out. I know one family that planned to do it that way. In any event, those KitKat bars couldn't just sit there, so I ate them.

As you get older, the little aches and pains associated with aging start to creep up on you. Sometimes, I go for days at a time with a general feeling of malaise. A little tired and achy. I get an occasional sharp nerve pain. Sometimes, my vision will be a little bit more blurry than usual. I know eyes change with age and I started wearing reading glasses a number of years ago, but this comes and goes. I'm more thirsty and urinate more often now. It's been that way for a while. I figured that as a male gets older, his prostate grows and you have to go more often anyway. No big deal yet. I'm not worried about a thing. Besides, I never go to the doctor unless I absolutely have to.

For quite a few years now, my mother has been a diabetic. She takes two shots of insulin a day. It wasn't always like that, but the disease progresses as you get older, especially if you grew up in the era of steak and potatoes. It's tough to break old habits. Fortunately, diets have changed over the years and I have changed with the times. A couple of years ago, I had a case of the hiccups that just wouldn't go away. Finally, I went to a doctor and he ran blood work, an upper GI and chest x-rays. He thought I had a lung tumor but it turned out to be a hernia in my esophagus. Along with a couple of prescriptions, he told me to cut out the starches. My blood pressure and cholesterol levels were a little above normal, but no serious cause for alarm. I dropped from 205 lbs to the "svelte" 165 that I am today. He told me then that my pancreas, liver, kidneys and heart were perfect! My lungs were nice and pink. And I'm a smoker. Of course, he told me to quit. I haven't yet.

My brother Tim is visiting from out of town and staying with my folks. Yesterday morning, my mother made breakfast for us and took one of her twice daily glucose tests. My brother asked if he could take his. His blood sugar level turned out normal at 106. He asked me to take the test. Reluctantly, I agreed. Mine was 200 something. Not good, my mother said. My brother gave me a look of concern. Ah, I'm not too worried about it. OK, we'll check it again before dinner. It was 238. You are a diabetic, my mother told me. She certainly has enough experience to know. This morning, it was 261. On an empty stomach. She's going to make an appointment with her doctor for me to get tested. I've never been a great one for exercise, but this morning, my brother and I took a 20 minute walk. Every morning, I'm going to take a walk and slowly increase the time. I'm going to adjust my diet again and hopefully, I can bring my sugar level down so I won't have to go on insulin. Fat is the real enemy. Cinnamon is supposed to help. I'll do whatever it takes. Diabetes can damage the eyes. It can lead to kidney disease, heart and blood vessel disease and nerve damage (neuropathy). I don't even want to think about going there.

Next time I eat a KitKat bar, I'll eat one instead of five. With my broccoli. And an apple.

Thanks, Tim. It's a great thing you came to visit, as always. Even if nothing was wrong with me.

If you would like more information on diabetes, please click HERE.


  1. Diabetes is a very deadly disease. Fortunately it can be controlled with medication--and cured many times with diet and exercise

    Be happy Dave that your Mom cared so mucu :-)

    And thanks for leaving a comment at my partial unveiling

  2. Thanks, Pia. Yes, it can be a deadly disease, but I'm not going to let it get the best of me. It certainly isn't good news, seeing my sugar levels consistently above normal, but I have to live with it.

    I like your partial unveiling. You're a very pretty woman. I listened to your nervous podcast, too.