For those of you who have been following my blog you will know that I have only recently been diagnosed with diabetes. Now that was a literal bolt from the blue and it really rocked my world….you can read all about it in my post Lightning Strikes…but that was nothing compared to strike two….
January the 21st has gone down in our family history as ‘the day lightning struck’ me, and by default – us. We have discussed it often in the nearly two months since that fateful day when a large blue streak shot across the horizon of our lives and struck me right in the heart (and I guess in the pancreas too!). It was such a surprise diagnosis for me that I thought – okay, so this is real but it’s also it. We’ve had the big health surprise, now it’s just about getting on with it and living this new existence as a person with diabetes.
Did someone say don’t speak too soon….don’t count your chickens before they are hatched?! Ah, YES they did! Damn those chickens. Why couldn’t they have hatched a little faster? And seriously if chickens are so bad at hatching that we are forced into counting them before they are hatched, why are we messing with chicken counting anyway….leave it alone people….it’s fraught with danger!
And so it was that I found myself, almost one month later to the day after my diabetes diagnosis, sitting in yet another medical surgery waiting room….waiting! Now, if you think I am bad at chicken counting well you ain’t seen nothing yet. I am epically bad at waiting! When I say ‘epically bad’ I refer to the Ben Hur scale of epic-ness….the gold medal winning…world champion…kind of epic. Oh yeah, I cannot wait even to save myself….hence my problem with chicken counting! Damn!
Any yet….here I am again. Engaged in my least favourite of least favourite activities….waiting. Funnily enough this time wasn’t like when I waited in my gynaecologist’s office or when I waited in Super Richard’s office. I wasn’t worried this time, nothing bad was going to happen. This was a routine screening, just to put our minds at rest. Even so, I don’t like it….this waiting game….although, like all of us, I have had to play it more times than I can count. I never seem to win, and yet I wait….
I’m not alone though. Sitting beside me, doing a much better job of waiting and not even looking at the chickens as they mill around my feet, is my darling husband El. He sits patiently, occasionally chatting to me alternated with reading a travel magazine that is on the coffee table in the doctor’s waiting room. He loves travel and reading about travel – blogs, websites, magazines, he can’t get enough. It’s a bit of an addiction really, but a harmless one. I don’t tell him to quit this addiction…..I’m having too much trouble with my own chicken counting one at the moment to be so pious!
Eventually, after what seems like an eternity to me, the doctor calls. We get up and follow him into his consulting room. I shush the chickens and tell them to wait outside. A doctor’s room is no place for a bunch of chickens. Really! The doctor is a friendly guy, he shakes our hands, and gestures towards two seats for us to sit on. Before we can even sit down though he says these earth shattering words, “Well, lightning has struck twice”! What? What do you mean lightning has struck twice? Struck what?
Clearly El and I have our mouths hanging open, unable to respond, because the doc marches on as though we were expecting what he proceeds to tell us.
“So, El you have type 2 diabetes as well”, El’s doctor says calmly to us…..what the? No way! El is a tall, thin, active person (not quite the opposite to me but there are significant differences 🙂 ), no way he has T2 diabetes.
“You can start on Metformin right away or I can refer you to an endocrinologist first.” My mind is screaming…you have this all mixed up! I am the one with diabetes not El. He is thin and active and doesn’t have diabetes….I am the overweight one, I am the one with diabetes. My mouth doesn’t open though and I don’t utter a sound. I am struck, just like the doctor said. I glance over at El, he is also struck. Both of us sit there, not moving, not saying anything. We have been struck by lightning and it damn well stings!
Out of the fog of the aftermath of the lightning strike we somehow manage to ask questions and have a discussion about the situation. El’s blood glucose is very high, worryingly so. We opt to make an appointment to see Super Richard, our endocrinologist, before El starts any medication or treatment. The doc says that El needs to have an HbA1c test to confirm, but his fasting glucose is ‘epic’, just like my chicken counting and lack of ability to wait, so there is no real doubt. Damn those chickens! Why couldn’t I have just left them alone to hatch in there own sweet time?
Before we leave the doctor’s office he also tells us that El has hypercholesterolemia. Would you please get this lightning out of here? Seriously, it really hurts! El needs to start medication straight away for that. Diet and lifestyle changes are minimal because he is following my healthy eating plan, so that’s something to be grateful for. I look over at El – he is shell shocked – and he didn’t even look at my chickens, and he certainly never counted them!
I take El’s hand and we walk out into the waiting area again to sit and wait for the nurse to call for the HbA1c test. We busy ourselves with calling Super Richard and making an appointment for as soon as possible. Once the busy work is over I look around the waiting area…those damn chickens have made themselves scarce, lucky for them! I touch El’s arm and ask him if he is ok. ‘I’m fine’ he replies but I know he’s not. He’s worried and he’s uncertain. I try to reassure him – I’ve been where he is right now – but I don’t think it does much good. So we sit and we wait and we silently console each other and try to come to terms with what is happening.
Finally the nurse calls and El has his second blood test in as many days. El hates needles as much as I hate waiting, well maybe more actually! So this is a trial for him. And I think – how is he going to manage with all the finger pricking and possible injections? He’s strong though and I know he will manage, but I can’t help but feel a deep sadness for him.
I thought I was struck twice by this crazy lightning but really we have both been struck twice. Once when we we received our own diagnosis. That’s the one the struck to the core, left an indelible mark and changed each of our existences forever. The second strike was when the other of us was diagnosed. Whilst it didn’t quite affect us in exactly the same way it still burned and stung and hit us in our most sensitive part. The part where we safeguard our love for each other and our need for the other to live and be here….the need for our future dreams and plans to come to fruition, with each other.
So after all of this I’m thinking of ordering some lightning proof armour for both of us….’cause I for one have had enough of this damn lightning! You will NOT prevail lightning….we will! Now what size is a pancreas again….?