The Sugar-Blood Diaries: The Tallywhacker Effect

According to my latest weigh in, i’m nearly a stone lighter. Also, my blood sugar has dropped to 4.6. I’m winning!

It’s great to know that the changes which I have made are getting this sugaritis of mine under control. Especially as I have recently become aware of some of the complications which can arise from diabetes.

You see, dear reader, it turns out that having cake in your veins can cause or exacerbate all sorts of other delightful conditions and health issues, some of which are quite unpleasant. Here’s a few of the things i’m hoping won’t happen to this wreck of a thing that I call Host Body.

1) Shitty eyes.

Everyone in my family wears glasses. Shitty eyes are, it seems, a genetic trait of the McLellan clan. The weird thing is, I somehow avoided it. I’ve spent years telling people that my eyes are about the only part that works.

I really like them, too. Not aesthetically speaking, although I have been told they’re mighty purdy, but because they allow me to indulge in my three favourite pastimes. Reading, gaming and watching my expansive DVD collection. I am a very visual person.

So, the prospect of diabetes wrecking my peepers has me a tad nervous, but it’s something to watch out for. Diabetic eye disease is a collective term for an assortment of conditions which can effect we sugar-blooded folk, including cataract and glaucoma.

I have my first diabetic retinopathy screening coming up at the end of May and i’m dreading the results, but i’m also keen to get it done and dusted and see whether there’s a problem and what can be done about it.

In fact, here’s a spot of unsolicited advice, folks. We, as a race, are bloody stupid. We will put off seeking medical advice because we don’t want to be told there’s something wrong with us. Well, this may shock you but just because you don’t know there’s a carnivorous brain-weevil chewing it’s way through your cerebral cortex, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Get to the doctors, get it diagnosed, get it dealt with. Don’t put it off!

2) Crappy nerves

When I went for my first appointment with the diabetes nurse, she mentioned that she would need to check my feet for nerve damage. We’ve put it off for now.

Don’t you look at me in the way i’m imagining you’d look at me if you were looking at me, you arse. I know that goes against my advice from above, but allow me to explain.

My feet are a bloody mess of dead spots, tingly bits, scar tissue and odd, bumpy things. If you don’t know why, you can read this if you’re arsed. The point is, if my feet need checking, i’ll get them checked, but I reckon i’ll just confuse the hell out of the medical world with the results. The nurse and I agreed that they’ll need checking sometime soon, but it’s not going to hurt to wait for a while. So, to revise my position from the previous segment, it’s SOMETIMES ok to put things off, if you do so after seeking the advice of a medical professional. Can we continue? Thank you.

The reason my feet need checking is because of the damage that diabetes can do to your nerves. Peripheral neuropathy can cause pain, burning sensations or loss of feeling in the feet, as well as other body parts. Such fun!

That’s not even the worst of it. There’s a thing called autonomic neuropathy, which is both an EXCELLENT name for a band and a term which describes damage to the nerves which control your internal organs. This can cause all sorts of lovely things, like dizziness, fainting spells, digestive problems, even issues with your gentlemen’s area. Oh, speaking of which…

3) Broken tallywhacker

Yes folks, there’s a chance that my shaft could be shafted. Not that you asked, but i’m pleased to report that thus far it seems to be in reasonable condition. Some wear and tear and light foxing, but still functioning within acceptable parameters. Diabetes has other ideas, though.

Two issues which can effect a diabetic dong are erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation. The first one speaks for itself, the second sounds like an even better band name but other than that i’d no clue until I looked it up. Want to hear about it? It’s kinda gross…

See when you…y’know when you’re with…when you’re having…oh lawks, it’s a tender subject. Setting aside my charming befuddlement, it’s a condition which causes semen to flow into the bladder at the point of ejaculation. Presumably it then leaves the bladder at the point of urination. This revelation led me to the point of self-immolation.

Summing up, I could wind up with a fubared phallus which probably won’t rise to the occasion and misfires when it does, none of which i’ll be able to see because my eyes will be shot to shit by that point. That’s if i’m not too busy writhing in agony as my nerves burn like the fire of a thousand suns and my stomach bubbles and boils trying to melt the lettuce I had for lunch.

Rum do, hey? Well, no. For one thing, it could be one hell of a lot worse. For another, these are just possible side effects of uncontrolled diabetes. I’m not trying to give anyone the fear by relating these things, i’m trying to explain how vital it is to take good care of yourself when you’ve got a vascular system which is full of sherbet. I’ve not had any issues with any of this and as I got a gold star at my most recent check up i’m not anticipating any.

We could all do with looking after ourselves a little better. Christ knows i’m no expert, but the one piece of advice I can offer is go and find someone who can offer better advice. Doctor, nurse, dietician, particularly knowledgeable taxi driver. Find someone who knows their shit and have them help you sort your shit out. You’ll thank me when we’re all 180 years old and still playing laser-tag.

If you want some advice which isn’t crap, try NHS Choices.

The Sugar-Blood Diaries: Blood Is Thicker Than Treacle

This is the first in a new series of blog entries which will, I hope, be a reasonably entertaining and brutally honest look at my day to day life, “coping” with diabetes.

Notice the quotation marks? That’s because i’m not entirely sure that I am coping. Not in a “OH MY GOD THIS IS SO HARD!” kind of way, you understand. More like a “I kind of suck at being an adult, is ice cream good for breakfast?” sort of thing.

So, if you’d like a laugh at my expense and perhaps some useful information about diabetes and life and all that balls, then read on dear…reader. That doesn’t scan well, bad start. ONWARDS!

Saturday the 9th of April, in the year of someone else’s lord, 2016. That’s the day that I found out I was diabetic.

On the Friday night, I discovered a small lump on my inner thigh. I actually noticed when I sat on the toilet and felt a sharp pain. Obviously, my first thought was “FUCK! SCORPION!”, but after inspecting my trousers and finding no venomous arachnids within, I realised I had an abscess.

The next morning, I shot down to the Minor Injuries unit at the local hospital. I’d expected to leave with a course of antibiotics and a feeling of slight embarassment at having to hold my gentlemen’s sexual paraphernalia to one side while I was checked over by a nurse. I got both of those things, but they came with a side order of shitty news.

The nurse checked by blood sugar levels, which as an adult, should sit somewhere between 4 to 6 millimols. If you’re picturing a “Milly Mole” as an adorable mole girl in a flower print dress, you’re  not alone. My blood sugar was sitting happily at 18.5 delightful Farthing Wood characters. I’m amazed that the testing machine didn’t ask for some pancakes to go with the syrup.

We Have A Bleeder

Blood was taken, advice was given, appointments were made and I went home to start scratching sugar from my diet. As a long time Coke addict (beverage, not nose candy), it wasn’t an easy switch but I swapped out the sugary drinks for fizzy water, reduced portion sizes, changed eating habits, etc. This all came with a healthy dose of pissing and moaning about never eating cake again.

Wednesday came and I received a call from the doctor, who told me to head to accident and emergency as soon as I could…

Dear reader, I will cheerfully admit to you that, at that point, I emptied my metaphorical bowels with considerable force. A thousand questions raced through my mind. Why did I need to be seen so urgently? Was my blood caramelizing? Was I slowly turning into a delicious doughnut? Would there be adequate parking?!

If I had known that the doctor was working in A&E at the time and as it was quiet, thought that just the easiest and quickest way to see me, I could have saved myself a pair of jeans.

My levels were tested again and now sat at 21.6 adorable wee molefolk. I was weighed too and in a world first, i’m actually going to share my weight with the wide world. 22 stone. To give you some perspective, that’s roughly how much crap an elephant can put out in a day. I’m a giant elephant shit of a human being.

A week on and i’ve been ever so good. I’ve been trying to get more exercise, despite having chosen my feet from a lineup of lower limb misshapes. I set up reminders on my phone and take my meds. My diet has improved hugely.

At last count, i’ve lost roughly 5lbs and my blood sugar is down to 10.2. I plan to celebrate by snorting six pounds of icing sugar.