‘“Yes, I got to manage this sugar.” I said thinking about the day a year ago when my worst fear came to light. The day my doctor told me I had diabetes. Old folks liked to call it sugar. There was nothing sweet about the diagnosis.”’ ~ Eugeena Patterson, Deep Fried Trouble
My late husband, Ralph, was a physician. You would have thought he’d have warned me about diabetes, but he didn’t. He’d have a heart attack that he would never fully recover from, so why would he have warned me, on second thought.
I’d barely settled into widowhood when I decided to pay closer attention to what was happening to my body. Cora, my aunt, told me that I’d gotten “hippy” though she meant hippier because I’d been packing some weight on my bottom for some time. It was hard not to notice the weight gain. My church and work clothes were more than snug; I couldn’t button or zip a thing.
It didn’t seem like I ate more, because there were some days I was so fatigued from working and dealing with home matters all I could make myself do was drink iced tea. In fact, I drank a lot of sweet tea. (Hey, I’m a southern woman, and we know no other way to drink our iced tea, right?)
But the thing that sent me straight to the doctor’s office was something that I’d ignored longer than any other sign. My blurred vision began to trouble me. I wear eyeglasses, so a change in prescription was not unusual. However, what was unusual was the rapid decline of my eyesight after having an eye exam. Thinking the ophthalmologist got it all wrong, I hightailed it back to him to get it right. He diagnosed me with diabetic retinopathy (damage to the blood vessels supplying the retina of the eye), which wasn’t detectable at the time of the examination. Thankfully, he did detect it early enough, and sent me to my physician, who then said, “You have diabetes, Mrs. Patterson.”
There is nothing sweet about diabetes though we call it “sugar.” There is nothing easy about detecting it, so here are a few of the warning signs:
- Increased thirst.
- Increased hunger, especially after eating. Having that feeling that you are not full.
- Frequent urination or urinary tract infections.
- Blurred vision.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Headaches and/or dizziness.
Have you had any of those symptoms or know someone with them? If so, it’s time to make a doctor’s appointment.
Take care of yourself, now.