Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Health Update

Back in June I briefly mentioned my "health concerns" and said I would probably blog about it in the future. It's something until recently, and sparingly at that, I have not talked much about. I'm basically journaling this not knowing who is reading my thoughts. Getting it out on "paper" helps me sort my thoughts. Anyhow, here's my story.
On April 30 of this year, I woke up numb. Literally. From my calves to my toes, and from my forearms to my fingertips on the right and left side, I was mildly numb. It was comparable to the feeling when your hands and feet begin to fall asleep. It was not painful, but very noticeable and persistent.
When it was still noticeable the next day, I promptly conducted a search on WebMD.com from work. The fourth result for my search for "tinlgling hands and feet" caused a great pause to occur. I did not want to read any further, but I knew I had to. The title of the article was "The Nerve Damage of Diabetes." Peripheral Neuropathy, a name I had never heard, appeared to be description of what I was experiencing. I immediately made a doctor's appointment for later that same day. This was the same day we got our referral from our adoption agency for Lily so you can imagine what an emotional basket case I was. Since I was experiencing the numbness in all four limbs at once and it appeared suddenly, the doctor thought it might have been related to my thyroid instead of being diabetes related. Blood work taken that day did not support the doctor's initial belief. I did in fact have a high blood sugar reading which suggested I might be diabetic. Any of you that knew my father or know his story would understand my reaction. Scared. Not scared of dying. Scared of dying that way, the way he died. And even scared of living that way.
I'll briefly explain some of the technical details. One of the tests for diabetes is the Hemoglobin A1C test which measures the blood sugar and gives a three month average. The charts say that if you are diabetic, you should keep your score in the 6's. The non-diabetic range is under 6.0. My May 1 result was 7.1.
The doctor said it takes two readings to make a diagnosis of diabetes. I immediately took action. I enrolled in a diabetic information/nutrition class that met on three Tuesday evenings. I was issued a blood meter so I could do my own daily blood sugar readings. I completely changed my diet, began going to the gym, and began praying like I've never prayed. For a few days, I really kicked myself for having put back all the weight I had lost in the previous years. Although discouraged, I did not let that break my new focus. During the past three months, my diet has been perfect, all my blood sugar readings have been normal, and my workout routine has been mostly consistent as far as I have been able to control. The trip to China altered my routine somewhat.
Today, on Lily's birthday and three months after my initial blood work, I got my lab results back from the doctor. My Hemoglobin A1C test returned with a reading of 5.5 and the words "Non-Diabetic" written next to it. I let out a half sigh of relief. I know I can't let my guard down. The doctor told me that for all intents and purposes I should technically see myself as a diabetic but consider it under control. As I continue to eat well and lose weight, which totals 68 pounds thus far as of this morning, I remain 100% determined. The tingling is almost completely gone. I still feel it from time to time but it is far less intense and is no longer persistent.
I have a wife and baby daughter that are depending on me to be around. Although I completely acknowledge God is in control, and He can take me home any time He sees fit, I'm not going to contribute to a lifestyle that would lead to me leaving before I should.
One final note...I returned back to work on Tuesday after having the summer off. Since I've lost a good deal of weight over the summer, a coworker, after commenting on my appearance asked, "Did you have the surgery?" I laughed and said, "No" to which she replied, "Are you sure?" I told her, "If I were going to have the surgery, I would have had them take off a lot more than this!"

2 comments:

Dillo said...

Yee-haw! Congratulations on supreme self-discipline and perseverance.
So, you think you'll be interested in riding x-country in 2010? Heh.

Mel said...

Woaahh...well done...it looks like your hard work and diligence is paying off...keep going! And keep on asking God and believing in Him for your complete healing and for long life...it’s God’s original plan for you...and He is the One who heals and gives you good health.

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find, keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.(Matthew 7:7–8Amplified)

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 NIV)

Pretty cool hey! Again well done and keep up the great work...your wife and children will thank you for it :)