"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Monday, November 14, 2011

WDD: Help Beat The Bitch

6 years ago today, I was hugely pregnant with my miracle baby, a baby it had taken us many years and many losses to get to. A little less than 5 1/2 years ago today, our lives had changed in more than one way. That precious, amazing miracle was almost 4 months old and my husband was a newly diagnosed diabetic. To be honest, I'm not sure which event has changed our life more.

Prior to his diagnosis, Vic was in better health than he had been in a long while. He had lost almost 80 pounds. His blood pressure was fabulous. His cholesterol was at a level most athletes would be envious of. And, then came that *little phone call. "Mrs. Cruz, your husband's blood work came back and we need him to give us a call. His blood sugar is over 350." I don't have to tell you that is a phone call no one, let alone a hormonal, nursing mother, wants to get.

We both have a medical background. We've both been trained in advanced life support. We both know that while diabetes is a manageable disease, it can also wreak havoc with a person's life and health. From day one, Vic's diabetes was never easy to manage. Dietary changes helped some but not much. Each new combo of meds worked for a while but not for very long. Like most medical issues in our life, Vic's diabetes was outside the normal progression of the disease.

See, Vic was diagnosed with what is typically called Type II or (use to be called) Adult Onset Diabetes. If you talk to any expert in the disease, they will tell you that if a Type II diabetic lives long enough, they will eventually convert to an insulin dependent diabetic. The human body, when constantly exposed to medicines, can build up a tolerance to them. Depending on your unique biochemistry, it may take months or it may take years. Some people with Type II diabetes will hit on a medication combination and it will work for years and years. Others, like my husband, seem to be lucky enough to go through this at an accelerated pace. In the space of 3 years, Vic went from being newly diagnosed to his body saying "Fuck it all. You don't use the insulin I produce...well, I just won't produce it at all."

Because of the level of insulin resistance Vic started with, the insulin doses he takes are big enough to drop an elephant in it's tracks. And, those levels of insulin have a sneaky, nasty side effect. High insulin doses can and often do cause weight gain and that weight gain can cause the diabetes to be harder to control...rinse, lather, and repeat. Diabetes is a true and royal bitch...and, it's a bitch I want to see put down.
Today is World Diabetes Day. It's a day to educate, raise awareness, and hopefully help fight for a cure. While most of us don't have the necessary degrees to do the research to find a cure, each and every one of us can help raise money to fight this bitch of a disease. If you have a moment, click on over to my friend Jen's blog. Jen's the mom to an amazing little girl named Lizzie and Lizzie is trying to raise $1000 to help fight juvenile diabetes. Lizzie is only $74 from her goal and nothing would make me happier than to see her make it. Not only would it bring a smile to the face of a friend, but it would be a step towards ending this bitch of a disease.