Friday, August 31, 2012

What's Eating Me?

This is the second post I'm writing about my present issues, and this is the non-self-pity one.  I'm aiming for blunt right now.

In late April, bloodwork for a routine physical showed some anomalies.  A bunch of weeks and diagnostic tests later, it seems I have Graves' disease (autoimmune hyperthydrosis).  At the time, I found the news somewhat perturbing, but fundamentally, if you have to choose a chronic disease (not that you would), thyroid issues are a relatively good pick because they are relatively straight-forward to treat.  I know that the symptoms can be hellish, but I was asymptomatic, so I can't speak to that.  I can say I felt like absolute crap for a few weeks after starting treatment, and I actually took a couple of weeks off from lifting.

A month ago was the follow-up appointment for the Graves', and my endocrinologist tells me he suspects I have type I diabetes as well (this is the autoimmune never get better one, not the lose some weight one).  That news I found somewhat tougher to deal with and, rather oddly, I fell into an ice cream bender and a phase of eating poorly.  I know many people live full and healthy lives with type I diabetes.  I know a few people who are examples of this.  I also know that living those full and healthy lives means a lot of vigilance and discipline, and around the time of this appointment, I felt that I was already running on fumes in terms of discipline.

Throw in some work-related stress and stir.

Yesterday was another appointment with the endocrinologist.  Type I diabetes diagnosis has been confirmed, but I'm still in the "honeymoon phase" wherein my body is using up the insulin it has left and I don't need to start supplementing yet.  Typical honeymoon is 3 to 9 months, but longer is not uncommon.  I want ice cream very badly, but I've also gained weight in the last month (although this could also be because of the treatment for the Graves').

I also seem to be aiming for a triumverate of autoimmune disease, and we'll see if my adrenal glands are joining in the party that my thyroid and pancreas have started.

The other day I was about ready to throw up my hands in disgust and give up on being healthy.  Two weeks ago I missed a lifting session because I forgot my gym card, and then failed to make up the time elsewhere.  Last week I missed all but one session because of more work-related stress, and odd gym hour reductions and closures.  Then work got in the way of yet another session at the beginning of this week, and mid-week I was genuinely on the cusp of swapping out beer for a prime time annoyingly crowded gym session with all the undergrads who've just returned to the Uni.  I did the lifting, though, and felt better for it, and I'm going to try to get to the gym this afternoon and make up the missed session tomorrow.  I am also going to get disciplined with my eating again, and go to bed at a decent hour most nights instead of staying up late for no good reason.

I might, however, have a little ice cream tonight.


  1. I am really proud of you for just getting through what your'e dealing with right now. I have similar issues looming (health-related, both my own and those of a loved-one) that may really hit me in the gut when some results are generated in a few weeks. I'm scared. I've been dealing with this issue for a while, and when one gets news of a pretty grave nature in relation to it, hell yes it really affects you on an emotional, psychological level. Fear is huge. It's huge. All you can do right now is survive, okay? There will be time for kicking ass in the future. You have to survive to kick ass. Survive this period first. I promise you that you have people in your life--close and, perhaps like me, far--who will support you when you need it.

    1. Thank you. You lift my spirits. I only hope I can offer some of the same when you need it. I think I'm doing ok at the moment. I had a lot of the frustration and mourning already, when things were still up in the air about the diabetes. Also, I'm in complete denial about having a third autoimmune disease to contend with.

      In the past I learned that climbing is integral to my mental health. I need to keep that in mind, and embrace lifting likewise. I think keeping physical outlets, but letting go of a need to perform, will do me some good.