Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hypochondria

Okay, I know this is completely weird, but I have to confess because, regardless of my personal involvement, I can still see the funny ridiculousness inherent in this situation:

For years I've gone back and forth thinking I might have diabetes for various reasons. Yes, diabetes. I mean, in my defense, it's not that that far off; my maternal grandmother has it.

According to the American Diabetes Association's website, some of the symptoms of diabetes are
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Increased fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurry vision
For as long as I can remember, I've been what most would class as a "frequent urinator." TMI, I KNOW, but it's illustrative so bear with me for a second. In all seriousness, if you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you I have to pee way more frequently than the average person, even if I haven't been drinking very much during the day! (I am not popular on road trips.) I once asked my gynecologist if I could perhaps be considered for Detrol LA, which is prescribed for people with overactive bladder. She asked if I had ever had, erm, "leakage." (The medical term is incontinence). Thankfully, no, I hadn't. Unfortunately this lead her to think I didn't really need Detrol LA. Boo. My small bladder (or diabetes!) continues to plague me to this day.

During college, I was struck by a number of the other symptoms so severely at different times, I was sure I had diabetes. My roommate gave me a hard time for taking a nap after class practically every day during freshman and sophomore years. Not my fault! It was diabetes-induced increased fatigue! (No, definitely not my up-all-night party lifestyle!) If I was feeling grouchy or emo... diabetes-induced irritability! And I experienced blurry vision, like, once a year. Granted, it was usually before an appointment with the optometrist to get new contacts... But regardless!! 'Betes, I tell you! :)

Most recently, I've been convinced I have diabetes because of my extreme thirst. This recent symptom came out of nowhere because, since I've been in Denmark, my "possibly hypochondric" diabetes have thankfully been in "remission." Must be the Nordic air. Anyway, now that the Nordic air is getting balmier, my 'betes seems to be back. I have been taking a full-force combative stance against this recent symptom by drinking LITERS of liquid (water, juice, etc. etc.) every day... And I still feel thirsty most of the time! All signs (okay, WebMD, the American Diabetes Association's website and various other hypochondriac friendly web sources) once again point to diabetes. Oh no!

Conveniently, I found out recently that my friend Lisbet has diabetes. So, when I was going on and on about how thirsty I was and how I might have diabetes at work today, she offered to use her test kit to help me settle my fears once and for all. Okay, sounds good, I thought.

... Then she whips out a scary looking little white plastic needle thing and tells me I have to prick myself.

WHAT?! Ouch. No way. (Some people would say I'm a wimp/complete pussy. I'd like to think that I am just NOT sadomasochist for finger pricking! Yes, it's sadomasochistic. Hmpf!)

"Do you want me to do it for you?" she asked, helpfully.

"No!" I responded... with admittedly more fear and less indignation than I had intended.

After about five minutes of hemming and hawing I decide to just go for it and prick my middle finger. (I mean, she does it five times per day! I need to man-up.)

YEROW!!

I quickly recoil from the needle sting, but recover in time to squeeze a drop of blood out of my stinging finger onto the test strip.

The machine beeps a few seconds later, informing us that my blood glucose level is 6.3. Lisbeth tells me that normal is about 5-6.5. So I am just barely normal. Squeeked in. I wonder if I had measured it before I ate an apple (which I ate less than ten minutes before taking the test), if I would have tested differently. Like, diabetes differently. Hmm...

So, I am happy to say that a solid medical test has assuaged my fears for now (go science!), though I unhappily inform you that I am still really thirsty, despite the fact that I just guzzled the entirety of my 32oz. Nalgene. Meh.

Oh, and as a final follow-up... my finger has been hurting all evening where I pricked it. I am such a complete wimp. I can't imagine if I ever get diabetes for real. :(

1 comment:

jeff said...

so many prick jokes, so little time.