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Diabetes Story: Diagnosis

    They take some blood and then put me in an examination room where I wait for the doctor. I'm still in denial about the possibility that there's something seriously wrong with me; I feel fine except for the indescribable fatigue. The doctor comes in right away and starts asking me questions, a long list of questions about everything under the sun. When he's done asking questions he says, "Do you have any other symptoms?"
    I don't know exactly what time it is, but I think the clock on the wall is a couple of hours fast so I respond, "I've experienced time warp jumps into the future." Nothing but a silent expressionless look from the doctor. I say, "The clock behind you is fast." He probably puts a question mark next to the box he just checked for Further Psychological Evaluation Necessary.
    The doctor goes away for a bit and then returns. He sits down right in front of me and with a caring expression and sympathetic tone he tells me that I have diabetes. I have no idea why he feels sorry for me. I don't have diabetes, I'm just tired. I don't even know what it means to have diabetes! (At that time I couldn't have told you what a pancreas does.) I'll have a REAL doctor check me out when I get back to the states. Little did I know at the time, Stockholm is the center of the diabetes research universe. At the risk of spoiling the rest of the story, these doctors saved my life. During the rest of this narrative while I'm making fun of them (the doctors that saved my life) it's because at the time I had my head up my butt. Ok, now I'll go back to making fun of them (for now).
    They say my blood glucose level is 47mmol/L (more than 840mg/dL which is about seven times the high end of the fasting range for a normal person). They're pretty impressed that I walked into the hospital. I'm still convinced that there's nothing seriously wrong with me. After all, I walked into the hospital.
    They want to inject me with insulin. Get away from me with those needles! Actually I have no fear of needles (never have), just a fear of what goes through them into my body. I tell them that my sister is a nurse and that I don't want to be injected with anything until I've had a chance to consult with her. They bring me to a hospital bed, set up a saline solution I.V. and do everything else they can to keep me alive with the exception of giving me insulin.
    My sister is in the Chicago area; it takes several hours to get her on the phone. I tell her that these wackos think I have type one diabetes and that they want to inject me with insulin. I ask her, "If they're wrong and I don't have diabetes will the insulin hurt me?"
    My sister responds, "If you don't have diabetes and they inject you with insulin it will not hurt you, but if you DO have diabetes and they DON'T inject you with insulin you're going to die." Oh, wow, a no-brainer, easiest decision I've ever made. Shoot me up doctor!
    Even with insulin treatment, though significantly lowered, my blood glucose level remains high. I'm always hungry and begging the nurse to give me more food (hospital food in Sweden is pretty good), and sometimes she gives me a little more even though they're obviously trying to limit my carbohydrate input in order to get my blood glucose level down.
 
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Disclaimer: While the events described above are representative of true to life events experienced by the author, details of the story may be fuzzy due to the fact that it happened more than five years ago. I respectfully defer to any objection made by a witness of events described in the narrative.
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