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The big 'D'

I'm going through the big D and I don't mean Dallas ... or divorce. I'm talking about the biggest, baddest D of them all ... diabetes.

I go in every year for a physical just to make sure my health is in check. Last year was no different except for the fact I literally waited until the last days of December. I made my appointment, went, had about two gallons of blood drawn and waited for my letter saying I'm all clear for another year. The letter never came, but a phone call did. You know it's not good if your doctor calls you with results rather than popping them in the mail. The call went something like this:

Jess' doctor: "Your glucose and cholesterol are a little high."

Jess: "Yep. Okay...thanks for calling, I'll see you next year."

Jess' doctor: "I want you to see an endocrinologist."

Jess: "No but thank you. Goodbye."

Jess' doctor: "This is serious. I've already made a referral for you in St. Cloud, they will be calling for an appointment."

Jess: "I'm not going to answer my phone."

Jess' Dr: "Yes you will. I'll see you after the specialist."

Jess: "Fine. See you in a few weeks. Thank you."

This is why I like my doctor. She doesn't put up with my crap. She calls me out and makes me be accountable.

I waited for the dreaded call to come from the doctor in St. Cloud. It finally came about four days later. The receptionist was very kind and asked me when I could come in. I said any day except Monday. It's always busy at the Pioneer Journal on Mondays because of deadlines. She said "Okay. How about Wednesday, April 8." I cringed. I should have specified April 8 was also not a good day since it is my birthday.

It took forever for the appointment day to come. When it finally did I set out for St. Cloud right after the kids were on their way to daycare and school. I figured since I wasn't totally sure what was wrong and it was my birthday, I should celebrate by going to lunch at Red Lobster and having the Seaside Shrimp Trio, two biscuits and a Coke. If I'm going to be told I'm going to die...I wanted to make sure I'm going out with a bang!

After lunch I went to the endocrinologist's office. I felt like I was on a death march. Once inside the massive building I found a map so I could figure out where I was going. I made it up to her office, checked in and took a seat in the waiting room.

A few minutes later I was being weighed (one of my favorite things to do) and having my blood pressure checked. One was good, one was bad. (Just kidding, both of them were bad). The nurse ran through a quick medical history and said the doctor would be in soon. About six seconds later the doctor actually was in the room. She said "I reviewed your records and I believe you have Type 2 diabetes, Jess." I looked around the tiny room to see who she was talking to because clearly there had to be another Jess standing behind me or something; she certainly wasn't talking to me. I did the same thing when we were told we were going to have a second set of twins. She asked if I was okay. I said "yes" with a blank stare, still sure she wasn't talking to me.

She went over an overview of what the diagnosis meant and what I have to do to get my glucose numbers down. None of it sounded like fun, especially checking my blood four times a day, limiting carbs, exercising or worse yet, all the record keeping for food and glucose readings. I don't drink or smoke but I love carbs. Love, love, love them. If my house was on fire, after I was sure my family and pets were safe, I'd grab the bread.

Since my diagnosis it's been a whirlwind. When out and about, if someone tries pushing food that I'm not supposed to eat, I tell them I'm a diabetic. After that they become the food police.

"Should you be eating that? How is your glucose level? Have you checked your blood lately?" My daughter Julia is the worst, but in a good way. One day I asked her if she was my mother and she asked if I was an adult! She's totally right and I needed that wake up call. She is definitely her mother's daughter. Oy. I have to take control of this; no one can to do it for me.

I'm happy to report I've basically excluded soda from my diet, try to exercise more and keep my carbs in check. My numbers are much better and my doctor is happy. I figure if I can haul a donkey in a minivan, I can do this.

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