Monday, June 28, 2010

Blood test

I received a call from my doctor's office today, delivering the results of my blood work last Friday. I am still in a state of utter shock. My blood glucose (blood sugar) was 200. This means only one thing: diabetes. I am stunned - I am very disciplined and eat very healthy, I have lost 50 lbs. in the past year and do not have a family history of diabetes. People with Hepatitis C, especially those with extensive liver damage are 3 times more likely to develop Type II diabetes than a healthy person. So I am now one of those statistics. People with Hepatitis C are also twice as likely to get kidney cancer and seven times more likely to get liver cancer.

And...I had this test done on Friday when I was feeling significantly better than I had been earlier in the week, so it's scary to think of what might have been going on in my body when I'd passed out cold two times. The symptoms I had make sense now.

I'm numb.

It's just unbelievable that one little needlestick that occurred many years ago could effect my life in such a profound manner. While trying to provide care and save a life, I contracted a disease that would ruin my life.

Now I will have to be tested further and make sure we've got the diagnosis right. There are other possibilities, but most likely I am now a Type II Diabetic.

I don't know what else to say.

Deciding to live

Since the failure of my second treatment ending in August 2008, I developed a different approach to life. I had lost so much and developed a subconscious mindset that I am now dying. It was tucked way back in there, but it was certainly my mindset.

When I was on treatment I'd decided that if it was successful, I would get a celebratory tattoo; something private and meaningful to remind me of all I'd been through. I am honestly not a tattoo person but I felt this occasion would be meaningful enough to get out of my comfort zone and get one. Since treatment was unsuccessful, it never happened. thoughts were fixed on dying since I knew my liver was already in bad shape.

I had a sentinel event in January of this year that dramatically changed my thinking. I realized my subconscious thoughts about dying were wasting the precious time I have and I needed to focus on living and everything I still could do. It was a shift in thinking that took a lot of work on my part; a consciousness that required making many changes and a lot of spiritual work. I can say that I've been quite successful and it's made a huge difference. So............
I decided to get a tattoo! Why not? I felt it was important for me to focus on living, so I drafted an idea and made an appointment with a tattoo artist. A picture is shown to the right:
First, I wanted it to be in a place where I could see it but hide it easily (foot).
Second, I wanted it to hold meaning. I did a lot of research and found a Latin phrase "Memento vivere" which means "remember to live." And, being nature girl, the change of seasons hold great meaning for me and are symbolic of life. So those were incorporated into my body art. And last, my children have been a source of great strength at times. I've made important decisions based on trying to set a good example for them, so they are woven into the design.

It was a risk, of course, to get a tattoo with my disease. My doctor would have flipped out but I did not consult him. Being a nurse, I knew what needed to be done to ward off infection so I was careful to a fault. I am so glad I went ahead and got it done. Memento Vivere! .....heading out to take the dogs to the woods for a hike!!