Thursday, October 07, 2010

It was 20 years ago today...HNT

Well, it's only been a year. One year ago this weekend, my life permanently changed. Personally, I think for the better. Not in obvious ways, but better nonetheless. For the newbies, and for those of you who didn't mark it on your calendars--it was one year ago that BIL3 took me to the emergency room, almost in a diabetic coma. One year ago that I was as close to death as I've ever been. One year ago that I learned that I did, in fact, have diabetes.

In looking back at my posts from last October, I found that I actually self-diagnosed myself. The subject of my first HNT of Oct. was based on that, even though I wouldn't actually see a doctor about it until the next afternoon. That's when I got the official confirmation. What no one planned on was that I was in such dire straights that I'd end up almost comatose on Friday.

Some things that were never talked about here from those four days in the hospital, some with observations from a year later:
  • My kidneys basically threw up their hands and said "fuck it". And then shut down. Today, they're functioning just fine, thank you.
  • There's only a couple of things from the ER that I remember. The lights were quite bright, so I kept my eyes shut the whole time. My mouth was SO dry that I actually cried, begging for just a sliver of ice. Didn't even get that until I was moved to ICU, about an hour later. And I remember the nurse telling me to get out of my clothes and into a gown. I was so weak by this time that I couldn't even lift my arms to take them off. BIL3 had to take them off for me. This was the first point where I knew things were just a bit on the serious side...
  • During my first two days/nights there, I still had to pee far more than normal. I had a toilet to use, but to get to it, they had to unhook my monitors, and then roll the pole with the double lines of fluids they were pumping into me. Since I was a pain in the ass, they finally told me to pee into what looks like a modified gallon milk jug. At some time in the middle of the night, I peed into it just fine. Then promptly dropped it on the floor, spilling all over the place. Obviously I was still weak. The nursing staff did decide that perhaps unhooking me to use the toilet wasn't that bad of a thing...
  • This might be TMI, but after being pumped with all sorts of unknown fluids for a couple of days, my normal bodily functions went to hell. My poop was a most disturbingly dark color, with a consistency of easy-to-spread spackling paste. The words "toxic" and "biohazard" keep coming to mind. Actually, things didn't get to "right" for about 6 weeks. Everything's coming out fine now, thank you.
  • Medical people need to recognize that, regardless of how slowly or how well they're explaining things, there's no way that the patient is remembering any of it. Mom was up to see me one morning and listened in on one of the nurses telling me something relatively important. We talked about it later during the week. I don't even remember the conversation.
  • The nurses all learned quickly that I was going to give them shit (that would be something my dad handed down to me), and they in turn gave it right back. I liked that! It was a good working relationship.
  • I think I confused some of the other staff. The cheery, blood-sucking lab tech who came in every morning between 4:45 and 5:00 was taken aback by my smile at that time of day. And the poor social worker who came in the first morning to see how I was... She was probably in her early 60s, and you could just tell she baked chocolate chip cookies for her grandchildren before coming to work. She sat next to me at bed level so I could see her face, took my hand, and gently asked how I was doing. I replied, "I've got a large-screen plasma TV to watch football all day, a remote controlled bed, people at my beck and call, and meals are brought to me. What's not to like?" She looked me straight in the eye and said, "Honey, that's not what we generally hear, here in ICU..."
So how am I doing after a year? Pretty good, actually. I've tried (and succeeded) to keep my diabetes from defining my life (or this blog). In public, nothing's really changed. Specifically:
  • Blood pressure - lower than it's ever been.
  • Cholesterol - around 100. Lower than the normal 185-200 it was, and far lower than the 267 it was in the hospital.
  • A1c test - been at 5.4% for six months. Non-diabetics are considered 'normal' at 4%-6%. I'd never heard of it a year ago.
  • Kidneys and thyroid labs - both are normal, which is a good thing.
  • Vision - shot to hell. The first couple weeks out of the hospital were the worst. Could not focus on anything, with or without glasses. Near, far, big, didn't matter. It was like trying to focus while underwater without goggles. Since then, it's gotten far better, but I can't read without glasses. My eye doctor said that my eyes have come out of the ordeal unscathed, but the timing was bad. My vision is actually pretty good, "for someone of my age..." Damn.
  • Brain function - my mind has always been full of holes like swiss cheese. I do find that hasn't improved at all. Not really worse, but now I have something I can blame it on!
  • Weight - still about 35 lbs less than last summer. Still needs to come down though.
  • Diet - eating 3 sensible meals/day, with an occasional snack. Much better than eating a pizza before bed.
  • Beer - drinking on occasion, but limiting myself to two. Not the power drinking of the old days.
  • Exercise - the good news, no worse than before. The bad news, that's not saying anything good. Gotta work on that.
Physically, I'm healthy as a horse. Well, a diabetic horse. My muscle mass took a big hit, and I now have a lot of flabby areas. And certain "things" also took a hit, but I won't mention anything here (remember...S1 reads this now!). But overall, I'm doing well.

Of course, none of that would be possible without the meds I'm taking. What you see below is one year's worth of it all. Novolog and Lantus (insulins), Lisinopril, Atenolol and Simvistatin. And low-dose aspirin. One year down and the rest of my life to go!

Come up and through the forest
And I do not mean out west
Walk between the trees
Catch me on my knees
Enjoy the scent of the season’s change
See the sights within your range
Move beyond until you stumble
(For I like to keep you humble)
Come to where some people lurk
Often times not suitable for work
Frequently my cynical humor kicks in
After all, what is life without the spin?
No matter my mood of the day
I am certain to have something odd to say
But never assume I am a just a mom, a fiancĂ©e, or a slave…
Until you have ventured in and still made it out of the cave
This week's MG is the cave-dweller Viemoira! Be sure to stop by her place to meet her if you haven't already!

There's plenty of people to check out over at "...the Other HNT" this week! Some followed the boobie idea. Others did not! Go check out your fellow HNTers, and leave a comment or two. NSFW, of course.
There's still one more day to be checking out this year's Boobie-Thon! If you haven't submitted pictures, I think they're still accepting them (you'd have to check the site to be sure). Many of your fellow HNTers can be found over there. Even one or two from HNT old-timers that you might not know!


Osbasso said...

Autumn is feeling vulnerable. Go check in on her!

Osbasso said...

Go see Jobthingy's frilly bum!

Osbasso said...

Elle is hiding in her bed tonight, but she's up!

Emmy said... mention your vision for a reason, I think ;-)

Glad you are still doing well. A year ago, you scared the hell out of us.....don't do that again!

SEXY MG!! Gorgeous!
Should be up now! If I'm not, give it a minute. :)
Happy HNT!

Anonymous said...

as always, os, take care

i'm up with a little underwater

Barefoot Dreamer said...

Oh Os, I could only 'yell' at you so much to get in and get to the doc.... glad you made it through

I'm up
and not quite as stunning as the MG

Sadie said...

It sounds like you are doing really well, that is fantastic. I remember last year when everyone was yelling at you to go see a doctor. It sounds like you've come out of it really well!

I am up and showing my face.


Anonymous said...

Wow, being fairly new I missed your illness last year, but have figured from several posts that you were working on Diabetes.. I'll have to go back and have a read...
Well Done for getting on top of it all.

I'm up and hearing whispers


Anonymous said...

What a tale! Glad you've got things under control now!

Wow! The MG is fantastic!

I'm up.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say I liked your facing popping up from behind all those meds!

JM said...

Nice to know you're getting on top of things.

Love the MG, great shots indeed.

I'm up with my morning coffee.

SapioSlut said...

I'm up and fornicating...

Happy HNT!

Sunny said...

Wow Os, as a former Medic, I'm thinking you've come a long way. You were pretty close you know. I'm glad you made it!! Now stay healthy!

MG is beautious!

Me and Mickey are up!!


Bad Bad Girl said...

Awesome to hear how well you are doing!!! That's fantastic!

I'm up!

Anonymous said...

Woah! That is quite a story. Glad you're doing so well now.

Over here on the other side of the pond it is too goddamn early, but, regardless, I am up and totally blissed out.


Anonymous said...

I'm up after a bit of a hiatus. Missed y'all. :-)

13messages said...

I'm happy to read of your improved health. Cool click through. I always love your pics.

vixen kitten said...

I'm up with a new mystery guest.

boneman said...

Glad you're a survivor, dude.
My Old Man was...
and, me?
I'm in denial.
Figure it's the only way I'll ever see Egypt.

And, up.

nice picture in the forest...

A Daft Scots Lass said...

You've come such a long way in the past year. Well done on your dedication to your health.

My HNT is up with an additional pic.

Cheeky Minx said...

I'm so glad you're around and healthy to smile at us, even if it is over the scariest amount of meds I've seen in a long while!

Great piccies, as are the MG's - so very sexy...

I’m up!

The History Boy said...

Glad you're feeling better.
I'm up

Maggie said...

I can't believe it's only been a year. Look how far you've come!

I'm up.

MinorityReport said...

So glad you're having a much better year and that you're feeling better!!!

((you and I had a similar idea this week...i swear i didn't look at yours first)).

Maeve said...

Why are we always reminding what we use to be? You were a great man then, and still are now, Os!
I'm up, have a good one!

HyperSexualGirl said...

I have a guest newlywed HNT up on my blog this week. Please visit!

Sally-Jane said...

ouchy, I also have skin that burns in 3 seconds.
I wonder if I do a bump pic for HNT every week on pinkyandthegeek if that will count or if it will be too repetitive - what do you think? I thought of doing different ones, and playing around with it. Hmmm

Hubman said...

Damn that's quite the collection of drugs, no wonder your labs come back so good! We're glad to still have you around, healthier than ever!

MG looks familiar but I can't place her. She's hot nonetheless!

I'm up!

Jen Fooled Around said...

I love the cool shot of your meds.. only you could make that ART.

Glad the year has you in a much better place.. :)

We're up on Fooled around.. but, still in bed !

Anonymous said...

Wow. I didn't know all that about you. Makes my ER experience seem like child's play.

I'm up in my new digs and being a little cheeky still this week.


Anonymous said...

Let's try this again:
I'm up! Surely my brain didn't go to mush and I forgot how to make a hyperlink in a week?

Anonymous said...

such a heartfelt post. I am glad that you are surviving each day and doing the best you can to take care of YOU.

James said...

Glad to hear things are better.
Another great MG.
I'm up.

Jobthingy said...

Thanks for the uppage my sweet!

I am so glad everything is fine with you. My dad was diabetic and it is ultimately what took him out last december.

Keep it up mister!

*huge hugs*

Lusting Lola said...

This is my first time contributing to HNT.

IveyLane said...

1) Congrats on the improved health! Gotta keep you up and running the HNT show, ya know!

2) I'm so jealous of the MG. What a beautiful place to be. :)

3) If you've got to take a lot of meds, they should at LEAST be displayed in an artistically pleasing arrangment. LOL Nice shot.

I'm up, sugar!

Anonymous said...

Showing my good side.

Another Suburban Mom said...

I am glad you are feeling better and your mystery guest looks very nymphish

I am also up today showing a little joy.

heelsnstocking said...

im up and want to know with or without?

BTExpress said...

That's some story. Glad you're doing better, the pool party wouldn't have been without you.

I'm up too.


I'm up too.

Dutchess said...

My husband has the same arsenol of diabetic meds as you. I for one, am very glad you are doing much better. A diabetic coma is scary shit.

Happy HNT Os!

I'm up

Vixen said...

And I'm up.....nothing like forgetting to let everyone know. I'm keeping way too late of nights and not enough sleep. Man....

*LOVE* the MG....

I'm happy you are healthy and HERE. :)

Happy HNT!

PandaDementia said...

Hope your health continues to get better!

I'm talking about my own health problems in this week's (and last week's) #HNT, with a semi-sexy picture to go with it!


Anonymous said...

I finally up!! have issues posting. oh well.

Please cum see me!!
Meow >^,^< purrrr

Ms. Tigerx

Molls said...

I'm up!

SB said...

diabetes is a kick in the ass. but you can kick it. :p glad to hear you are doing better

a little more brave on this side of town

Kyle said...


wow, quite a year... so glad you made it through all of that. The picture of your meds is beautiful.. kind of med-itative ;-)

Here's my contribution for the week, road tripping with Roxy:

Gucci Mama said...

I'm late, but I'm up!

Anonymous said...

I'm participating in my first HNT today.

Ms Scarlett said...

I, among many many others, am so glad that you were able to get things under control, health-wise. The Blogosphere just would not be the same without you.

And who would help me with all my various Blogger issues??

Lovely MG this week!

And your clickie made me giggle...

XO ~ Scarlett

Joanna Cake said...

Looking mighty fine, Mr xxx

Really late to tell you but I am up :)

Sweat Shop Sissy said...

♀ family is riddled with diabetes, but so far she's been able to avoid it with diet and exercise. Glad to hear you're doing better. We're up with a very late entry.

Rayne said...

I'm up for the first time. Or is it second? I forget. Anyway...

Melissa and Kevin said...

We're up! More from this past weekend.

-M and K

boneman said...

I figured out why I liked it...the picture.
Actually, both of them.
But the picture in the forest...

That's a sheet? It's like you were both sleeping, and then, somehow, you were in the middle of the woods.
Nice dream.

But the other one got to me, too.
I s'pose you didn't LIKE taking all the meds...(course, now you can stick yourself...OW!) but, what a cool picture you have.

Evening said...

Hey there my friend, just wanted to tell you that I am so glad you are doing so well. We are sooooooo lucky to have you still with us! Happy Anniversary.


So glad everything is under control and you look great. Hey,I tried getting you in that hot time i'll just pic u up and throw u in, haha. Happy belated HNT my friend.

Moosekahl said...

One year ago that day Leesa and I were chatting back and forth wondering why in the world you hadn't called, blogged, or texted for my birthday. I thought something had happened with your dad. You did talk to me from the ICU the next day and you didn't remember it. But this year you sang happy birthday to me twice. THANK YOU and LOVE YOU!