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Battling Diabetes & Diabetic Neuropathy

Health, healing, and wellness are subjects to which all of humanity can relate. Join Rodic on this journey exploring all of us.

Inferno

Every night it is the same. The routine of pain occurs in my body. Some days are better than others, but every day is a bad day.

It starts in the hands. The hands begin to feel tingly followed by the feet. The tingly sensations become vibrating annoyances that branch out ever so slowly through my nervous system. Then the pain travels up the legs shocking and jerking along the way as if something is clawing its way up as it rises around my shoulders encompassing my entire body! It feels as if a slow-burning fire scorches my flesh, yet it will not burn. It is my very own brimstone inferno, my body.

As the pain is incessant, constant, my mind adapts to avoid overloading my already taxed pain receptors causing me not to sense pain so acutely. As soon as my senses have dulled sufficiently, I experience a sharp stab of pain somewhere that causes me to yell out! My senses cease to be dulled, and I experience this personal hell repeatedly until mercifully it seems to diminish to memory before the next storm. At its zenith, the pain becomes so intense that I must remove all of my clothing and prevent air from circulating around me so that I can find some measure of relief, which never comes. The pain lasts all night and most days. It only seems to subside when I sleep--if I can sleep.

I am used to pain if anyone can ever become used to feeling like this. In fact, as I type, I feel the pains in each of my fingers and my hands. I can feel it building in my core. It is enough to make life seem less important. It is enough to sap all hope and will to try more. It is enough to destroy ambition. The pain interferes with work and school. It interferes with family and marriage. Chronic pain can be the source of so much emotional trauma for family members.

Each day I notice a few of the things that I did before become more challenging to do because this monster that burns within me constantly, the disease of diabetic neuropathy.

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This picture is of my boys and me on Fathers day 2012. Full blown neuropathy endurer.

This picture is of my boys and me on Fathers day 2012. Full blown neuropathy endurer.

Did You Know?

Currently there exists many brands of insulin to choose from for Diabetics!

It can be brain-draining to decide which is better

Artificial Human Insulin (made in labs form bacteria) or

Natural Animal Insulin (taken form the pancreases of animals).

You should consult your health professional about which one works best for You!

Participate!

Diabetes

Diabetic Neuropathy means damage to the nerve endings caused by excessive high blood sugar levels due to diabetes and intercommunication between the brain and the pain sensors throughout the body--usually the extremities. My Brimstone Monster is the result of diabetes. It is important to understand diabetes to understand diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetes is a disease caused by the pancreas

  1. not producing insulin,
  2. not producing enough insulin,
  3. or cells in the body becoming insulin resistant.

Insulin is the hormone in the body produced by the pancreas that allows the body to metabolize sugars from the food we ingest.

In a healthy normal human, the pancreas regulates the amount of insulin it needs to produce in accordance with the amount of sugar in the blood to help the blood cells carry the needed energy to all the cells of the body. All food is metabolized into sugar and used as energy or stored as fats within the body to be used at a later time.

  • About Insulin: What It Is, How It Works, and More
    Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas. It allows your body to use glucose for energy. Insulin also helps balance your blood glucose levels. Diabetes occurs when your body doesn't use insulin properly or doesn't make enough insulin. Learn more ab

Not Producing

A pancreas which does not produce insulin does not provide a way for the cells to receive energy from the food a person ingests. Over time, the blood is saturated with non-metabolize-able sugar until the body starts to dissolve itself for the needed nutrients from the bones and organs. If left untreated, this blood coagulates possibly leading to many complications of health such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and death--just to mention a few!

Artificial human insulin, synthesized hormones, or animal insulin is the current treatment for this type of pancreatic issue. Generally, people born with this disorder are called Type 1 Diabetics though those with Type 2 Diabetes can also suffer from full pancreatic failure.

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Not Producing Enough

Due to genetics and a number of environmental factors, some people's have a pancreas that produces insulin insufficient for the needs of the body. The pancreas, unaided, cannot produce enough of the hormone to metabolize all the glucose in the system.

Though this is better than not producing insulin, the same dangers apply to the damage that will occur to the vascular and other systems if the disparity continues unabated. Artificial aid such as pharmaceuticals that stimulate the production of insulin in the pancreas is one way to treat the victims of this disease. People who suffer from this pancreatic disorder are usually referred to as Type II diabetics and are not usually born with a pancreatic problem. It usually appears in adulthood, USUALLY!

battling-diabetic-neuropathy

Viva La Resistance!

The pancreas may function within normal parameters, but for some biochemical reason, the insulin does not metabolize the glucose into energy for the cells. It is as if all the employees of the Company of Pancreas is on strike. Everyone is there, but no one is working!

With this unfortunate situation, the same complications will occur as if the body produces no insulin at all and the same treatments artificially will apply. Along the spectrum of diabetes exist many of the sufferers to one degree or the other needing differing artificial intervention to assist them in living productive lives.

I say ARTIFICIAL intervention because there are natural things that SOME, NOT ALL, people can do to avoid unnatural intervention of the system. Diabetes is a manageable disorder if strict adherence to glucose or sugar levels in the blood is maintained--between 80 and 120 mg. Blood sugar control is managed by diet and exercise, medications, machine monitoring of glucose levels, and visits to a doctor who assesses the patient's health. It is a team effort between Health Workers and the Patient.

Because Diabetes is a progressive disease that slowly damages the body over the years, after ten years of successful management of the disease, complication from having diabetes may start to arise--generally between the tenth and twentieth years. Whether the glucose levels are uncontrolled, a la HIGH, or normal this will occur; consequentially, the Severity of the complications developed depend on how well diabetic Patients manage their health.

My Brimstone Monster

Diabetic Neuropathy Medical Illustration

Diabetic Neuropathy Medical Illustration

I did not manage my health well. I was diagnosed one month after returning from my mission in the South Africa Cape Town mission December of 2000. I had been having symptoms since the last few months of my mission, but I did not know it. My missionary companion, Burkley Probst may have saved my life, because he insisted that we eat healthily. I had gained almost one hundred pounds on my mission. I was not actively exercising as a missionary and I would eat mountains of food!

Since both of my parents had Type II Diabetes, I was genetically disposed to the disease. Along with my environmental factors, my habits, I may have caused the disease to occur earlier in life than it could have, maybe?

Burkley Probst Saved Me!

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Burkley would make us walk to places rather than drive each time and eat right. By the time he came along, it was too late for my health. One of the signs of having diabetes is frequent urination.

I remember when I first became aware of a health problem. Burkley and I were at a Born Again Christian's home in the middle of a prayer. The man would not stop praying, and I was sweating bullets because I could not hold my urine! I think I prayed the entire time for him to stop praying!

I bolted from the prayer circle when amen was said! Sadly, I had to urinate just 30 minutes later thinking that whatever Burkley made me eat that day caused this sudden problem.

The plane ride to the United States was gruesome for me because I had to go to the restroom every 30 minutes for 12 hours! I sat in the window seat, and the guy sitting next to me would not change seats with me! Horrid!

When I was at home, my mother took me to get tested, and I thought my life was over upon discovering I had the disease. I at least knew what was wrong with me.

Me with my family after P90X