November 18, 2008 started out as any other regular Tuesday. Went to work, wrote a few stories had lunch at Chick-Fil-A. While all of this seems trivial, it was that day that my life changed forever.
Because I went to Chick-Fil-A, I had to have the lemonade. Not the small or even the medium size, I had to have the large. It was Chick-Fil-A for crying out loud. Chick-Fil-A lemonade is liquid crack. In a cup.
As the afternoon progressed, I started feeling an intense pain in my lower back. It was kind of sharp at times and other times just a nagging throb. I’d never felt this pain before nor had I ever heard anyone else speak of it. My initial thought was maybe it was an infection of some sort. Either way, I needed a doctor to tell me what was wrong so I could handle it.
I took off work and headed straight to the Urgent Care as I did not have a primary physician. Yes, I was 26 and no I did not have a primary physician. At that point I felt like I didn’t need one. While at urgent care, they had me do the standard urinalysis to check for infections. The nurses alerted me that there was an abundance of sugar present in my urine and they wanted to test my blood sugar.
The nurse pricked my finger and put what seemed like the largest drop of blood ever on a test strip connected to a meter that gave me the reading of a whopping 362. For those of you who don’t understand blood sugars, a healthy reading should be 140-160 two hours after eating. The fact that mine was more than two times what it should have been is frightening – now. At that time, I was surprisingly calm.
This potentially deadly disease, along with hypertension and heart disease, is running rampant on both sides of my family. I am a walking risk factor for all these diseases. I was (am) overweight. I was inactive. I ate (eat) like shit and downed sugary drinks like they were going out of style. My name is Tiffany S. Jones and I am the face of diabetes.
Funny thing, though, I didn’t have many of the symptoms. I didn’t notice the excessive thirst or frequent urination because I have been drinking about a gallon of water a day for nearly 10 years. I’m constantly tired because I don’t sleep much. I assumed the numbness in my hands was me developing carpal tunnel as I sit in front of a computer screen all day. And the blurred vision, well, I thought that came from me not wearing my glasses for extended periods of time. Add all that to the fact that I hadn’t had a full physical since I was 18 and there you have it, a recipe for disaster.
My hope here is to let you all in on what it’s like to be a young, semi-active diabetic and hopefully help you out along the way. Welcome to another side of Smarty’s World.