Monday, September 21, 2009

Story part 2

Sorry, I meant to post the second part last night, but got caught up in the Sunday night football game and in a bad mood because the Cowboys lost.

My story resumes in January when school started. By the first week of the second semester I was becoming thirsty all all day every day, and I noticed that I was urinating very frequently (two red flags for diabetes). I will admit that I hit every stage of denial, but changed my life very little. I still drank like a 21 year old college male, played a lot of ultimate frisbee, and ate a lot of food- mainly carbohydrates too.

I noticed frisbee was getting more challenging than normal. I was getting tired sooner, and it seemed like I was losing some of my overall strength. About late January I started losing weight. People started noticing, which bothered me because I was obsessed with telling myself that I was still healthy, when in fact, I knew I wasn't. I sweat less and less when I played frisbee or ran. I was doing push-ups but only getting weaker. I even started drinking whole milk.

O yeah, I was in denial.

When I look back at pictures from Mardi Gras that February I still get shocked at how skinny I was. You could tell it on my face. I had emaciated cheeks. I was pale. It looked like my body was breaking down. In a way, it sort of was since I could get no glucose from the food I was eating. My body had to break down all the fat and then move on to muscle. When healthy and in control of my sugar levels I am 5'10'' and 155 pounds. When diagnosed I had dropped to about 125 pounds. You can see the difference in these two pictures.

This is a picture of me (sorry for the mohawk) looking normal. At normal weight.

This is a picture of me (far left with the black shorts) playing at a tournament one week before I went to the hospital. I did not look good. And at that time in the tournament, I did not fell like roses either....

Even an old girlfriend, who was at the time and still is someone that I really listened to was telling something had to be wrong. That I probably did have diabetes and should get it checked out. By late February I couldn't make it through the night without peeing twice, or three times. I didn't remember what it was like to not be thirsty. I made no saliva, which meant I drank while I was eating, just to get it down. And I constantly had to use the restroom. I was drinking enough to urinate for 2 minutes at a time, but 10-15 times a day??!?!?

So I finally went into Student Health at Saint Louis University on Monday March 10th, the week before Spring Break started. They didn't have a glucose meter, so they took blood and sent it to the hospital. I went on finally beginning to come to terms with the fact that something wasn't right inside of me, but was trying to stay hopeful. I remember using the bathroom 4 times that night- I woke up my roommate Alex all 4 times, something that made him really nervous.

Then I received the phone call at 7:00am.

"Hi, is this Henry?"


"This is (so and so) from Student Health?"


"Henry are you there?"


"We have made an appointment with you in the Emergency Room. You need to go right away"


And then silence. I looked at my wide-eyed roommate who was staring at me. And then I knew. I didn't need to be rushed to the ER by my Dad who answered his phone at work I think before it even rang. Alex knew, my Dad knew, everyone knew, and finally I started to believe it.

Part three is much less dramatic and actually funny. You'll get to really see my personality in my hospital story. If anyone else has recently been diagnosed, was this anything like your story?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Henry,

    Thought I'd come by and check out your blog after seeing your comment on my site.

    (Wow. Amazing how after all this time, I still tear up when I read a diagnosis story.)

    Though it sounds like you're handling this "new normal" beautifully. I look forward to reading more of your story, and sharing it with my son. He'll be going into high school next year and I'm sure would learn a lot from the experiences you share here.

    (Oh, and if you haven't read them already and are at all curious, I talk about Joseph's diagnosis in these posts.)

    Take care,