Diabeeeetus!

March 28, 2008 at 8:59 pm (Diabetes)

It’s still Friday!

Diabetes is an interesting world. Yes, a world.

There are a few things that diabetics experience that are, as far as I am aware, unique to diabetics. There are two major phenomena: the urination and the intense thirst. What makes this even more weird is that both can induce a joy and relief that is beyond compare. Better than food. Better than sex.

When a person becomes hyperglycemic, his blood sugar levels become higher than normal. This results in sugar being spilled into the urine. Which means more urine building up. It is strange to experience a rapidly-filling bladder without having imbibed anything. As this excessive urination continues over weeks and months, a lot of weight is literally passed out as water.

After filling up for a while, the experience of finally letting it all out is beyond expression. (Unfortunately, depending on my control over the few days before, I have the pleasure of experiencing this quite often, sometimes waking up twice at night.)

But nothing compares to the thirst. This is no ordinary thirst. When a hyperglycemiac finally drinks water, it can be a lot at one time. This is what actually made my father suspect I had diabetes. We were at the Cairo airport waiting for our flight to Karachi. I was thirsty and had to urinate. I urinated and by the time I returned, my father got a large bottle of water for me. I finished the entire bottle in one go. (When I complained a few weeks later of waking up every night in the middle thereof to urinate, he took me to get my blood tested.)

The trials and joys of being a diabetic means one belongs to a whole other world. I rejoice when I meet diabetics. I feel like I’ve met a fellow citizen of a strange planet. Someone who understands what I talk about when I want to rant about wanting to pee and drinking water being the most sublime thing evar.

I have noticed one thing, which is not the most fortunate thing. South Asians are particularly predisposed to diabetes, especially type II. (Type I diabetes mellitus means that the body produces no insulin. Insulin has to be administered by injection. Type II diabetes mellitus means that the body may produce insulin but does not know how to use it properly. In some cases, insulin has to administered by injection. In most cases, oral drugs are used to help the body use its insulin properly.) Most of my older relatives have type II diabetes. In fact, most older South Asians I know have type II. It’s a little scary to be sitting at a table of about twelve people and all but one have diabetes.

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