Pre-Diabetic at the Age of 20

After my annual physical this year, my physician wanted to do a blood analysis (which I may or may not have fasted very strictly for). Shortly there­after, she told me that she wanted to do a thorough blood analysis to evaluate my risk for pre-diabetes. At the time of my initial blood work, my resting blood sugar levels were somewhere between 100 to 140, which qualifies as pre-dia­betic.

Thinking that my initial blood work was a fluke, I diligently fasted in antici­pation of my next round of blood work. After my first blood draw, I drank a lemon-lime flavored glucose drink which basically tasted like overly sweet, flat Sprite. Then, an hour later, they drew my blood again. After a third and final draw I was ready to go home. I didn’t even think about my blood work until I received a call from my doctor’s office telling me to come in as soon as possible.

Given the urgency of the phone call, I wasn’t very surprised when the doctor informed me that I had pre-diabetes. It was just bizarre that I, a “slender rela­tively healthy guy” was experiencing a disease that typically afflicts “older obese people.” Given that I didn’t fit the typical diabetic profile, the doctor set me up with the standard lancet and glucom­eter to measure my blood sugar. She also scheduled an appointment for me to meet with an endocrinologist to rule out type 1 diabetes (a predisposition of the pancreas to lack in the production of insulin) and hopefully affirm the typical type 2 diabetes that stems from over consumption, drinking, and over­all being unhealthy.

The first time I had to prick my fin­ger, as dramatic as it sounds, felt like putting a pistol to my head. I didn’t re­alize my fear of needles before this point, but apparently I am utterly terrified. I was at my parents’ house at the time and after an hour of grappling with my mother who told me to “just do it” (and also attempted to force me to), the teeny tiny scarlet droplet of blood was sucked up by the blood strip and the glucometer read E-2, which basically means it didn’t get enough blood, so I had to do it again.

Using the glucometer has gotten bet­ter each time, but the depressing thought has set in that if I don’t change my life­style by cutting out most carbs, sugars and other unhealthy items (something I should do anyways) I could actually experience consequences to that. My diet is by no means perfect, but I wouldn’t say I’m unhealthy by any means. It just seems a bit unfair that if I decide to eat the wrong thing I could shorten my lifespan. I’m 20. I weigh 135 lbs. Sometimes I go to the gym. My most frequent drink is tea. I don’t look like the old people jogging into the sunset on the informative flyers they gave me. C’est la vie. I suppose of all the lifelong diseases to get, one that motivates me to not eat garbage is probably one of the better ones. A good friend of mine that was diagnosed with HSV2 around the same time joked that we both got to join the lifelong mostly non-lethal diseases club. Hooray, I suppose this is adult­hood, the bleak celebration of imminent mortality.