This is the first of a four-part post documenting atypical ways I was having symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes but didn’t know it, and the astonishing result.
If you have concerns or questions regarding your current condition, please see your doctor immediately!
I’ve become pretty skillful with Right Speech, speaking only what is kind, truthful or honest, and furthers the situation. This is one of eight ways collectively known as the Eightfold Path that the Buddha taught. I take great care which words I choose, expressing what I want to communicate to avoid risking being misunderstood.
Back in the days leading up to when I was diagnosed with Type 2, I noticed on occasion an annoying inability to be able to express my thoughts accurately. Translating a thought into speech, what had always been an innate act of articulating a thought, eluded me at times . I’d have awareness of what I wanted to communicate and how I preferred to articulate it. But beyond that awareness, I noticed sometimes feeling adrift, stumbling in a process that had, up until this point, been seamless.
Words I wanted to say escaped me. I heard them accurately in my thoughts, but they were unable to make it out of my mouth.
Happening more frequently than I was courageous enough to admit, it became a significant endeavor communicating both simple, factual information, and intricate, abstract thoughts accurately. I struggled at times to find the right word, the most succinct phrase.
Instead, I resorted to falling back on more simplistic communication, a cumbersome phrase, or multiple words to describe what I meant. It was a humbling experience.
It was also really frightening, realizing that my previous level of articulation seemed suddenly inaccessible.
Was I losing language or the ability to express it, as in a neurological condition called aphasia? Someplace between thought and articulation, words dropped away, vanishing or hiding under a cloak of invisibility.
I observed helplessly as a phrase, concept, thought or saying arose in my mind – then by the time it moved onto the launchpad to become the spoken word, it became lost, or even worse, jangled.
Sometimes the intended words fell out of my mouth in an inverted, dyslexic way. Words transposed, switched around, sounding odd as my voice trailed off inaudibly, in a feeble attempt to disguise the mistake.
I knew internally what I want to express, sometimes even seeing the image of a word or phrase, but in that liminal space in between the knowing and the words being spoken audibly, something happened and they were misplaced. What emerged might, or might not, be the thought I wanted to express.
Often what I spoke was far less eloquent than the thought that first arose. This disturbing pattern persisted well beyond a careless explanation of just being distracted, tired, a “senior moment”, further evaporation of estrogen or whatever string of excuses I struggled to believe in.
Despite the litany of noticeable changes in appetite and digestion, and along with the disturbing neuro-cognitive effects, I still did not connect the dots.
It didn’t end with this weirdness with words.
As if to pull out all the stops in getting me to heed what was going on, my body began to display an ongoing range of minor eruptions. Each one not a significant cause for alarm, just highly uncharacteristic for someone with robust health (at least up until then), further adding notes to an increasingly discordant tune.
An abscessed thumb sent me to the emergency room one evening. Back-to-back outbreaks of thrush had me running for increasingly stronger over-the-counter treatments over the course of several weeks. Even the weeks of inability to digest limited amounts of food, paired with really unusual (for me) hankering for odd flavors or drinks didn’t alert me sufficiently.
Despite the continuous nature of these various flare-ups, I dutifully applied first-aid or over-the-counter remedies, as I viewed them as discrete, independent events. I noticed how long each incident took to heal, and the fact that the next symptom to worry over arrived quickly, often barely hours or days after the last incident’s subsiding. At times they overlapped.
The evidence pointed to something systemic happening, but I wasn’t able to interpret it that way at the time. It was a notion still far from my mindset.
But as the symptoms escalated, it become more difficult holding onto that perspective. Still, I managed to remember to laugh at what was happening.
The turning point came with a flourish, a really disturbing attention grabber.
Find out what grabbed my attention in Part 2. Sign up to receive the next post directly into your inbox!
Humor can be a useful tool, in addition to making us feel good. It can dispel anxiety, mild stress or feeling down. It has the ability to tone down anything we might take too seriously! It’s a mutually exclusive state with anxiety – both cannot co-exist simultaneously in the same body. Laugh, and your body/mind will relax!
Choose a comedy to watch, visit with friends you can share a laugh with, or recall shared humorous memories with your family.
Learn to laugh at yourself by focusing on looking for the humor in your situation. Make that an exercise by setting an intention to find a way to see it from a funny perspective.
Be sure to set a precedent for others, by laughing at yourself. If you take that stance, others will feel safe, and follow your lead. Laughing together over something you did allows you to see the moment in a light way, and if sharing with others, enables them to perceive you as a humorous person.
Try not to take it seriously even if it is – it helps to take a lighter attitude towards yourself.
What finally got your attention that led to your being diagnosed? How did you respond, what helped you deal with it?
Leave a comment below, it could help someone else get the help they deserve.