Making a change. That's a phrase that has come to mind very often, regarding a lot of aspects in my life these past few months. It's something I think about and then push into the back of my mind, because I am oh so good at letting life get in the way of the most important things. Today, I was really given a wake up call that made me realize that making a change is no longer an option - it's something I have to do, or else I could really be heading down a dangerous path.
For the last month or so, I've really been feeling off. Granted, school is kicking the living daylight out of me, so of course I'm not going to feel 100%. However, this is something unlike anything that I have experienced. Pretty much everything in my body has been going haywire. I've been insanely dizzy, weak, lethargic, fatigued - you name it. Going upstairs has legitimately been a challenge. I was losing my vision for no reason. Plus, I've been having some hormonal issues that have really been affecting my body's (usually normal) functioning. Something just wasn't right, and I knew I had to see someone about it.
After talking to some people, we were pretty convinced that something was wrong with my thyroid. I matched all the criteria, and all the pieces were coming together. My doctor was in agreement, so we decided to run some blood tests to rule anything else out. The tests she ordered were for my thyroid, anemia, and diabetes. The most ironic part is the fact that I completely brushed off the diabetes. I'm 21, I have no known family link to diabetes, and I'm not overweight - why would I have to worry about diabetes?
Well, I was given a rude awakening this morning. "Your tests were pretty... interesting", is what I was told on the phone. She explained that I was prediabetic, and without intervention this could lead to type 1 diabetes. This was one of the last things I expected my doctor to say to me.
Of course, my diagnosis could have been much worse. Nonetheless, it's pretty scary to hear that diabetes could be in my future. I'm going to be honest and say this is something I really don't know much about. For now, it's recommended that I cut out a majority of the sugar I eat - which is extremely difficult, given the insane sweet tooth I've had all my life. On top of being gluten-free, this limits my diet even more, which is also going to be a tough adjustment.
The biggest lesson I'm learning from this is to take care of myself. I constantly preach it to others, but it's not something I practice. My sleep schedule has been horrendous. I've slept about 20 hours in the last week. I haven't been exercising in fear of passing out at the gym. Not to mention, my self-esteem has been shot, because I have been looking as badly as I have been feeling. On top of that, the stress I have been enduring is a stone cold killer. I would not be surprised at all if it was the reason for all the other symptoms I've been experiencing. It was a matter of time before my body just crashed, and I guess the time has come.
I don't deserve to feel this way. And I'm not saying this in a, "Why me?" type of way. I'm saying it in a, "I should care about and love myself enough not to ever let myself get to this point ever again" way. My health has to start coming first, and I need to stop ignoring that fact. Take this from someone who is learning the hard way: nothing is more important than your mental and physical health. Nothing.