Descent into diabetes

The quiet slide from pre-diabetes into diabetes was a breeze. I had some fear, some trepidation, but the meds I was put on were easy to take and much better than the insulin shots I’ve long dreaded. I took to watching my diet, and even exercised a bit by walking to and from my office space in the Capitol press room.

The weight kept adding on. I stopped taking daily sugar counts. My doctor said everything looked okay. I joined a gym and actually went several times a day. I would drive the dog out to a quartet of parks around the city so I could walk her while looking at the Hudson, the views from the Helderberg escarpment, the fields along the Normanskill, or the floral arrangements in Washington Park.

A new medicine didn’t mix well with alcohol, so I stopped with the evening cocktail and glass of wine. So what if I doubled down on desserts and let the diet slide some?


Then the novel coronavirus hit. At first all was well; I’d just returned from northern Italy with the flu and lost 15 pounds in three weeks. When the warnings started about diabetics being on the front lines of those most susceptible to serious illness and death, I figured I might be safe. I’d been tested, even though the tests then weren’t true. I’d made it through the worst of times.

Now I’m not so sure. I’ve not been exercising as I should. I blame the complex web of deadlines I tend to build around me, but know I can shift that if I really want to. I can walk the dog daily up the Myrtle Street hill I look at from my writing desk. I could do my stairs 20 times a day. I could even try situps again. I could eschew sweets of all kinds, be a body-woke man for a change.

I’m feeling the diabetes now. With Covid raging again, I feel my age, my pre-existing conditions. I’m older than Mike Pence and most of the Democratic vice-presidential possibilities. I’ve rewritten my will and try to get in bed before ten each evening, and sleep a bit past six.

Would I do it all differently now, given the chance? That doesn’t seem a fair question. I want to plumb my condition for all I can glean from it.

The dog knows that it’s time for that now-daily walk up the Myrtle Street hill.

Read more installments of Village Voices by Paul Smart.

There are 2 comments

  1. Chris

    Such a ho-hum response to a life-debilitating/threatening illness you could stop in its tracks without meds: quit eating carbs. Period. And walk your dog twenty minutes twice a day after meals. That simple. Really.

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