On a scale of 1 to “it’s inoperable,” this is probably about a 6, in terms of things I do not want my doctor to say to me. And yet he did say that to me, while holding my lab in his hand, just two days ago.
“What does that mean?” I said. “Is that bad?”
“Well,” he harrumphed. “I mean, don’t worry about it. You’re not … you’re not going to turn into a pumpkin or anything.”
In fact, we both knew that my turning into a pumpkin was precisely what had caused this problem. I wasn’t being totally honest when I asked him what that meant. I know what that means. It means you’re pre-diabetic, which is not good news, especially if your dad is diabetic. And his grandmother was diabetic. And your uncle is diabetic. You get the picture. Basically, if you want to clear out a Hubley family reunion in a hurry, all you have to do is yell, “THAT COFFEE IS FULL OF REAL SUGAR!” and everyone will go running for their insulin or metformin or what-have-you.
Still, I gave stupid another go. “Hey,” I said. “Just as long as I’m not, you know, pre-diabetic or anything!”
So. Pre-diabetic then. Anything I can do?
He shrugged. “It’s not … you don’t need to worry right now. I mean, you’ll be fine … for the next year or two.”
I am 35 years old.
I should mention here that my doctor is the tops. He wasn’t bullshitting around with me because he didn’t want to have a hard conversation. In fact, I suspect that he was trying to be kind to me, because he knows how hard I’ve worked to keep my weight under 200 pounds since my thyroid crapped out a few years ago.
“OK, let’s say I lost 20 pounds,” I suggested. “Might that help.”
“Sure!” he said, as if he felt that was just as likely as my growing a unicorn horn and using it to catch hula hoops in front of the statue of Columbus outside his office.
So I went home. I waited to feel terrible, but actually, I felt sort of accepting. OK, pre-diabetes. Basically, I was thinking a simple flow-chart, the kind they made us do in fifth grade, once all our imaginary families had died of cholera in Oregon Trail. I loved flow-charts, and spent a lot of time thinking of ways to make my real life fit into them. It actually did help with decision making.
My flow-chart for pre-diabetes looked like this:
It seemed workable. I texted Sgt. Lucky and announced that I would be losing 20 pounds, due to a scary sounding condition he’d never heard of. Once the heart attack subsided, he was pretty calm about it.
I called my sister and she was super mad. “You have fruit and nuts for breakfast,” she said. “How can you be pre-diabetic?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “It doesn’t seem fair. But that’s genes for ya.”
“Well, you’ll always be my little Diabeetus cat,” she said. “My little Wilford Brimley.”
This is truly, and I am not kidding, what family is for.
Later, I made it a Hubley hat trick and called my folks, who were much less concerned.
“I don’t believe in pre-diabetes,” Ma Smash, our nurse, said. “You’re diabetic or you’re not, and 103 fasting isn’t diabetic.”
“You probably have some glucose issues,” Pa Smash said. “Just about everyone who isn’t at the weight they want to be will have those, at one time or another. But I’d kill everyone in this neighborhood for sugars like that, and you’re doing everything right.”
Family, man. Who needs sugar when I have a whole team of sweeties? Love ’em.
Image via Memestick.