Wednesday, April 08, 2009


At the university today, I was talking to someone who has diabetes too. Hers is more advanced than mine, and she's on insulin, although she's a Type 2 diabetic, like me.

I was telling her how Metformin makes me feel queasy so I'm on a lower dose than I used to be, and how I've added Gliclazide to it, and that makes me want to eat everything in sight - - it boosts the insulin and that makes me more or less permanently hungry, with an added interesting twist that occasionally my blood sugar crashes really low really quickly and I have to be careful always to have something like a sweet to hand, just in case.

She didn't cheer me up.

"Oh yes," she said, "I used to feel terrible all the time when I was on Metformin. And I put on three stone when I went onto Gliclazide."

Hmmm - - yes, well, I've lost a stone over the past year and I'm sure as hell not putting it back. So I'm being really careful what I eat at the moment.

Then she said something that I really didn't like.

"And I'm sure that diabetes has really damaged my memory. I asked one of the doctors, and he said it can do that."

WHAT?!!! Noooooooooooooooo! Now, I know that diabetes coats your innards with excess sugar (that's a bit of a simplified explanation, but more or less true) and that basically wrecks it all slowly, and takes an average of fifteen years off your life. Though I've always thought that oh, no, I'm not having that apply to me, I'll make jolly sure that it doesn't, by eating carefully and exercising and taking my medication.

But damage to my memory? That really scares me.

I have a very good memory in general, and I know I tend to rely on it overmuch. I often feel it's one of the (few) things I'm good at, remembering stuff. I can remember lots and lots from my childhood and in my adult life, I've only to "think" myself into a certain time and I get all the memories flooding back.

At school and university it came in useful, too, for passing exams. Whatever they say about how exams aren't just a memory test, I found that remembering things can get you a very long way with exams.

I do, of course, realise that a good memory isn't everything. Being able to work things out is really important too (and no, that's not one of my strengths). Being able to think "outside the box" is good (no, I can't do that either usually).

What I'm good at is as follows. Someone else has a bright idea. I remember what it was that they suggested and I doggedly put it into practice and carry it through with pedantic thoroughness.

And if I have an appointment or something, I write it on the calendar as a safety net - - but only after I've learned it.

Memory is so much a part of who I think I am - - and I dread losing it. Short-term memory would be bad enough - I could start writing things down more I suppose - - but I love being able to plunge into my long-term memory. Another term for this is "not concentrating and daydreaming." I did a lot of that when I was in boring lessons at school, and I still do if I'm in a meeting that isn't very interesting.

So, I do hope that my diabetes won't affect my memory. If I've already written a post that's very similar to this one, please don't tell me.


Blogger Silverback said...

Donno about losing your memory but diabetes has definitely made you a spoilsport.

I was all set with my witty, if obvious, comment until your last line totally stole my literary thunder.

Damn you, woman !

6:57 pm  
Blogger Debby said...

I had something brilliant to say.

I forgot what it was.

See, it's old age and not diabetes that does it!

I do believe that if you use it you won't lose it...or at least not all of it.

Hmmmmm Ian is perhaps diabetic and doesn't know it.

3:50 am  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

I don't have diabetes that I know of and my memory has always been quite good, but your post still scared me, Darlene.

12:44 pm  

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