Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Summer Breeze - and Diabetes

I heard on the news today that Marvin Isley, the bassist in the Isley Brothers, has died age 56.

Now that's older than me - - but it's not very old, is it?

They were being a bit cagey about the cause of death - "diabetes-related complications" they said.


Being diabetic myself, I - selfishly, I know! - never like to hear about people who die young from diabetes.

So I did a bit of investigation on t'interclacker - let's face it, it didn't take long - and found out that he had spent decades ignoring the disease.

And because of it he'd had high blood pressure, a stroke, had both legs amputated and had lost the use of his left hand.

That's the trouble with the Type 2 kind of diabetes - the kind that I've got. You can ignore it for quite some time - - you just feel a bit tired, and always thirsty, and you pee a lot because you're always thirsty, and you tend to put on weight.

But, over the years, it can lead to cardiovascular disease - - high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes - and other complications such as kidney damage and loss of eyesight. Bad circulation can lead to limb amputations. Too much sugar sloshing around in the blood all the time instead of giving fuel to the muscles does a heck of a lot of long-term damage.

It may still get me in the end, but I'm fending it off for as long as possible. I've never smoked, I don't drink alcohol except very occasionally, and I'm doing a lot of swimming and some walking too.

My diet could be better, I know - although I have lots and lots of fruit and vegetables, I still eat too much fat and I'm still somewhat overweight - though losing it very gradually. My blood pressure is low and I'm not on any medication for it. The pulses in my feet - one thing they always check for - are always very good.

I'm not getting it perfect by any means but I'm making quite a lot of effort. I was reared on a diet where every meal ended with something sweet and it's hard to leave all that behind.

What I'd like to say to anyone with the tiredness and thirstiness symptoms mentioned above is - - get it checked out! There's a lot - a LOT! - of undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes about, and it's important to find out and get it treated. The hideous long-term complications aren't usually mentioned because - quite frankly - they are so very unglamorous.

Here are the Isley Brothers with Summer Breeze, which I've always liked, and it's the season for it. I'm sorry about Marvin's death and I hope it wasn't too horrible for him. But I suspect that it was.


Anonymous Ruth said...

I'm not quite sure why but that made me cry - perhaps because it's a lovely song and it's sad that Marvin Isley has died. Or perhaps it's because everything's not alright for someone who lives with and dies from the effects of a serious medical condition. But thank you for posting it.

11:40 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Sounds to me like you're doing brilliantly with your own diabetes - living sensibly but remembering to have fun and not to allow yourself to become wholly slavish to health professionals' advice. As a nurse practitioner, my wife, Shirley, specialises in supporting "patients" with diabetes so I do have some insight into how people live with the condition.

1:23 am  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

This is from out of left field (Americanism for unrelated to anything else), but how is "diabetes" pronounced in the UK? When I was young we said di-a-BEE-tis but now everyone seems to say di-a-BEE-TEES (same thing with PRO-cess-es and PRO-cess-EES). So if you say the latter, I perceive that the title of your post makes a little rhyme. And if the former, never mind.

12:41 pm  

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