I very rarely talk about my health issues on this blog, simply because I try not to let them define me as a individual. I would rather define myself as a unique individual who happens to blessed with a genetic malady and the world's cheapest disease to have: diabetes.
I say cheapest, because if you have diabetes, the insurance companies have to cover your prescriptions (if you have insurance that is) and thus, your co-payments are usually zippo. That means, if you take pills, the co-payment on a $180 prescription is $0. Same goes for about any other expensive diabetic medication that you might have to take. Think I'm fooling? I have a prescription that if I had to pay retail, it would cost me about $400.
Anyways, for the most part, I stumble through my day-to-day activities with my diabetes well under control. I watch what I eat, test my sugars when I feel off and adjust accordingly, and when I am off, I let my supervisors know that if I'm hibernating in my cube it's because my sugars are out of whack and I don't want to inflict a messed up me on anyone else.
Last week, I experienced such a messed up me that when all was said and done, it made me truly wonder if the cure was really worth putting my body through the ringer.
I have, for better and worse (yeah, it is possible), a very wonky left shoulder. To whit, I had surgery on it back in 2001 for tendinitis. Over the course of the next ten years, the durability of said shoulder has ebbed and flowed with an ever escalating degree of annoyance and irritability, until by the late summer of 2011, it was really interfering with my ability to function like a normal person.
From the late summer to about now (mid November), the shoulder got to the point where it was becoming extremely uncomfortable to do anything that would be considered normal (driving, typing, writing, eating, etc., etc., etc.). So I called up my doctor and set up an appointment to have my shoulder checked out. After taking a few X-rays and diagnosing another mild case of tendinitis plus rotator cuff issues, he suggested a cortisone shot and some inflammatories (Advil) as the first step in curing the problem.
Since the second and third steps would be incredibly difficult for me to deal with (rehab & surgery), I said go for it.
One important fact that you should realize when you take either cortisone or steroids: it can temporarily jack up your blood sugar. Normally not an issue when you're not a diabetic, it becomes a major issue when you're a diabetic. Especially if you take medication on a daily basis.
My friends, not only did my body take a proverbial beat down with this cortisone shot (which I might add, is working out very fine so far), but I had to tweak my medications for the entire week, which of course left me in a most irritable frame of mind.
Consider this fact: My fasting sugars are usually around 115 and the day is usually spent functioning anywhere between that number and 150. Last week, I started Tuesday at 315 and I didn't drift down below 150 until Saturday morning.
Not only was I functioning with a stubbornly high blood sugar, but I also had to deal with vicious mood swings (my hot flashes would make yours feel like the end result of sticking your forearm in the oven while taking a tray out), frequent trips to the porcelain gods, brutal acid indigestion and hiccups.
Yes, you heard correctly, hiccups. I spent four and a half days suffering from a severe case of the hiccups. How bad was it? Ever try carrying on a semi-important phone conversation and apologizing every five seconds for hiccuping?
By Saturday, I was back down to my usual abnormal self, but to be honest with you, the next time that I'm offered a cortisone shot to ease the pain of a particular body part, I will definitely think twice about subjecting myself to that kind of torture again.
So my good friends, my question to you is this: Ever have a procedure done where in order to achieve long term relief for your particular problem, you had to suffer through a week's worth of rotten side effects in order to achieve that goal of long term relief for the problem at hand?