Aging Backwards….takes on a new meaning! My last year in the 40’s was the toughest year for me from a medical perspective. My husband and I took a scuba diving trip down to Mexico for my 49th birthday and when we returned to the States, I started getting sick. I thought it was a terrible migraine that wouldn’t go away but, in actuality, it was the beginning of a health saga. The first illness was meningitis. I’m so thankful it was viral and not the more dangerous bacterial version. I was released from the hospital the day before my daughter’s high school graduation. I slapped on that happy smile, attended her graduation and then hosted her graduation luncheon for a houseful of guests. Then I snuck upstairs for a nap! It took over a week – close to two, actually – for the headache and stiff neck to fully subside. The first fall out from the meningitis came in the form of vision issues. When I came home from the hospital, I needed reading glasses. I thought it was a little too coincidental that I was seeing fine and then I couldn’t see my phone.
LITERALLY THE LETTERS WERE THIS BIG and were still blurry!
It cleared up after a few weeks so I chalked it up to still having some inflammation from the meningitis. In August, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune illness called Hashimotos. I have struggled with my thyroid for years and finally was referred to an endocrinologist who confirmed that I have this disease. Hashimotos can wreak havoc on your system…causing weight gain and lethargy. I had both of these symptoms, along with several others, but I just powered thru thinking it was how life with four kids was meant to be lived! I was excited to start on some medication that might help budge the scales and restore some of my zapped energy! I was feeling older instead of aging backwards like I wanted. By mid-October my vision issues returned but this time I was unable to see distance (and the near vision was now perfect, again). This made tennis difficult! My eye doctor gave me some contacts that I could wear for tennis and I wore only one contact the rest of the time. During the next few weeks, I finally started to see the scales moving downward. I was so excited and thankful that the meds had finally kicked in! I had my physical scheduled for the end of October and when I went in, I was shocked to learn that my Fasting Blood Sugar was over 300! My doctor assumed, because of my age and the need to drop a few pounds, that I was a Type 2 Diabetic. The high sugars made the vision issues make sense but I had been losing weight rapidly the previous week. From the time I saw the nurse to have my blood drawn to the doctor visit a week later, I had lost almost 7 pounds! My vision issues got even whackier and I was wearing my silly reading glasses to see distance! After a series of blood work, it was quickly discovered that I actually had JUVENILE DIABETES! While unusual, it’s not uncommon to be diagnosed later in life. So, now I say that I’m aging backwards since my skincare makes me look younger and now my body thinks it’s a teenager. Too bad I don’t have the body of a teenager!! I have quickly adapted to the endless finger pricks and multiple daily insulin shots. At the time of this writing, I have already had close to 1,000 finger pricks!
So, what have I learned? First, we ALL have SOMETHING! This is my thing. I had to embrace it and own it. I’m so thankful that I was diagnosed as an adult. That really is the silver lining. Being diagnosed as an adult has major perks. I am past caring what others think. Being different is hard as a child or a young adult but by the time you are in your 40’s and 50’s no one cares! I’ve escaped 50 years of damage to my body and I can eat most anything I want as long as I’m willing to take insulin. I’m trying to make healthy choices but knowing that I CAN eat whatever I want is somehow comforting and let’s me feel in control. However, the INTENSE rise in sugar took a toll on my skin. One of the first signs was sagging skin on my neck. I kid you not. I noticed the neck issues before I recognized the other symptoms as diabetes. So, when you hear that sugar accelerates the aging process…BELIEVE THEM!! I’m so thankful to have the #1 premium anti-aging skincare line in my cabinet! If you can’t say the same, we need to talk! I am now diligent about rolling nightly with my Amp MD Roller! It’s helping to rewind those lines!
On my 50th birthday, I received my insulin pump. I’ve worn it for one week and it has already been a HUGE blessing so I guess it really was the perfect thing to receive on my birthday! Tonight, I attended my first JDRF Promise Ball as a T1D. I am so thankful for the research they have done…exciting things are in the future! We have a great community here in Tulsa with a lot of support. There really is a Promise for a future without Juvenile Diabetes!
My life is forever changed but feeling like I’m “aging backwards” makes it a little more fun:) I have a lot of reasons to stay healthy and helping to cure this disease is one of them!