Getting Older.

My birthday is coming up in less than 2 months and although I won’t say exactly how old I’ll be, I’ll just admit that I’m in my thirties heading toward a new age “bracket”. For some reason I am not at all looking forward to this new age bracket. I mean no one really likes getting older right? But I think I know why I am not happy about it. Not only is my body getting older, my diabetes is getting older too. I have been blessed so far with no major complications. After 29 years. I thank God every day for this. But it makes me wonder how long it can remain that way.

I definitely don’t feel as good, in general, as I used to. I feel more tired, worn out easier, achy in certain body parts, etc. I know that this gets more common with age and that other things come along with it. But that’s just the body aging part. It’s really the diabetes aging part that instills a great fear in me. I’m managing my diabetes better now than ever before (or at least trying) but that doesn’t mean damage hasn’t been done to my body. And it scares the hell out of me what that damage could possibly have lie ahead of me in the future.

I worry a lot about my heart. I’m not sure if that’s because it’s the one vital organ that keeps me alive. Or if because it’s one part of me that doesn’t get checked out often. I see my ophthalmologist twice a year, my endocrinologist and diabetes educator every 3 months, my gynecologist once a year, my gastroenterologist and dentist at least once a year, my podiatrist, dermatologist, orthopedist, allergist and otolaryngologist when necessary so I’m comfortable that all those parts of me are working properly. For the most part. And phew, that was a lot of ‘gists and ‘ologists! Especially for a thirty-something year old! But my heart is really only checked out when I have my annual physical exam that includes an EKG. Those have always been normal and I have no reason to believe that there is a problem with my heart. But I know that 29 years of diabetes can cause some issues with it. Or with anything for that matter. So as a birthday present for myself, this year I am going to add another ologist to my list … the cardiologist. Not my idea of a fun gift but even to just put my mind at ease. And that is something I can look forward to.

Getting older can be tough on the body. Getting older can be even tougher on diabetes. I’m hoping if I stay on top of things, I can impede those things I am most of afraid of. Really hoping.

13 thoughts on “Getting Older.

  1. I saw a cardiologist in May, and I’m not afraid to admit it was reassuring to know I was finally getting that scary thing checked out! No one wants to add another doctor, but it’s so nice when you feel like you’re taking the right precautions. Good on you, S!

  2. I’ll be posting soon about my endo appt today and what he said about turning 35, even as a woman, due to family history of early heart disease. Sigh…

  3. If you need one, mine rocks! He is really nice and assures me that getting a baseline is smart and proactive. He also discussed my fears about family history. Let me know. I totally get the whole “age bracket” looming, especially today lol.

  4. I hope it gives you the peace of mind that you want.

    For what it’s worth, although I’m at least a few years older than you, I feel like things started falling apart on me too in recent years. An ache here a stiffness there. I’m too young for this! :)

  5. Hey, we are ALL “too young for this” — and I’m saying this from the vantage point of having ridden my first half-century on my half-century birthday. I’m largely a believer in positive thought here, and I refuse to think my body is growing older. (Of course, this may all change after next week’s doctor visit when I can finally get a chance to talk about all the hand issues and thermoregulation issues I’ve had this winter.)

    That said, I need to get some time out on the bicycle. Wednesday rides start in April and I’ve not ridden more than ten miles at the time since October. *sigh*

  6. I wrote about this last month for DiabetesMine, and from what I’ve learned, as long as your blood pressure and your lipids are in the range they are supposed to be (and those are things you get checked regularly with your endo) then you are probably fine. So in fact, you are probably keeping up with your heart more often than you’d think, it’s just that our body is so interconnected that when you check up on other organs, that means your heart is getting checked too. I think it would be hard for your heart to suddenly fail without you noticing it in the other organs as well. If you missed that post, you can go check it out. It might spark some questions you want to ask your cardiologist.

  7. Stacey-

    I hope everything is ok but I am very proud of how you have taken care of yourself. I am curious to see what the cardiologist has to say. Btw, I can’t believe you are crossing over into another age bracket. You still look like your in your early 30′s.

  8. I hear ya Stacey! I am also hitting a new age bracket this year…I always tell people what my age is but that that I get tired faster and don’t have as much energy as I should because I’m 50 in diabetic years :)

  9. Pingback: » Around the Diabetes Blogosphere… March Edition - DiabetesMine: the all things diabetes blog

  10. Well, I’m 63, so have quite a number on you. As far as I’m concerned, you haven’t even reached middle age! :-)
    As far as heart disease, I wouldn’t worry very much, but I do think a consult with a cardio might put your mind at ease.
    When I was 44, I had a coronary artery spasm, and my cardio watches me like a hawk, because I have a triple whammy for heart disease — diabetes, the coronary artery spasm, and the fact that my non-diabetic father had his first heart attack before the age of 53. I’ve been having chest pain for the last 5 days, and tomorrow I’m having an angiogram — the cardio said they don’t dink around with diabetics!
    So I have a hunch and a hope that your visit to the cardio will result in him saying you’re good to go, and to be sure to come back if you have any problems!

  11. Stacey — As an 81-year-old PWD (Type 2 on MDI, for 19 years) my only comment is — stop worrying, get living!!!

  12. You go, Stacey! You are rockin’ it with the self-care, keeping up with all the (too-many) ‘ologists and “managing my diabetes better now than ever before (or at least trying).” You deserve a real pat on the back!

    I’m 45 and will hit 30 in diabetic years this summer (yay me!), and I too have had no major complications to speak of (whew!), and have a non-db parent with (early) coronary heart disease.

    Am I worried? Maybe, but I try not to dwell on it, as one never knows. A non-db friend with no family history recently got breast cancer. Ya just never know what may happen. So instead, I try to exercise a lot (for heart), eat well (not always, ahem), and, as Allison said, get bp and chol. checked regularly (I am taking a statin for the fact that my GOOD chol, HDL, is low, and that’s probably genetic).

    The general anxiety and fear that comes with living with a serious chronic illness is normal. I have also found that psychotherapy has helped, as well as other supports in my life.

    I wish you a very happy birthday! Live it up! You’re doing great!

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