Monday, July 23, 2007

Diagnosing Everything.

I am upbeat on the phone with my dad. He already had enough to worry about, but this summer he's been dealt a triple-blow to his health. First was his back surgery, so now he's spending his days at home, counting the days until he can return to work. I think his physical therapy is starting soon, which will be good for Dad. He's always been a talker, even moreso than me, chatting up strangers, making buddies at his favorite coffee shop, so getting out and seeing new faces usually does him some good.

He tells me this Wednesday he has to go in for another procedure. They've found a growth in his bladder, but they don't know what it is. It could be as simple as some scar tissue from his radiation treatments for prostate cancer four years ago, or... We acknowledge it, but we don't say it.

Then he tells me the doctor took him off the Avandia. I figure this would happen, I mean, it seems like the right thing to do. My dad has not been diagnosed with Type 2, but I think as pre-diabetic. At least in years previous. The doctor (Dr. Funk--everybody dance, but that's his real name) tells my dad that his fasting glucose is 160. So now, Dad is on Januvia and Metformin, was given an Accu-Chek monitor of some sort, and was told to make an appointment at the Diabetes Center. I don't know if Dr. Funk didn't officially diagnose him as Type 2, or if my dad is just kind of denying it for the time being, but it sounds pretty close to being diagnosed to me.

If this is an official Type 2 diagnosis for him, I am grateful that he was able to learn some from me as I was growing up. He was telling me on the phone he limits his sugar intake most of the time anyway. His favorite cereals are unsweetened (unfrosted shredded wheat, corn flakes). He takes his tea without sugar these days, as he has for years. He stopped putting sugar in his tea after I was first diagnosed, because I liked iced tea almost as much as he does. And I still do, and he still doesn't sweeten his.

I hope this is easy for him. Even if he has to consider what he's eating more carefully than before, it will be good for him. Dad's had 2 heart surgeries, one angioplasty and a bypass, respectively. He's had prostate cancer. He's tougher than he realizes. Different eating will mean new recipes, and he loves to cook these days. Eating healthier will be better for his heart. At least, thank God, he's stopped smoking.

It's one thing after another these days. The annoying girlfriend of Nigel is the least of my problems. Especially because it's seeming that her days with Nigel are numbered.

My dad's got problems, my grandfather is having back surgery, my mom's good knee has suddenly become her bad knee...but there's the thing I hoped I'd never have to hear. I may have mentioned that my favorite uncle has been ill. Not acting like himself, falling asleep at work...he said he was just depressed.

That's not all. Now my family finally has its favorite gay uncle, as we were fearing, is HIV+. We're all just glad to know what's been wrong all this time. Hopefully he can get on some meds, get the weight back on, and get back to being his stubborn, curmudgeonly self in no time, cooking us meals, cuddling with his kittycats, and snarking about those South Philly Shrews, the very bane of his retail existence.

Maybe all of this is why I'm so nervous about making an endo appointment. I'm worried that I'm next for something bad. I will just keep telling myself, "Two weeks 'til Austin; two weeks 'til Austin..." This will keep me going. Actually, I may go punch in some numbers over at to get out some of my frustrations. I hope things are better in your life, dear readers. Take care of yourselves.


  1. I"m so sorry to hear about all of that. I'll be thinking of you and your family, sending good wishes.

    Take care.

  2. Oh Hannah, hang in there. Keep you chin up! We're thinking of you in the cyberworld.

  3. Thinking of you Hannah - hang in there!

  4. Geez - everything caves in at once (or so it seems). The dust will settle.
    I had a brother who died of AIDS about 15 years ago, but they've come up with some really great treatments since then.
    Take care of yourself, and enjoy your trip.

  5. PS - I also liked your wedding pic over at TD. Reminded me of the song "Put On Your Red Dress Baby".

  6. Hannah - I hope you're hanging in... Just wanted to let you know I've been thinking of you - xoxo - Nicole


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