A man with a worried expression juggles multiple colorful blobs of different shapes and sizes.

How I Juggle Multiple Health Conditions

Many people would love to go back in time and correct things. I know I would. Just a few years ago, I didn't have type 2 diabetes. I also didn't have renal cell carcinoma.

Now I live with multiple challenging health conditions, including type 2 diabetes.

Experiencing some positive outcomes

There are good things, though. Because of the medicine I take to help manage my diabetes, I've lost over 70 pounds.

It's taken over a year, but I've made it this far and want to lose a bit more. My goal weight is in sight. Also, had I not had a painful bout with sciatica, I wouldn't have gone to the doctor and discovered my kidney cancer.

But of course, I'd love to go back and change my lifestyle so that type 2 diabetes wouldn't be an issue, nor would a lot of the weight.

Type 2 diabetes complicates procedures

It's not the easiest thing to live with type 2 diabetes and other health issues simultaneously. Whenever I have surgery, see the doctor for a procedure, or want to get out of the hospital, my blood sugar must be checked and approved.

When I was in the hospital, I was constantly disturbed or awakened so that nurses can monitor my blood sugar. It was hard enough trying to sleep without those disruptions. The nurses monitored my blood sugar levels before and after surgery.

The good news is that I only experienced one time when my blood sugar was a tad high. This was after surgery, and doctors told me my blood sugar was expected to increase. They gave me insulin, which is not what I usually take, and it corrected the problem. Every other time, my blood sugar was within normal ranges.

Managing cancer and diabetes

My point is that even with the worst possible diagnosis, such as cancer, I still have to keep up with managing my diabetes. It doesn't go away magically just because there's a new concern. Diabetes seems to always be at the forefront of my care. And unfortunately, I'll always be in that boat.

Controlling my diabetes is still important

Even with a now-normal A1C level, I will always have type 2 diabetes, even when it's considered controlled. I realize I do a better job of it now, but when you're going through something scary, it puts a damper on things. I don't always eat nutritious foods, and I've found on my Ozempic shot day, I crave certain foods or tend to eat more. That's normal for me, anyway.

I had all my surgeries previously. Now, I will start with adjuvant therapy with an oncologist soon. I imagine I'll still have the doctors monitor my glucose levels before any treatment begins. That just makes things take longer, but I know it is essential.

What I would tell my past self

If I could go back in time, I'd warn myself of how my lifestyle decisions may have contributed to my diabetes diagnosis and what would happen in the future. Would I have done things differently? I like to hope so.

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