So:  I went to my doctor this past Thursday for my annual physical, and by the end of the exam had learned I have type 2 diabetes.

If I’m being honest, then looking back over the last eight to ten months, this isn’t the biggest surprise.  During that time, I’ve lost about thirty pounds, without any real effort on my part.  (And this after busting my hump at Tang Soo Do for five and a half years.)  I’ve also been tired pretty much all the time, and have felt genuinely physically awful.  I chalked some of this up to sleep apnea, some to allergies, but I’d also done the Web MD thing, and in addition to a host of horrifying cancers and Scottish sporan rot, had read that diabetes was a possible culprit.  Which isn’t to say that my doctor saying, “Yep, it’s diabetes,” wasn’t a shock, but not an unmitigated one, if you see what I mean.

At the moment, it’s still early days.  I’m checking my blood sugar four times a day and injecting fast-acting insulin when the reading’s too high.  I’m also taking a pill designed, in the words of the pharmacist, to tickle my pancreas.  And of course, my diet has changed, radically.  The good news is, my blood sugar has descended, if slowly, from its Olympian heights.  And I feel better than I have in a long, long time, which is more cheering than I can say.  I’m hoping this might mean I’ll be a bit more productive as a writer, too (I’m looking at you, Ellen Datlow).

I can’t help wanting to include a bit of the public service announcement here:  go to your doctor, take care of yourself, that kind of thing.  This past July, I turned 48, which is the age my father was when he had two heart attacks, one that put him in the hospital, and one shortly after he was admitted.  Even before this doctor’s visit, I was looking over my shoulder, wondering what might be headed my way.  Superstitious, but what are you gonna do?  After his health catastrophe, my dad had ten years to go.  I’m hoping for more.


6 thoughts on “Diabetes

  1. rbwood says:

    One step at a time, man. You caught it, you are taking the appropriate steps. I shall expect seven novels by Christmas. 🙂

  2. Craig Gidney says:

    Went through the same thing 4 years ago. My blood sugar levels are officially pre-diabetes. It will become second nature!

  3. John, have you considered the Ketogenic diet? I am 45, and have lost 25 lbs since Memorial day of this year by eating mostly bacon, cheese and spinach, and by cutting my carbs down to roughly 20 grams per day. I realize that sounds extreme, but I’m not on any medications, and I feel amazing.

    Please at least check out this link: https://www.reddit.com/r/keto/wiki/keto_in_a_nutshell#wiki_1._what_does_keto_do_to_my_body.3F

    All the best – Sharon

  4. I wish you the very best of luck in getting the D in check. As troubling as it must be to have to deal with this scare, you sure seem to be doing everything right now. Know that your fans and admirers are rooting for you.

  5. Hi there, Mr. Langan —

    First off, just wanted to extend my best wishes to you and your family as you deal with this new stage in your life. There’s no doubt you’ll be on the good foot again soon enough. Secondly, I just wanted to reach out to say that I just finished The Fisherman and, needless to say, was blown away by it. A genuine joy to read, front to back, with an emotional weight that was as human as the Fisher and Leviathan were monstrous. I’ve been listening to interviews you’ve done with This Is Horror, Halloweekly, and the like, and if there is one thing that strikes me about you, Mr. Langan, it’s your graciousness and humility. On a personal level, hearing that The Fisherman and House of Windows had quite a journey finding a publisher gives me some relief, as I have a novel out on submission that hasn’t been picked up yet. It gives me hope that if a novel as wonderful as The Fisherman didn’t find an immediate home, then I can stand to be a little more patient and continue to do the work in the meantime, and always, really. Thanks for your work, Mr. Langan, and know you’ve got a lifelong fan.


  6. T.M. Morgan says:

    I got diagnosed at 27, going on 20 years now, and just started on an insulin pump and constant glucose meter (CGM). It’s a manageable disease and, in some ways, forces you to live healthier. Yes, watch your levels, gets your eyes checked annually, find a good endocrinologist (rather than just primary care), and take good care of yourself. Good luck.


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