A mystery solved!

Last year in April when I was walking in the Massif Central in France I had a set of symptoms which led me to the erroneous belief that I was having heart trouble. Among them were extreme fatigue that didn’t seem to relate to the amount of effort I was making and an elevated heart rate hours after I was finished walking for the day. When I returned home I went through a battery of tests to check out my heart and circulatory system thoroughly. After several months, the cardiologist gave me a completely clean bill of health. I was delighted, but still did not know or understand the cause(s) of my physical problems in France. It was not until about a month ago that the mystery was resolved. As part of my plan to go back to France to continue my walk, I had a routine medical. All was fine and the doctor asked me to get a fasting blood sugar test. And I did. When I came back to his office a few days later, he said, without preamble; “Your blood sugar level is 7.2”. I had no idea what this meant and said so. Again without preamble, he said; “It means you have diabetes”. I was stunned. I had no idea that I was at risk for this. He put me on a drug, Metformin, which manages the symptoms and also, which he did not mention, causes diarrhea in just over 50% of the people taking it. I was one of the unfortunate majority, which I found out in he middle of a long walk. Don’t ask.
Over the past month I have investigated the effects of type 2 diabetes. One of them is fatigue and now I am finally satisfied that I understand what happened to me on the Massif Central last year in France. I must have been either diabetic or pre-diabetic last year and that, combined with some altitude, a little jet lag, my attempts to go farther in a day over what I found to be difficult terrain, was enough to give me real grief. When I go back next month, I will have more knowledge of how my body works and what I can reasonably expect of it in a day. I simply will have to pay more attention to my surroundings (I can hear Carroll laughing in the background) and not attempt to do more than my body can handle.

One Comment

  1. Andre
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    How interesting to be able to “walk” a bit with someone I thought I knew a little!
    André


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