Body Knows Best

Ever get the feeling your physical self is operating on a different level than your intellectual self? I swear my veins know when I am getting blood drawn. They like to play hide and seek on those days or roley poley. Or they just go on vacation.

When you have a chronic condition you get to know your physical self better than you ever wanted – what makes it the same as everybody else’s and all of the quirks and foibles that make it special. The Chinese cruse, “May you live in interesting times,” brand of special.

I always marvel at the parts that function despite what I have done to them. I had an ultrasound this week that showed normal looking kidneys (people with kidney disease often have smaller kidneys) and a bladder that still works pretty well (sometimes people with kidney disease have trouble emptying all the way).

But then there are the parts that I just want to chop off sometimes. One of the hardest parts about diabetes, and many chronic conditions, is that there are no immediate consequences to “bad behavior”, i.e. going completely off the rails regimen-wise. But I have recently discovered that I can no longer depend on that pass of delayed consequences

As many who follow this blog know, I am struggling with my weight right now (for about the last three years). It’s all psychological. I know what I need to do. I have been in this game too long not to. It’s just a question of doing it, and with exhaustion continuing to drag me down, I’m just not getting better. So, on Saturday I decided to have a very bad food day. Think Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I won’t say everything I had, but take my word that it was a lot.


Enter peripheral neuropathy – damage to the nerve endings in my extremities (“diabetic nerve pain”) – which I developed when I was 20 and has since recovered maybe 80%. Apparently, peripheral neuropathy doesn’t like bad food days, and one little tiny nerve cluster in my left big toe decided to remonstrate. For three or four nights (well, days, too, but I can deal with it when I am supposed to be awake) after my very bad food day, it decided to start firing every 5-15 seconds. This is not a dull ache or pain that can be ignored. It is sharp, insistent, and doesn’t respond to traditional painkillers. It needs a medication that blocks pain messages to the brain.

At times if I overeat, my stomach will get angry at me, but that can be remedied by over the counter meds. This is on a whole different level. My body was trying to tell me never to do that again, that it was bad for me, and that there will be consequences. I hope I remember it. I am a bit hardheaded, and sometimes it takes a few times for the message to sink in. For the sake of my own sanity, I hope this is not one of those times. If it is I am a fool. Because my body knows best.