The only problem I’ve encountered since the weight issues was rather odd. I was working in a factory in Langhorne at the time. The work was great: An eight-hour shift of pure physicality requires little sleep, something I’ve never received much of on a consistent basis. One day I was working on an extraordinarily small amount of rest, chugging coffee like it was going out of style, when I noticed an odd disassociative sensation. It came on suddenly, and the next thing I knew, I was coming to in my car with my fiancée on the phone.

I had grabbed my jacket, clocked out for lunch, and went to my car. Once inside, I attempted to set my alarm on my cell phone. Sleeping in your car for lunch was pretty commonplace at the factory, so no one would’ve questioned any of these actions. But in my stupor, I had somehow dialed the soon-to-be Mrs. Phlaux instead. What followed was about ten minutes of incoherent babbling. As I had to explain to her later, I had just spent the last 20 minutes riding in the backseat of my own mind. I took the rest of the day off but didn’t seem to have any further complications.

Jump to a few months later. I’m at a different job, an office this time. I started coming home and going through similar episodes as during the factory lunch. They came to a climax when I fell asleep on the sofa one evening, only to wake to…Well, my perspective was that it was an alien invasion and no one in my house could speak English anymore. My fiancée says I was speaking fluent Spanish. Regardless, I’m not sure what caused me to go into the closet and piss on the floor. I came to when my partner threw my shoes by my feet and said she was taking me to the hospital. “Why?” was the first coherent word I’d said since before I lay down. Apparently, my love had given me a Red Bull, and 15 minutes later, I’m getting back control of the reins.

Ah, so now we have enough data to form a hypothesis. These episodes are occurring during my usual periods of glucose drops. I’ve had those all my life, though, so what’s the x-factor? The answer: caffiene. The warehouse incident happened when I was chugging countless cups. At the office job, I was doing the same, what with it being free and me being pretty poor. I replaced some of my cups with black tea and haven’t felt even a tremor of those episodes again. I still don’t know what the connection between elevated caffiene levels and disassociation, but I know to avoid it.

So we’re up to the current state of affairs. I feel healthy and haven’t had any issues in years. I don’t have health insurance despite it being available at work. I had it the first few months I was employed at my current job, but the numbers don’t add up for my condition. Most plans only cover insulin over $50, so I’d pay roughly $150 a month to save about $40? No thanks. It would help with visits to specialists, but what will they tell me? “You’re perfectly healthy, so here are a number of tests and a new daily regimen to make sure you stay that way.” Again, it just doesn’t add up.

But, of course, that’s the trick: I’m pretty healthy, but I still have my ticks like everyone else. I get tension headaches more days than not. My eyes are bad, but this was genetic. There wasn’t any diabetes-related scar tissue in my eyes until my last exam. With any other issue that comes up, I can never be sure if it’s related to the condition unless I was somehow able to turn it off. And how do I know if the genes (or whatever made my white blood cells hate my islets) didn’t leave some other surprises? I rarely get sick. Does the fact that diabetes is considered an autoimmune disorder mean my immune system is amped up and otherwise on my side? If given the choice between diabetes and allergies/chickenpox/the flu, I’m not sure which I’d go for.

I think I’ve covered everything, with some specifics left out because either a) you can find it yourself on Wikipedia or b) I want to break it down in a later post. But I’m always up to questions or discussion, so let me know your thoughts or if I missed something.