Diabetes affects your life in many ways. It forces you to change your eating habits. It makes you change the way you look at exercise. It forces you to pay attention to numbers that mean something only to you and your treatment team.

And it forces you to become a urine watcher.

How many times have you looked up the complications of diabetes and read obsessively about the symptoms of those complications? How many times do you get a stomach bug or a cold that causes your chest to become congested, leaving you with shortness of breath, and you begin to think that it might be the beginnings of fluid retention? Do you ever see spots in front of your eyes and wonder if it might be the beginnings of retinopathy?

I had high blood pressure related toxemia with all four of my pregnancies. The last pregnancy I was spilling protein so profusely into my urine that the doctor put me in the hospital at 34 weeks and delivered my son six weeks early.

How much damage did my pregnancies do to my kidneys? How much time do I have before diabetes kills my kidneys?

I’ve become a urine watcher.

Do you know what the normal color of your urine should be?

I do.

Have you ever wondered what medical websites mean by foamy urine?

I’ve seen pictures of it.

Do you ever stand over the toilet and try to decide if the few bubbles in the water (sorry for the visual πŸ˜‰ ) are foam or just a coincidence? Do you ever wonder if darker urine is from some nefarious complication or just the fact that you were too busy the day before to drink all 64 ounces of your daily water requirements?

I do.

I drive myself crazy some days, worrying about the condition of my kidneys. And there is a surprising lack of information on the web for diabetic related kidney disease (except for those many sites that blame the patient for not keeping their numbers within the proper margins).

I can’t even enjoy a week of really good sugar numbers because I wonder if maybe they are lower than usual because my kidneys are not filtering the insulin out properly and it is working longer than normal.

Welcome to the neurosis of diabetes.

HPIM0059

My youngest a day after his premature birth.

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