Monday, November 13, 2006

I don't care what you read in the obituaries

I'm still alive.

What an interesting ride it's been.

If you're here, I'm going to assume you already know that after I started putting together the Picolata Review, I was offered a new job. When I took the new job, I felt like I had enough energy to do both, plus blog, plus write On the Bluff, and continue seeking an agent for Transit Gloria.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. In the weeks that followed I published two issues of the Picolata, and put together a third. Before that third issue was published, I ran out of energy.

I went to work exhausted, and came home too tired to do more than eat and go to bed. I began losing weight. I lost 27 pounds between the end of August and the third week of October, and despite my near total exhaustion I wasn't able to sleep more than a couple of hours a night.

People I barely know began commenting on my weight loss and appearance, and asking if I was okay. I finally took their concern as an indication that I might not be - that I might, in fact, be far from okay.

On October 20, I saw my doctor. He ran a series of tests, and when he tested my blood glucose level it was too high for his monitor to read. He sent me to a nearby lab for more testing (stat!) and my blood sugar was over 720 mg/dl. If you have a diabetic in your family, you probably already know what the doc told me - that I was about to have a stroke. Patty LaBelle hawks glucose monitors on television, and says she was diagnosed as a diabetic after she collapsed on stage with blood glucose level of 500 mg/dl.

I didn't have a stroke, and after several weeks of insulin therapy and the best medications our modern science can provide, I'm out of immediate danger. I am a diabetic, and will be on medications for the rest of my life. My life expectancy went down by 10 years with my diagnosis, and my chances of having a heart attack or stroke went up by 40 percent. Those are sobering statistics.

I wasn't obese, or even overweight. I'm athletic, an outdoorsman, and I quit smoking years ago. Other than a family history of diabetes, I really had none of the traditional risk factors. I did have one, though, which doctors only recently realized can trigger adult-onset diabetes: stress. Lots and lots of stress.

The news isn't all bad. I'm okay now. I'm forcing myself to take things a little less seriously. I've gained back 10 lbs, and feel pretty good. I'm still reporting the news, and have even appeared on television twice recently, once as a moderator for a candidate forum, and Friday I appeared on Week in Review, a local weekly news roundtable. I just watched myself on tape, and to my own eye I look like a leaner, harder version of my old self. In the words of Dabney Coleman's character from Modern Problems, "I ain't no freak. I'm a damned good looking man."

Thanks for stopping by and leaving notes while I was away. I saw them, and appreciated them, and I apologize for not responding sooner. I just didn't have the energy.

Please take care of yourselves, and remember the words of Warren Zevon, who said, "Enjoy every sandwich."

Mark Pettus,
Monday, November 13, 2006

20 comments so far. Thank you, Blogger Bernita, Blogger emeraldcite, Blogger Mark Pettus, Blogger Jeff, Anonymous JLB, Blogger Shesawriter, Blogger Moni, Blogger Mark Pettus, Blogger serenity, Anonymous Andy, Blogger Ray Wong, Blogger Ray Wong, Blogger Shesawriter, Blogger Unique, Blogger Bernita, Blogger Dennie McDonald, Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins, Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins, Blogger Frank Baron, Blogger Brenda,

Let me know what you think

Leave a comment


at 7:51 AM Blogger Bernita said...

Mark, I am so glad it was spotted in time.
My husband had to have a heart attack before his was.

at 6:55 PM Blogger emeraldcite said...

I'm glad to hear that you caught it in time and that you're doing well.

at 9:20 PM Blogger Mark Pettus said...

Thank you both.

at 9:43 PM Blogger Jeff said...

I'm glad you're getting your diabetes under control and feeling better. It's good to see you back.

at 1:07 PM Anonymous JLB said...

Hey Mark - it's great to hear that you're still alive and kicking. We've missed you.

I am glad to hear that your diabetes was found before things got too serious, and that you are healing. Sounds like your body had a few things to say about your workload.

Wishing you well in your work and health,


at 8:06 PM Blogger Shesawriter said...


I've been thinking about you, and decided to stop by in HOPE that you'd posted something. WOW. You've really been through it my friend. Take care of yourself ... PLEASE.



at 10:03 AM Blogger Moni said...

Damn Mark! You could have really been in some major trouble with that blood sugar level. I'm so glad you're better, please take care of yourself, sounds like you have been.

I know, you ARE a damn fine looking man. ;)

at 1:31 PM Blogger Mark Pettus said...

Moni, you're too kind.

Jade, Jeff, Tanya - Thanks for the kind thoughts.

at 12:24 PM Blogger serenity said...

Glad you're still with us. Stress is a strange monster, isn't it? Somewhere back around the first stress-induced seizure, I decided it was time for a few changes in my life.

Hooray for not taking things so seriously. Greet every issue with a magnanimous smile and a simple thumb's up - then get to it when you get to it. Contrary to what others would sometimes have us believe, the world really won't come to an end if we take an hour or so for ourselves.

But you know that already. :)

at 7:39 PM Anonymous Andy said...

Welcome back Mark. I've celebrated your return to the blogosphere in my latest blog round-up on my site. It's good to see you writing here again. x

at 1:18 AM Blogger Ray Wong said...

Glad you're still with us, Mark! Sounds like a great job but do take care of yourself. While I'm not happy that you had to go through that, especially at this young age (my dad also has diabetes so I know the ordeal -- his blood sugar is constantly at over 250), I AM glad that you're now taking better care of yourself. Slow down. Smell the roses. Have a nice glass of wine. Enjoy. You damn good looking man, you. ;)

at 1:20 AM Blogger Ray Wong said...

oh, and you've been tagged. See my blog. ;)

at 11:12 PM Blogger Shesawriter said...

Come back!

at 3:48 PM Blogger Unique said...

Glad you're still with us. Stress sucks. Sorry I didn't warn you 'bout that.

Does that mean you'll be blogging more now?
Yes? It does? Terrific! Take good care.

at 8:08 AM Blogger Bernita said...

A Happy Christmas, Mark.

at 9:10 PM Blogger Dennie McDonald said...

HUGS!!! Mark - I am glad you're doing better - that is so very scary! Take care of yourseld and Merry Christmas!

at 12:54 PM Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Where are you, Jeff? Hope all is well.

at 1:01 PM Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Mark, I hope you are doing well and your doctor has things under control.

Let us know how you are.

at 2:25 PM Blogger Frank Baron said...

Just wanted to let you know somebody's wandering by here once in a while.

Hope you're okay.

at 3:57 PM Blogger Brenda said...

Just discovered your blog and I'm really enjoying it.

BTW, glad you're okay!


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