A Tough Topic: Diabetes Complications

I’m broaching a subject I’ve never openly discussed in an online forum in today’s blog post…and that is diabetes complications.

The reason why I’ve never talked about complications is straightforward: They absolutely terrify me.

It’s a topic that’s so foreign and frightening to me that I don’t even know the full extent of diabetes complications. You can Google them, for sure, and discover a long list of scary conditions involving the heart, eyes, extremities, and other internal organs. But I’d rather not do that to myself, let alone the audience of this blog.

I don’t want you to think that I’m naive, though…I know that not talking about something doesn’t mean that it’ll just go away or never happen.

Recently, I became glaringly aware of this fact through the form of (what I presume to be) my own diabetes complication: tendonitis in my left hand.

In the last year or two, I’ve felt sporadic sensitivity in my left hand when I fully extend my wrist, bear any weight on it, or even when I do simple wrist rotations. I never really knew when to expect the pain, but it happened every few months and lasted about a week each time. So when I felt it again around the time I was due for my annual physical with my PCP, I decided to ask him about it.

He explained to me that, based on the type of pain and its duration, it wasn’t carpal tunnel (numbness and tingling are symptoms of that, not pain) like I thought it might be. It also wasn’t arthritis (I didn’t have swelling or reduced range of motion) or neuropathy (I wasn’t experiencing pins and needles), but he did say that those aren’t uncommon in people with diabetes. That’s when he located the exact inflamed tendon – the thick, fibrous cord that attaches muscle to bone – in my left hand/wrist that was giving me trouble.

A Tough Topic_ Diabetes Complications
Me with my new (but occasional) accessory.

Just like all the aforementioned conditions, my tendonitis is probably due to my diabetes. Although my PCP didn’t explicitly state that I definitely have it because I’ve had diabetes for 22 years, he did identify a cause-and-effect relationship between the two. But, fortunately, he also reassured me that my occasional flares of tendonitis are nothing to worry about. As long as I continue to do what I’m doing (which is supporting my hand and wrist with a brace when I experience bouts of pain, as well as rest the area as much as possible during those times), then I’ll be totally fine.

While I’m not exactly thrilled to have to deal with tendonitis, I am very relieved that I know there’s an explanation to help make sense of it all, and that I’ve been doing the right things to handle it. So even though I won’t be going out of my way to research any other diabetes complications any time soon (why on earth would I want to stress myself out unnecessarily), I have come to terms with my tendonitis as a possible complication for me. And rather than seeing it as a completely negative thing, I’ve decided to just keep doing what I’m doing, and continue to take the best possible care I can of myself and my diabetes.

They say prevention is the best medicine for a reason, right?



2 thoughts on “A Tough Topic: Diabetes Complications

  1. It upsets me to hear so many medical professionals attribute issues as diabetic complications. I think too many things get passed off as complication without really understanding why they happen. Is it possible your tendonitis is from some part of your job? Years ago I had a foot pain for months and finally went to see the doctor. I told my lead at work “Just watch he will say I broke my foot.” lol He walked into the room sat down and as soon as told him what was going on he said had broken my foot. Granted he was talking about a different kind of break, A Lis Franc fracture. Technically there are no bones broken. It is also called a dislocation fracture. If your toes are fixed and the rest of your body shifts if can cause the joints between the bones down to your toes to separate. Horse riders who are thrown from the saddle and get a foot stuck in the stirrup or football players who plant a foot while running at full speed and turn are people who get this kind of injury. My issue was catching my toes on pallets at work while stepping over them. He also called it a diabetic complication. That cost me $5,000 in testing for them to tell me they could not confirm the diagnosis, preexisting condition. I looked all over the internet but could find nothing, absolutely nothing about this being a diabetic complication. It is a performance issue. The right conditions will cause it on anyone. The only true complication I’ve ever had is retinopathy in one eye. Sorry I’ve been on the wrong side of the complication issue more than once. It seems like almost anytime I go t see a doctor about an issue it gets put back to “because your a diabetic”. It makes me feel like every sees me as being made of glass instead of bone.


  2. I am always ready to hear about diabetes complication. In fact i have likely dreamed i a few in my life. Like in HS, oh no I cannot take a test before noon – diabetes complication. I needed to carry around hard candy that I passed out to my friends – diabetes complication. I needed to be home by 1PM – Diabetes complication.

    I tired to figure out some more, but I occupied my mind with other issues. Namely – well girls. I really liked girls – might have been a diabetes complication. Just saying!!


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