A mystery solved!

Last year in April when I was walking in the Massif Central in France I had a set of symptoms which led me to the erroneous belief that I was having heart trouble. Among them were extreme fatigue that didn’t seem to relate to the amount of effort I was making and an elevated heart rate hours after I was finished walking for the day. When I returned home I went through a battery of tests to check out my heart and circulatory system thoroughly. After several months, the cardiologist gave me a completely clean bill of health. I was delighted, but still did not know or understand the cause(s) of my physical problems in France. It was not until about a month ago that the mystery was resolved. As part of my plan to go back to France to continue my walk, I had a routine medical. All was fine and the doctor asked me to get a fasting blood sugar test. And I did. When I came back to his office a few days later, he said, without preamble; “Your blood sugar level is 7.2”. I had no idea what this meant and said so. Again without preamble, he said; “It means you have diabetes”. I was stunned. I had no idea that I was at risk for this. He put me on a drug, Metformin, which manages the symptoms and also, which he did not mention, causes diarrhea in just over 50% of the people taking it. I was one of the unfortunate majority, which I found out in he middle of a long walk. Don’t ask.
Over the past month I have investigated the effects of type 2 diabetes. One of them is fatigue and now I am finally satisfied that I understand what happened to me on the Massif Central last year in France. I must have been either diabetic or pre-diabetic last year and that, combined with some altitude, a little jet lag, my attempts to go farther in a day over what I found to be difficult terrain, was enough to give me real grief. When I go back next month, I will have more knowledge of how my body works and what I can reasonably expect of it in a day. I simply will have to pay more attention to my surroundings (I can hear Carroll laughing in the background) and not attempt to do more than my body can handle.

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