In January of 2010, I weighed 201 lbs. Wanting to lose about 16 lbs., I went on a diet. (At 201 lbs, I was already down 48 lbs from my heaviest.)
By the end of February, I was at 188 lbs. -- one of my customers had requested a "key man" life insurance policy. I do a lot of programming for them and they wanted an assurance they could buy the source code in the event of my death. So, they sent an insurance agent around and I applied for life insurance. In early March, I received a rejection letter, the life insurance policy was declined. I immediately setup a doctor's appointment, obviously with some concern.
The doctor received a letter from the insurance company indicating an elevated blood sugar level. With some blood tests, I was diagnosed Type-2 diabetic. That diagnosis came on June 4, 2010. The doctor prescribed Metformin.
I started getting stomach cramps in late August, about the same time of my first Smoking Cessation program. On September 4, I attended the second class of the smoke cessation program, but was not feeling well. The cramps were getting worse and was affecting my ability to focus. I ended up skipping the third class on September 11 -- the pain was too severe. From about September 11 through to the end of November, my weight dropped to 137 lbs. -- that is a total loss of 64 lbs. from just 10 months prior and most of the weight loss since late August. The pain was severe enough to get me hospitalized twice. I don't want to get too descriptive here, but the pain is awful, diarrhea is violent, and I have great problems digesting any food: but in particular, fats and any kind (or sugars).
Went back to doctor and was diagnosed with Idiopathic Chronic Pancreatitis. Idiopathic means "no known cause" ... you see, 80% + of Chronic Pancreatitis is caused by prolonged heavy drinking. I haven't had a drink in almost 35 years. I was quite concerned about this and spent an inordinate amount of time thinking through what happened in the previous year to cause this. The answer came a few months later: this was not a short term issue, it had started at least 8 years prior and likelier longer than than.. At this point, 90% of my pancreas is destroyed and calcified.
By now, I am seeing an endocrinologist and gastroenterologist. The gastroenterologist looks after the Chronic Pancreatitis, and the endocrinologist looks after blood sugar levels. Both work hand in hand.
By early 2011, I was unable to continue taking Metformin. It is the cause of much of the severe pains. If I stop taking it, the pain is gone the same day, take it again and the pain returns the same day.
As of the update of this "about" page, it is fall 2013. At this point, my pancreas is basically non-functional and calcified. It is producing only trace amounts of insulin and no digestive enzymes. I am 100% dependent on both basal (long-acting) and bolus (rapid-acting or mealtime) insulin as well as 100% dependent on digestive enzymes.
I know that there is nothing that can be done to restore my pancreas. I am not a candidate for a transplant. However, with the supplements listed above, I am very hopeful for a long life with few (if any) complications. I am also one of the fortunate few that have low blood pressure. My gastroenterologist tells me this is excellent and my low weight indicate a long life with few (if any) complications. Despite this, the costs are high. So far, I have been through five different clothing size changes. I am now almost the same weight as when I was 13 years old with clothing size is smaller