One way or another, literally or figuratively, diabetes breaks your heart. Where are the Bee Gees when you need them?
If you are living with type one, caring for a type one or loving a type one, be on red alert for Diabetic Heart Disease (DHD). It is one of the many diabetes-related complications and researchers continue to study the specific link with type one. Heed my experience, when the complication strikes, you may not even know it.
Fifteen years ago, I was on stage at Danny’s Skylight Room in Manhattan. It was the closing night of my run of performances there. Three-quarters of the way through the set, performing Sondheim’s Anyone Can Whistle, I became slightly overheated. It couldn’t be the lights; it was a cabaret show with a dimly lit stage for goodness sakes. As my fabulous band segued into the intro of the next number, I decided to sashay off stage. There, I puked in a wastebasket, sat down, composed myself and returned on-stage to close the show. The late Joe Franklin (famous NYC radio/television personality) was in the audience that night and later said to me: That’s the best three quarters of a show I’ve ever seen! Thinking back, it was a surreal experience. I just thought my levels were a little off and proceeded to the restaurant next door for a plate of their delicious scrambled eggs and called it a night. Six months later, a stress test resulted in an urgent call from my doctor. I barely had a chance to say hello before he so calmly informed me that I suffered a heart attack, to pack a bag and head to the hospital STAT! Whoa! What? Less than 36 hours after my doctor’s call, I had quadruple bypass surgery.
No doubt, My T1 Group angels were looking out for me on this one. My heart took a licking and kept on ticking, but with the thought of it all, I could use a little Bee Gees right about now.
It bears repeating; Diabetic Heart Disease (DHD) is a serious complication, and I urge you to learn more. According to the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute):
Compared with people who don’t have diabetes, people who have diabetes:
- Are at higher risk for heart disease
- Have additional causes of heart disease
- May develop heart disease at a younger age
- May have more severe heart disease