Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, May 19, 2006

Injectable Lizard Spit

Beats A Sharp Stick In The Gut... Oh, Wait, It Is. Damn!

I rarely talk about personal (physical) matters here on my blog. Mostly 'cause it tends to be none of your fargin' business, but I'm also a fairly private person in that regard. More so than most, anyway.

Some folks have no problems airing their medical issues, but I just get a little embarrassed/flustered/self-conscious talkin' about ingrown toenails or butt pimples. Just seems a little crass. Your mileage may vary. I guess when I get to be an old man, I'll have to be one of the surly "Get off my lawn" variety, and not the ones that sit around playing checkers and discussing coronary bypasses and bowel movements.

I'm breaking my silence in this category, 'cause I'm about to embark on a treatment that is so farookin' interesting, its potential as blogfodder outweighs my reserve about discussing medical stuff about myself.

Those of you who've met me know I make the Michelin Man look svelte. In spite of the weight I've been generally healthy, but the older you get while obese, the faster you start to break down. Kinda like piling 5 tons of garbage in your trusty ol' pickup truck... you'll run OK for a while, but when the shocks wear out, you're basically phuct.

I've been on blood pressure meds for awhile, and doing OK in that regard. This year, the doc unleashed the Evil Prescription Pad of Doom, and isn't taking "No" for an answer.

See, once upon a time, there were two kinds of people, diabetics and non-diabetics. If you weren't diabetic, but your blood sugar was elevated, you fell into the "Borderline" category of non-diabetics. As long as you didn't cross the line in the sand of 125 mg/dL of blood glucose, you were OK. Well, not OK, but no one was mentioning blood testing or insulin, etc.

In the past few years, there's been a shift in thinking regarding this "Borderline" category. The current wisdom says "To heck with waiting until you cross the line, attack now!!" So, "Borderline" suddenly became "Pre-diabetic" in medical terminology and suddenly I'm deluged with pills and blood-glucose testing strips.

OK. I can deal. It's a pain in the ass, but I've got insurance and it's not like I've got much of a social life to interrupt, anyway. Most of it's been OK. A good deal of nausea every so often, but anything that keeps my eating in check ain't all bad.

This new stuff, though... Doc wrote the scrip this morning. The drug's called exenatide. It helps regulate blood sugar levels via several mechanisms. You have to inject it via one of those pen-looking injectors twice a day.

It's supposed to be real good at suppressing your appetite. Most people taking it report losing 50-60 pounds a year. Of course, that's mostly due to nausea, I'm sure. That's the leading side effect. I powered through Metformin's nausea curve, so I'm sure I can deal with this one.

What's so cool about it is where it comes from. Though the commercial drug is synthezised, the protein component that does the actual work was originally found in Gila Monster venom!

Yes, friends & neighbors, you heard it right. El Capitan will be injecting himself with lizard spit twice daily.

Other than the nausea, there aren't too many other side effects. Mostly just uncontrollable urges to bask in the sun & the occasional craving to swallow small rodents whole.

Oh, and one more thing...

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