Someone from my doctor's office called me Thursday, saying they'd received the blood tests from my physical a few weeks back and the doctor needed me to come in to discuss them.

Dah-dah-DAAAHHHHHH.

Great, I thought, it's something they can't tell me over the phone. I'm dying.

The next morning my doctor entered the exam room, all smiles. Which made me want to run for my life, except he was blocking the door. He said I looked great, which was really a bad sign, then started talking: "How are things, blehbleh bleh, test resultsblehblehthisisnormalthat'snormalsoyouhavediabetes."

Wait "... wuh? Did I hear that right? I have Dianetics?

I don't even know any Scientologists.

Time stops

A few seconds later I realized he actually said "diabetes." Oh, well that's a relief, I thought. Doesn't this mean he has to amputate my feet or something?

Even though there are far worse things one can hear from a doctor ("My, but your wife is attractive — friendly too!"), hearing that sort of stopped time for a second. Especially since somewhere in the back of my mind I've always believed that, without any supporting evidence whatsoever, I'll live to 138 doing whatever I want to my body without recourse. I'll still live to 138, of course. Now I'll just do it with fewer carbs, less Gatorade and hilariously named energy drinks, and more healthy food I hate. And I'll look a lot sexier doing it — if that's even possible.


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I actually wasn't that surprised. My dad, who died a couple years ago at a relatively young age, had diabetes. My uncle has it. And I've been experiencing symptoms for months: urinating 74 times an hour, feeling dehydrated despite drinking pony kegs of cold water, almost falling over at work from sudden bouts of tiredness. Of course, they were used to that sort of thing anyway "...

I'm facing some life changes, which is a good thing. The only way I usually stop doing things not good for me is to come up against a wall like this. Which isn't to say that I needed diabetes to stop me from watching "America's Next Top Model."

Jogging the memory

I have to eat better, cut out alcohol and get into the gym more than once every 10 days. I'll feel better, lose weight, and probably take my new handsomeness into the world of high-fashion modeling.

Best of all, I've given my highly organized wife (code name: Spread Sheet) a new hobby. She's already gleefully filled the house full of awful, healthy food that I absolutely hate. She also read the entire diabetes book the doctor gave me, saving me the trouble, as she already quotes it extensively. She's also making me exercise, usually by taking the remote control jogging, forcing me to follow.

I'll take pills instead of shots, although I have to wait to find out if I have to do the daily stickpin testing stuff. I'm not that good at remembering to do things like that — it's usually enough I remember to put on clothes before I go to work.

My 7-year-old is a little confused, constantly asking if we can shave my head, since my hair is going to fall out anyway. I tell her that's a different, worse health problem. She asks if we can still shave my head.

She and the other kids are the best reason to get onboard with the program. At least I tell myself that as I sit here, angrily eating Cheerios without a half box of sugar for the first time in my life. Not so sadly, it won't be the last.

Read Tony's blog, "Insert Foot," at www.ibabuzz.com/insertfoot.