Type 1 diabetes? Juvenile diabetes right? Isn’t that what children get? Well they don’t “get” it…they become diabetic at an early age, however Type 1 diabetes does not only come about in childhood.
In 2010 I was pregnant with my second child and like my first I was made to take the fasting glucose test. This time around though I didn’t pass. I remember getting the phone call and crying. I had gestational diabetes. The dietitian was so booked that I wasn’t able to see the dietitian until about one month before giving birth so I figured I’d just change my diet and everything, as I was told, would go back to normal after the baby was born.
Well I guess it went back to normal until later that year in December of 2011 when I became very sick. This went on and off for a couple months before I was told I had pneumonia. I was put on antibiotics and told to rest. But I just wasn’t feeling better. I couldn’t move from the couch. I couldn’t cook dinner or do the laundry, I could barely muster energy to play with my kids. This had to just be that I had my children very close together. Surely I was just a tired mom! But to make matters worse, my vision deteriorated. Now I couldn’t even drive. Everything was blurry.
I remember talking to my mom on the phone and explaining this to her. She said that could be a sign of diabetes. So I dug through my closet and pulled out my meter from when I had gestational diabetes (glad I saved it!). I tested myself. I couldn’t believe my blurry eyes. 440! I freaked out. I panicked. I cried. And then I drove myself to urgent care.
At the hospital I was told that yes I am probably diabetic. (What the?!?!) They said I was severely dehydrated and insisted on putting me on an IV. How long is that gonna take?? Oh about an hour. By 30 minutes I drained the bag and was feeling much better. But my sugar was still high.
I went to see an endocrinologist who put me on MetFormin. I felt like I was in good hands until I noticed my numbers weren’t coming down. Two weeks into the medication and I was still lingering around 300. In my eyes that just wasn’t right. I called my endocrinologist’s office and scheduled the soonest possible appointment. They told me that I needed to be more patient and wait about 2-3 months to see if the MetFormin works. In their eyes I was an adult so right off the bat I could only be Type 2 diabetic. Sorry but if it’s not working it’s not working! If my pancreas is not producing enough insulin then I am NOT Type 2 diabetic! 300 is not a healthy blood sugar level to maintain. What I needed was insulin. Since I felt the doctor was not listening to me I spoke with the PA who was more receptive. That day she put me on insulin and I have never looked back.
Here I am today, Type 1 diabetic after living 28 years as a non-diabetic. I mean who am I now? I’m not even the same person. my mind is totally blown; I am in awe at how little I knew about my body and my self. This blog is dedicated to those, who like me, are reborn into a new life after their own diagnosis. I invite the newly-diagnosed to read this blog and know that there is support out there. Know that there are others going through this awkward and forced change in their life. And know that you can embrace this new life in a positive way that will not only lift the Type 1 community but those around you who cannot even begin to fathom what you are going through.