Here's my story.
I am a type 2 diabetic, and have been for 12 years. But, i have not always been a good diabetic. I ignored my Diabetes for 10 years, until finally, my ignorance caught up with me. I only took my medication when i felt like it. i never felt sick, in fact, i felt great! sure, i was a little thirsty, but so what, right? WRONG! Gulping water to the point of drowning yourself is one sign your diabetes is out of control. my skin was dry constantly. I was always in the bathroom, 24 hours a day. I wont even go into detail about the non stop Urinary Tract infections or Yeast infections. Before I got really bad, my ankles swelled to the size of small pillows, and i had THE worst UTI, so bad that i had to leave work and go to Urgent Care. Still, I didnt have a clue. Then it happened. April of 07, i woke up with severe back pain, sweating, vomiting, shaky, couldnt breathe right. I figured it was the flu, as did my family. I refused to go to the doctor, and put up with it for 2 days. Then hub forced me to go. I got in there, and while waiting, i couldnt even sit upright, or hold my head up. My sugar was off the charts, above 600. normal is around 120ish. The doctor told me to get myself to the hospital. Again, i did not take it seriously. I told hub i wanted to go home and try to take a nap. He let me, not realizing, yet, that it was life threatening. after a short 2 hour nap, it was off to the hospital. My doctor had called ahead of time, and let the hospital know that i was on my way. Once i arrived, i was whisked to the back, signed the necessary paperwork, and was admitted IMMEDIATELY I was diagnosed with Diabetic Ketoacidosis. i was also informed that if i'd have waited one more day, i'd have died. I had every symptom that you can have with DKA. I spent 7 days in the hospital, 3 of which i dont remember. Once i was released, i was told i had lost almost 70 lbs. (in 2.5 weeks!). At home, i was so weak, it took me nearly a month to get the strength to even sit at the computer longer than an hour.
Now? i have maintained my weight loss. I eat healthy meals, and pretty much try to make sure the family is diabetic too. Well, at least with their eating habits. But, i do have lasting effects from being so blind and stupid about my diabetes. i have gastroparesis, basically a tummy problem. i can only eat a tiny amount of food, before i'm full. it bloats me, and makes me nauseous. i have permanent kidney damage. I even have nerve damage to my feet, legs, hands and my sides, called Neuropathy. All of this was my gift to keep for my ignorance. So, please pass this along to ANYONE you know with Diabetes. if MY story helps just one person, then my struggle with this disease has been worth it. i wish i'd have known then what i know now, it might have made a difference.
one day after being home. posing for a pic, and back down i went!
me 3 days after i got home, still too weak to sit up.
but i COULD read my soap opera digest LOL
this is one month after being home. Those are shorts i am wearing. they used to fit! LOL
Here's Dear Abby:
DEAR ABBY: Some risks are worth taking. Ignoring signs of diabetes isn't one of them. Several years ago, you played a critical role on American Diabetes Alert Day by informing your readers about the importance of type 2 diabetes prevention and detection.
Diabetes is a "silent" killer that slowly takes away people's health, their money, their time and their dreams. It's called a silent killer because people can have it for years and not know it. This disease affects many of your readers -- nearly 24 million children and adults in the U.S. are diabetic, and another 57 million Americans have pre-diabetes. (Their blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with the disease.)
Diabetes affects more than just the person who has it -- it also affects the parent who is caring for a diabetic child, the spouse who plays the role of caretaker, and the adult whose parent is struggling with this illness. Unfortunately, the number of people developing diabetes continues to grow at an alarming rate.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009, is the 21st annual American Diabetes Alert Day -- a one-day call to action, encouraging all Americans to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, there is a great deal your readers can do once they know their risk.
Readers, please help yourselves and your families by taking the diabetes risk test at www.diabetes.org/alert or by calling (800) 342-2383 tomorrow. Don't put it off -- I care about you.