Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Story of a Diabetic

In 1997 (the same week that Princess Diana died) i was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  I was WAYYYY overweight, and pretty much was just asking for it. 

Once diagnosed, I never tested my blood sugar. I am deathly afraid of needles, so needless to say, i didn't go near my tester.  If the doctor suggested that i go to the lab, i quit that doctor. I must've gone through 8 doctos in a 10 year period. I took my medication if i remembered. I ate whatever i wanted, drank anything i could get my hands on, and was a lazy lazy woman. BUT, i felt fine!

That is, until April of 2007.  one day, one of my ankles was swollen to three times its normal size. Still, i didn't take that as a sign of anything wrong. I just elevated my foot (perfect for me since i loved just sitting around). Then one evening i woke up with SEVERE back pain. Probably the worst i've ever had (and i've given birth to two kids). Vomiting and chills soon followed. I was panting when i would try to breathe. 

My brother was staying with us at the time.  Hub was at work, so it was just me, Jennifer (who was about 11ish) and my brother.  They wanted to call the Fire Department and paramedics. I refused. THAT alone should have been a red flag.  Everyone who really knows me, knows that i love me some firemen.

The next day,  hub got me an appointment with a doctor near our house. I could barely hold my head up, couldn't catch my breath, i was just pitiful. The doctor examined me, took my blood (finger prick) and took my husband aside and said 'she's dying, you'd better get her to the hospital right now'.  

After some time at home (i was still in denial that i was sick) my brother took me to the hospital. (hub worked graveyard, and i figured that i'd be in and out.  Hub could go to sleep and i'd be home later). Needless to say, that didn't happen.

When i got into the hospital, they admitted me immediately. My A1c (basically a blood test to determine your average blood sugars over a two to three month period) was REALLY high.  14.7.  Normal is around 5.0 to maybe 7.0 ... Mine was 14.7!!! My blood sugar reading when i was admitted said HI. in other words off the charts. 

i spent 7 days in the hospital, and I only remember 2 of them.  i had kidney issues (still do) my potassium was way out of whack.  My ankles and feet were swollen, and hurt so bad. As hospitals will do, they took my blood EVERY 4 hours.  I got insulin shots in my arm, had to attempt to walk the hallway (with a walker, because I was so weak).  The doc wouldn't even entertain the idea of me going home until i could complete a 'Lap'.  Finally, on day 5 i completed the lap. But, apparently that wasn't enough. I had to have liver ultrasounds and more blood work.  Horrific.

I was discharged the 7th day. I had lost a ton of weight.  i was still so weak, but i wanted to be at home. Once i was home, i believe i slept most of the next two days.  But, after some hard work, i walked around the block.  However, half way i was so weak and tired and chose to sit down. My family worried about me and came looking for me. For a while after that little trip, i had to have an escort :)

It is now six years later.  I gained a bit of weight, but overall i'm a good diabetic. i try to eat right, monitor my blood sugars (at least 3 times a day). i only drink water, with the occasional iced tea (unsweetened of course).  i won't say I'm perfect, but i'm a million times better than i was in 2007 (before DKA).  i have joined  a gym, and have lost 16 lbs so far.  I don't do much except the treadmill for now, due to my back AND until i find which insulin is better for me.

i was on Humalog, but i've been having TREMENDOUS lows if I take both shots a day.  Tomorrow i start on Lantus, just one shot a day.  Diabetes is a work in progress to me.  i hope some day that i'm done with Diabetes. 

Also, don't do business with Diabetes Care Club.  That'll be in a future blog!

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