Growing up, I knew diabetes existed. My grandma had it. (It - I didn't know if she was type 1 or type 2. I didn't know the difference between the two, for that matter). A year ago, I was admitted into the ER. A year ago, my journey with type 1 diabetes began.
I started to lose weight. I was convinced my New Year, New Me meal planning and workout regimen was working its magic. Then I started craving sugar – All. The. Time – and I gave into the craving. However, the weight continued to fall off. I had terrible cottonmouth. I was constantly drinking water. I was taking bathroom breaks, on the hour every hour. I was so fatigued. I would nap for three hours and still fall asleep on time at night.
I consulted Dr. Google. Either I had diabetes or a snake bit me. The symptoms were becoming too much. March 29, 2019 I went to Urgent Care. After urine and blood testing, the NP told me I needed to go to the Emergency Room. STAT. The ER admitted me immediately and started my treatment.
I bounced between two hospitals and four rooms in five days. I received IV insulin and potassium. Nurses pricked, stuck, poked, and prodded me every hour, sometimes every half hour, throughout the morning and night. My time in the hospital was emotional, enlightening, and educational.
My Support System
Life hit me hard on March 29th, but it hurt a little less thanks to my support system. My parents spent their Friday night in rush hour traffic to get to the ER. My mom spent hours every day in my room, watching the diabetes media, reading the literature, and becoming as informed as she could, in such a short time, about what was to come. Distant family and friends sent well wishes and words of encouragement; some even brightened my hospital stay with an in-person visit.
I have told him countless times, but I could not survive this life without Joe, my fiance. On the day of my diagnosis, he left school early, coordinated with my dad to retrieve my car from Urgent Care, and endured interrupted sleep in an uncomfortable hospital chair. Every day I was stuck in the hospital, he stopped by before going to class and spent his evenings playing cards and watching TV in my room. All while managing his course load and our fur babies. Joseph has allowed me to feel every emotion, both good and bad, along this journey. His endless support is more than I deserve.
Life After Diagnosis
After the hospital discharged me, I was in a whirlwind of emotions. My head spun with questions. How was I going to adjust to multiple daily finger sticks and injections? Of all the diseases to get, type 1 diabetes, really? You know the disease that requires you to administer treatment via needles (I always have and continue to have a fear of needles). What am I going to eat? Do I have to give up ice cream? What about my family? My friends? My job? My hobbies? 27 years of good health, gone – or so I thought.
I am lucky to have an experienced endocrinologist who educates me on the science of the disease (my inner-biology nerd is so happy) and allows me to reach out day or night with questions and concerns. I work with her to decide my course of treatment. When I was ready to make the leap to a CGM and pump therapy, I decided what technology to adopt and when to begin each method. I walk out of appointments encouraged and confident in my abilities to manage type 1 diabetes.
It has been a lifestyle change; there's no doubt about it. I am more aware of what I eat, how much I eat, and how the weather and stress affect my blood glucose. I currently use the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor and the Omnipod Dash system to keep my blood sugar in check. Like in all things, there are good days and there are bad days. Every day is a learning experience, but even in just a year’s time, the learning curve has gotten a little less curvy.
Happy first diaversary to me! Here’s to another year of education, management, living and enjoying ice cream!
The information contained in this blog is a compilation of thoughts, opinions and personal experience. Information is researched and gathered from reputable sources, but Ice Cream and Insulin is not responsible for errors or omissions in reporting or explanation. The discussions should not be considered advice, medical or otherwise. If you have concerns about your health, the information should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat. Please consult a physician before making any changes to your medical plan.