My dx story

20 07 2007

I had originally planned to for the start of this story to be in July 2003, but really, the events that led up to my dx began in April.

During college, I was a peer health educator. Every April, we run a health fair, where you can get all sorts of things tested, including blood sugar. I went through all the tests, and I believe my blood sugar came out around 100, give or take. I don’t remember exactly, but it was definitely in the normal range. Clearly non-diabetic at this point.

Probably sometime in May, I got an infection in a tooth that has a cavity. My guess is that the dentist didn’t fill it right, or I just didn’t take care of it properly. As a result, I got some amoxicillin for an antibiotic. Needless to say, I got a yeast infection as a result. I frakking HATE yeast infections (personal vendetta at this point). Got some stuff for the yeast infection and eventually both it and the tooth infection were gone.

Not long after that, I got another yeast infection. Ugh. Then another. I didn’t really think anything of it at the time, but I’m pretty sure fighting off all those yeast infections is what did me in, as it were.

It was now July 2003. My college roommate and her boyfriend and I decided to head downtown for fireworks for the 4th of July. It being St. Louis, it was HOT. Hot and muggy. I had brought a waterbottle with me, but I went through that quickly. I had to walk to the porta-potties every half-hour. No big deal. It’s hot, I need to stay hydrated, then of course I need to pee. Right?

This cycle continued throughout the next week. I’d come home from work and down a 1/2 gallon of apple juice in less than 15 minutes. Then I’d wake up multiple times during the night to go the bathroom. No big deal. It’s hot, I need to stay hydrated, etc… By that Friday (the 11th), my mom figured something was up. It wasn’t really that hot, and going to the bathroom more than 3 times a night was a bit suspicious.

Every Friday we’d go visit my grandparent’s house for dinner. My grandfather (my mom’s dad) has Type 2 diabetes (which I didn’t know much about at the time), so he has a glucometer. We decide to test my blood sugar and it says “HI.” As in “too high to calculate.” As in “over 500.” As in “call a doctor NOW.” I can’t remember what we did Friday night. I probably did some research online.

Saturday morning, we call our doctor’s 24 hour help line. They page my PCP and he calls us back later that day. I think I was the one who talked to him and said “I think I have diabetes.” I remember feeling smart, like “ha! I figured it out!” or something. We make an appointment for Monday so we can figure things out. Over the weekend, I avoid carbs and my blood sugar goes “down” to 250 or so.

Monday rolls around and they draw blood and do a billion tests. Yup, I’ve got diabetes. He writes me a preliminary script for 12 units of Lantus at night at 3-7 units of Humalog (in a pen) with meals. On Tuesday, I met with a diabetes educator and dietician and they showed me all sorts of things. I got to try out using a syringe in my thigh (saline, of course), and it wasn’t that bad. And the rest, they say, is history…

There are a few things that I think are interesting:

  1. I was non-diabetic in April and diagnosed in July. It’s pretty amazing to see how quickly it happens.
  2. I had just turned 18, which is somewhat “old” to be having juvenile diabetes. Everyone seemed kinda surprised. I’m glad they’ve moved to calling it “Type 1.”
  3. I did not have to go to the hospital. Other than the drinking/urinating thing (which was more annoying, really, than anything else), I felt fine. A little weak and tired, but that’s about it. I hear horror stories about people spending a week in the hospital and I’m like, “huh? that’s weird.”
  4. During the 4 years on MDI (before I got Lucy), I never needed to change my Humalog rates. I had to adjust my Lantus right away (since the 12 units was just a guess), but we settled on 17 units pretty quickly. I only had to adjust it +/- a unit depending on how much exercise I was getting. As such, I was completely unaware of this “honeymoon” period people kept talking about. Maybe I had it and just didn’t notice. *shrug*

Sorry for the long post, but it’s kinda fun talking about how things came to be. It’s kinda like trading war stories. We’ve all got one.

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