Boo. I had a great dinner (GF spicy shrimp from Pei Wei…mmmm!) yet now I feel thirsty, out of breath, bloated, fatigued, lethargic, a little nauseous. Sure enough, I am 380.
If you’re thinking, she couldn’t be that old! I am not talking about age, but my blood glucose level. I have been an insulin-dependant Type 1 Diabetic since I was 8 years old. While we question if I was born with this auto-immune disorder, since if I look back, the signs there throughout my childhood, I was diagnosed right after Thanksgiving. We went through a rather quick traumatic move from LA to up near San Francisco(stress can trigger an already iffy body to blow over the top with T1) and after a huge few days of binge eating on turkey & all the fixings, I came down with an awful “flu” & thats about all I remember; I recall vomiting really bad one late night, & my Mom says she knew that morning her & my Dad needed to call 911. I was in Ketoacidosis & my blood sugar had gone up to 1300. Last I heard, I still hold the record for highest level at that hospital….that’s a claim to fame, no?! Ketoacidosis is a fatal condition that occurs when you’re making no insulin & your body begins to eat its own fat cells….even if you’re eating as heavily as I was. I got down to 50 pounds by the time I was being treated in ER, & it took me about a year to even get to a normal weight:-/
Fast forward many years later, here I am. Still swinging! Since November is Diabetes Awareness Month, I thought I would explain a few things about being a type 1 Diabetic & hopefully clear up some facts & myths about it:
1) You do NOT get Type 1 by eating too much sugar. A TYPE TWO can become a T2 that way if their OWN insulin is not absorbing correctly; type 2’s DO make insulin, though. You can be diagnosed at BIRTH with T1.
2) Yes, I have a pancreas. But, it does nothing without my own insulin injections. No insulin is made without me shooting it in one of my thighs or via my tummy (My areas I do the shots…even though my Dr. tells me I need to rotate more….rotate, schmotate! Yeah, I know, bad joke…)
3) I CAN EAT SUGAR! If my sugar is higher, than I do usually pass, but otherwise, I just add in some extra insulin. It’s all about judging, but….
4) My dosages are not a slam dunk my blood sugar will behave! I can do the exact same amount everyday, yet get completely different results. It’s a pain in the ass. Horribly. Heres an example of today for me:
3am: Blood glucose level of 91. Great for going to bed, but tough to decide if I should do any injection, usually overnight it works quicker for me, so I decide against it. I need sleep as oppose to being low & faintish all night.
6a: 213 BGL. Not great, but treatable. I do a small amount on insulin & catch some more zzz’s….
730: Up to get ready for work. It can be hardest for me in the am, trying to race around & my body going from sleep-mode to go-go-go. I wake up at a great number often, then within an hour or 2, have spiked. I do my doses then eat oatmeal.
11a: Doing good, 101. I could easily go up, but the thought of going too low at work is such a drag, so I hope for the best & don’t do any insulin. Last week when I did do insulin, I got low on the job & chugged a soda. Then, the rollercoaster really begins. Blah.
2p: 180. I do 1R & 5N….insulin lingo;-)
5p: Off work & dying to eat, as I just had fruit at work. Something else I often do: I try not to eat a ton when I am somewhere it might be hard for me to have control, if I get busy at work after eating a bunch of candy, I will feel myself slowly going up-up-up & especially, with how my personality is, I suppose, I don’t often just say, “Hey, I need to check my sugar” I save that fun announcement if I feel 35 & need a cherry coke.
630-ish: I am scarfing my dinner. I am loving my dinner. I am feeling thirstier by the minute, I know going from some fruit to a huge shrimp asian meal will be overtime for my belly, & the insulin before and after to try to save my ship didn’t work. So, now I sit, chilling, eyesight slightly fuzzy-tired, feeling tired & waiting for more of my H insulin (a faster acting kind) to kick-in.
5) I AM NOT GOING TO OUTGROW THIS! And don’t look at me like I am stupid & will!
6) It is expensive to be a Diabetic. Insulin, even with a co-pay, is around $70 & that fast acting can be anywhere from $100-150….at that price, you think it would cure me. Blood sugar monitor strips are about $40 for me at Wal-Mart cuz I have a cheap machine. I don’t care about being all high-society with a device I use to prick my finger all day. I go through strips pretty quick, since I have to check a lot.
7) You can inherit T1, be exposed to a virus or simply hit the jackpot that your parents have the 2 perfect genes that meetup to pass it onto their child. We figure the latter is our story, as we truly have never been able to find any relatives who had this.
8) It is a fatal condition. If I were not to treat a low blood sugar & let myself get lower & lower, I would eventually faint. If that were not treated….well, that’s why it can be fatal:-/ Same goes for a high, although that might take a little longer…I don’t want to see how long, though!
9) There are some kick-ass Type 1’s out there! Mary Tyler Moore, Nick Jonas, Brett Michaels, Victor Garber, Crystal Bowersox & countless sports stars also are insulin-dependant….as well as all my buddies on the Facebook group, “You Know You’re A Diabetic When…” & other acquaintances I have met through the web:)
10) Since November is also the month to acknowledge who we are thankful for, I am thankful to Roman Scientist, Nicolae Paulescu, who first discovered insulin in 1916, then 4 years later, Canadian Scientists, Banting & Macleod, won the Nobel Prize for inventing insulin…go, boys, go!;)