47 Years Old and a Newly Diagnosed Type 1

I am a 47 year old female, newly diagnosed type 1 diabetic. I was originally diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic when I was 42 years old. After losing weight, changing my habits and exercising my numbers seemed to be rising. I was on Metformin, byetta and Levemir and still my numbers were high. Started with an Endo. and he discovered that I hardly made any insulin on my own so he said I was a type 1 and put me on Novolog and Lantus and suggested I go on the insulin pump. After having lots of lows and highs I decided that the pump would be a good thing and began pumping. Now, this decision didn't come easy. I wasn't happy about being hooked to something all the time. I worried about having this "thing" on me that could obstruct my girlish figure AND I worried about losing the figure I had worked hard to get. I cried. So, now I carb count, eat well, pump my insulin, exercise at least 4-5 times a week and I get on the scale this morning and I have gained almost 10 pounds. I'm not a happy camper about this weight gain. So now I am thinking...what do I do? What do I change? I walked this morning outdoors. I haven't been doing that since I tend to go low when I exercise. I carried glucose tabs with me. I had two while I was out. I felt myself going low. I feel like I always am thinking about this diabetes thing. I don't want it to define who I am but I feel like it IS who I am. I feel like I am always talking about my numbers and how I am feeling. Not sure if people understand. I get so sick of the sweats and fuzziness when I am going low. Then, after a low, or a high, I get real tired and just want to sleep. It sure would be nice to be able to talk to people who are actually going through what I am going through. Is the way I think and feel normal? I just don't know. Do you? Are you gaining weight after losing? Do you feel defined as a Diabetic?

Gayle everything you listed are definitely things to which we can all relate! (except for worrying about losing the girlish figure…I don’t think I’ve ever had that thought personally :wink:

You have definitely come to the right place! There are so many wonderful people here on TuD that have struggle daily with the same exact things (both physical things and mental things) that you do. It’s pretty neat to find so much unity in such a diverse and unique set of individuals.

Diabetes is a big part of my life. I work hard to control it well. It’s true that I am, in some form or fashion, nearly always thinking about my BG, food I’m about to eat or may have just eaten, exercise that I’m planning to do, etc. But that doesn’t mean that I have to let it define me. I’m still the same ol’ me! I just have a few extra things I have to do along the way. I’m a teacher. I’m an cyclist. I’m a runner. I’m a friend. I’m sarcastic. I’m a corny joke-ster. I’m a dreamer. I’m a realist. My point is that I am a LOT of things besides just “a diabetic”. I will say at this point in the game diabetes will very likely always be a part of us. But we are not just “diabetes”. We’re MUCH more than that. To me that doesn’t mean that I can be any less vigilant about managing it though. Diabetes, unfortunately, is a 24/7/365 disease…we don’t get breaks. But I haven’t let that stop me from pursuing anything I have wanted to pursue!

With regard to you going low with activity, you might want to talk w/ your healthcare team about it. For me when I’m swimming/biking/running I find that I have to decrease my basal rates–a lot sometimes–and I also have to compensate my activities with other forms of quick acting glucose (like gatorade, gels, and for longer activities sometimes even more complex carbs like clif bars, etc).

Wow! Thank you. I needed that note. Sometimes I have these little meltdowns and feel sorry for myself. My husband is extremely supportive but I really don’t have anyone who truly knows what I go through on a daily basis. I’ve been a diabetic for about 5 years but only been diagnosed as a type 1 for a few months. So, this treatment is so new to me. I guess I am just feeling overwhelmed. Thank you for taking the time to write me. I needed that.

Everything you’re feeling is definitely understandable. You’re right that it can feel a little isolating because others in your life don’t know exactly what it feels like to be low or high, or how that can effect you from day to day. I think this site is awesome because finally you can connect with others who are in your shoes as well! You can rant, ask questions, and generally just “let your hair down”, and the great folks here “get it” :slight_smile:

Trying to figure out a new method of treatment can be a little daunting, and frustrating to say the least. But the important thing to remember is that as you make changes (to basal rates or food intake, for example), you learn from those changes. As you get more accustomed to the results that you see from your changes, managing the disease from day to day should be a little easier (that’s in theory, of course ;-). I know that sometimes this is much easier said than done. But it’s something to look forward to in order to keep things in perspective.
It can be a little overwhelming at times–especially as life butts in and gets in the way–but know that we’re here for you! It sounds like your husband is a great resource as well. He may not know exactly what it is that you feel when you’re low or high or having a bad day (with regard to your diabetes), but know that he too is “feeling” something. He is right there at your side from day to day and although he can’t battle your disease alone, he can be a great asset in your efforts to keep it in check :slight_smile:

Hey, Gayle. Do you know what you sound like? You sound like a normal diabetic. If I were answering this post first I would repeat virtually everything that Bradford said.

You won’t find many non-diabetics who understand what you’re going through, but you’ll find a lot of fellow traveler’s here, so keep coming by. My story is much the same as yours - diagnosd as Type 2 at 46, then ‘reassigned’ to Type 1 18 months later.

Yes, we have to pay constant attention and no, nobody else will understand, but you’re not being obsessive - you’re taking care of yourself. Keep up the good work. Don’t forget to kiss your spouse and thank them every day.

See you around the boards,


Hi Gayle,

Your post made me feel like I might have written it myself. Our stories are similar (we even are both in the greater Philadelphia area). At age 45, I was misdiagnosed as a Type 2. I honeymooned a bit on metformin. Then my bg started escalating and I added Byetta. Another brief honeymonn and my bg went haywire -lost an incredible amount of weight really fast and finally was properly diagnosed as Type 1 at age 47. I feel my lows in a huge way and I am deadly tired after lows or highs. Going on insulin resulted in weight gain. And now I’m readying to switch to the pump-- and fearing more potential weight gain. But I also know that over time healthy diet and exercise will likely win out. I feel like I’m constantly thinking about diabetes. There was I a time I worried that I self actualized through my career. Now I fear I self identify too much as a diabetic. I think about it all of the time and fear I talk about it too much. While my husband is understanding, I know he doesn’t really understand anything I try to convey about the disease. In truth, diabetes is defining (but it need not be all defining). As frustrating of a reality as that might be, the truth is that those of us who accept and own their diabetes are likely to live the healthiest and happiest lives, regardless of the disease. It’s a bit of a Catch 22, I suppose. I have found TuDiabetes to be a help. Just having a forum to talk about diabetes and all that goes with it with others who endure similarly and who may actually not be bored by the topic, but rather find the topic engaging and who are eager to identify, support, or join in a group whine now and then is a tremendous help – and a sanity check.

Thanks for your post! It reminded me that there are those that “get it” – we just need to seek out each other.

Donna .

I’m a new diabetic, too, but still labeled type II by my doctor. I’m looking out for signs it’s LADA cuz of many factors (thin, no one family has diabetic, etc.) So far I see I could average fasting BG 80 -90 in August, 90-100 September and this month is running mostly 100s. I was eating 60g a meal in August but now doing up to 45g per meal yet the BG isn’t back to what it was before and I exercise more frequently than in August. My hubby thinks I worry too much, but even if I am not type I, I still think about it everyday and have to plan every meal. Gayle, I think you are 110% normal in your reaction to what goes on in your life.

Picklebird-have your doctor test for GAD antibodies and get your c-peptide level – the GAD antibodies are the real indicator of LADA. Your bgs are not so bad. An untreated Type 1 (LADA if acquired as an adult) will have numbers through the rough – 300s, 400s and sometimes much higher. But have the doc check for GAD antibodies for you peace of mind.

Thanks everyone for your kind words. Sure does help to know we are in this together. Donna…we are very similar. I can’t believe how alike our stories sound. Since I started my pump, almost a month ago, I had gained about 9 pounds. Got on the scale this morning and I was down a pound. Yay!!! What I had to do to lose that pound killed me but I did it. ha Picklebird - I agree with Donna…see if your Dr. will do a C-peptide on you. Mine did that on me and found that I make almost no insulin on my own. Before I was “officially” diagnosed with type 1 I would pretty much always wake up with a bg of 250 or more. After meals my level would go up sometimes into the 400s. That is when I was on Metformin, Byetta and Levemir. Today, after pumping Novolog for almost a month I work up at 75. I haven’t been that “normal” forever!!! Good luck to you Picklebird. Thanks again TuD friends!!!

Hi Gayle; read my profile and you will find we have similar stories. I suggest if you have not read it, pick up Dr Bernstein’s book “Diabetic Solution”. It was by far the most helpful book I found about controlling your blood sugar and also your weight. Counting carbs and exercise (I play soccer) have helped me maintain an average of 125lbs for the past 6 years and I am 5’7". As far as carb counting, you really do not need as much as most doctors will tell you and different types of carbs will effect you differently, it is all trial and error and then eliminating those things you find put your blood sugar through the roof. For the most part I cut bread (except low carb) out of my diet because it makes my blood sugar spike (even the grainy whole wheat stuff). I am glad you found this site as one of my biggest frustrations was finding anyone who understood what I was going through (I think I was slightly suicidal after the realization of it finally hit me that my life would revolve around machines and medicine) and dealing with all the people who treated me as if I had type 2 and could somehow be cured. As far as normal, I don’t think there is a “normal” with this.

You are normal that how diabetes works. Insulin is a make fat drug. The only thing I can think of if you want to preserve your girl figure is an extremely low carb diet to minimize the amount of insulin you will need. It will also make your BG much more stable.

I’m a Type 1 fighting fat everyday. Insulin loves to make us gain weight and it’s too easy to bolus for extra stuff and eat it.

Hi Gayle: Your post is very timely, because it is LADA awareness week (Oct 18-24) (I prefer “Awareness of Prevalence of Adult-Onset Type 1 Diabetes” but that is a tad long!). So many of us have been misdiagnosed as you were. You have gotten some good words of advice here. I find that for exercise, I do best if I turn my pump WAY down (80-90% reduction) about 1.5 hours before exercise, to prevent lows. Yes, it means a loss of spontaneous exercising, but it also means I don’t have to compensate much with added carbs. All the best to you!

Thanks Melitta! I’m going to try to bolus less when I know I am going to exercise. We do all have to be aware everyday. Be well!