A new low: diagnosed with LADA in mid-June

Hello, I’m new here, and I’m glad I found you. Today, I think I reached a new low both in body and mind. I was diagnosed with LADA in mid-June. I’m overwhelmed by everything—BG numbers, highs, lows, meters, strips, lanclets, insulin, syringes, carbs, proteins, exchanges, dosages, digestion, sore fingers—I could go on and on. When I first heard the news, I thought, OK, I can deal with this—I have to. Last night, I injected myself with insulin for the first time. My endo is starting me at a very low dosage because he says I’m still in the “honeymoon phase.” But this morning, even after eating a regular breakfast, I collapsed on the sidewalk while running errands. That’s never happened before. (And my fasting BG this morning was 126, so I can’t imagine how it could drop so drastically, especially after eating breakfast.) Luckily, a kind person ran into a Starbucks and brought me some juice. (Maybe there is a plus side to Starbucks world domination?) Once I could stand, I got into a taxi, came home, and cried a lot.



I’m a grown man, and I worry I’m falling into the trap of feeling sorry for myself. It breaks my heart when I hear about kids dealing with all this, so I’m very aware that I got off easy with a diabetes-free childhood. But I’m just gonna admit it: this sucks. So I have to ask, what’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about living with diabetes when you were first diagnosed?

You will have your bad days and your good days with it. There will be some days where you will wonder why me, what did I do to deserve this. You will probably go through the same stages a person goes there when they have lost someone.

  • Denial (this isn’t happening to me!)
  • Anger (why is this happening to me?)
  • Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…)
  • Depression (I don’t care anymore)
  • Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes)
    You might even bounce back and forth all the different stages at different points in your life. It isn’t a life sentence that you have been diagnosed with diabetes. You will read, research and learn what you need to do and one day it will become second nature. The highs and lows are scary. The complications you can face are also scary when you look at them. But you don’t have to let diabetes control you, you will learn to control the diabetes. Hang in there and read and look for advice. You will get to the point where you can handle it.

“You’re not alone.” That’s the one thing I wish someone had told me.

As Cody says, you’ll have good days and bad days. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but in a short while all this . . . stuff . . . will be integrated into your life. The most difficult part, I find, is not all the equipment and numbers and crap.

It’s remembering to pay attention.

So, Steven, my friend, it’s time to ‘man up.’ Diabetes is not going away for either of us. Lift yourself up, grab your glucose tablets and your testing kit, head out the door and kick some diabetes ■■■.

Terry

As for your ‘low’ experience - how long after taking your insulin did this event occur? What did you eat for breakfast? How much insulin to you take? What was your BG when you took it? What time did you take it? Write all that information down, because you’ll forget it if you don’t, so that you can relay it to your endo and so you can remember for future reference. It’s all part of paying attention.

Steven. First let me reluctantly welcome you to the balancing act known as living with diabetes. I am normally pretty humorous with my posts, but I really do hate hearing stories like this. I have had this disease for seventeen years and I have never (knock on wood) been hospitalized, collapsed, or passed out. I have, on several occasions, come very, very close.

The one thing that I wish they would have told me?..thats easy. I wish they would have told me that no matter how good my blood sugars were, no matter what I ate, no matter how much I exercised, that there was no way I could treat this disease without the help and support of others like me. I’ve only realized that now, and I’m thankful every day that I have.

Diabetes is a savage mental game. It’s a game that never ends, and a game that will destroy you physically and emotionally if you allow it. It’s a game that will test you every second of every day…when you are awake and when you are asleep. Diabetes is relentlessly waiting for you to make even the smallest mistake, and will punish you when you do. Some days the game is easy to play…but guess what?..Diabetes doesn’t always play fair, as you just tragically learned.

Yes, Steven, neither you nor I chose to play this bullsh*t game, but here we are. The hardest part is alienation. Just keep close to the community and you will find the strength to keep fighting.

It’s a long road, and we’re all lifers here. Everythings gonna be alright :slight_smile:

This is new to you. Don’t get overwhelmed. Get as much information as you can and realize you will constantly be learning with this. What I wish someone told me was that this is really a full time job…a constant balancing act and just when you think you have everything under control…there’s an unexpected high or low or days of them with no reason why. What I try to do…and I’m far from perfect…is to be prepared. I carry glucose tablets with me in my pocket, I try to test as often as possible, and I correct for highs and lows.

I’m like you in that I was diagnosed as an adult at 33 (11 years ago). I was fit, healthy, very active so I didn’t understand why, and 11 years later I’m still fit, healthy and very active. This is something you can manage. It takes getting used to, but you do get used to it. Find yourself a good endocrinologist and dietician to help you with the carb counting. Have an educator fill you in on the different types of insulins. I take shots and they come in pens that look like pens so there isn’t the inconvenience of a syringe and vial. There are options with the therapies.

We all get frustrated with this. Give yourself time to get used to it, and realize that you are definitely not alone!

Peter

Hi Steven: :o)

Welcome to the Pit! :smiley: Sorry, j/k . Sorry that you were dxd. Yes, you are over-whelmed right now and you may be entering Depression. Anxiety could entail. Many Diabetics suffer from both also which doesn’t help.

If you need to cry then for heaven’s sakes, cry. It’s not a sin nor does it go against the law. It’s actually a Good quick, free therapy for you. Having low blood sugar can also make a Person feel so many different symptoms at different times. You could go into a giggle fit, feel totally over-whelmed and suicidal, combative, paranoid, etc. A balanced sugar level is the Goal.

I’m a Type 1 not Type 1.5 but all Types have similarities. I was dxd. at age 3 and Yes I resented not having a “normal” Childhood. I got over that a long time ago.

I remember passing out many times while walking home from School and most other places when I was young and not really understanding WHY. I knew it had to do with Diabetes but no one told me exactly WHY or explained about Diabetes to me. I’m sure that was because they didn’t exactly know why either.

I was told, “Don’t eat sweets”, “Do exercise”, “Test your urine”, “Take your Insulin” BUT not in terms of exactly why, how much or when along with any of the other Fun stuff we need to know about. Even some of that info would have been Great to know.

But you know, I wish someone had told me years later at age 8, that “No, you won’t be blind at age 19”, “No, you won’t need to have your legs amputated by age 28”, “No, you won’t have kidney failure at around age 30” and “No, you won’t be dead by age 35”. I’m telling you that now Steven. Many Diabetics actually live to a ripe old age.

Yes, you have a lot to learn. Yes, you will have many frustrating hurdles since this disease is complicated and the treatment/delivery systems are not perfect but definitely have imporoved. Yes, you may develop some minor complications even if you do your Best. Most of these can thankfully be repaired to a Good extent.

You will get a lot of help and meet a lot of Good Friends here at Tudiabetes who are basically in the same boat as you. Just know, that you will Succeed. Diabetes is the Monster…keep it in the cage
as Best you can.

P…S. Alcoholic drinks, illegal drugs and smoking are definitely NOT Good accessories for a Person who has Diabetes.

I am really glad someone helped you. Please, CARRY DIABETES ID.

It is hard at first. I don’t use insulin, and I can’t even begin to imagine to have a really bad low.

Hang in there. We never stop learning about diabetes.

Hi Steven.
Welcome to our family. You are now part of a family that is 3000 + strong on this site alone. And i choose the word strong because together we all are. You have gotten excellent words of advice and here you will get the support you need to face this each day. Like you, I am type 1.5 or LADA and I use two types of insulin. It is scary at first, but each day you learn more and more about your body and how it reacts to things. You will get the hang of it, just take each day one at a time. Don’t worry in advance about tomorrow or next week. You will handle it when it gets here.
Lows usually warn you they are coming with sweating, dizziness, shaking, light headedness, or any other unusual happening. In the beginning you may not recognize it. But if any of these symptoms come up, be aware that a low may be coming on and be prepared with some type of snack with sugar, glucose tabs, glucose shots (little bottles) or anything that may pick up your blood sugar levels. Many people grab a soda or juice or other quick snack available. For me the sweating is my first signal, but it can be anything for you just be aware of how you are feeling. And Terry’s advice about writing it all down is an absolute necessity. Log in a journal or book every day. Write everything. It will definitely help to figure it all out. Best of luck. We are all here for you. And none of us is exactly like another so don’t be afraid to write or ask anything. Together we can all make it.

The simple fact of the matter is that diabetes sucks … anyone who tells you otherwise, or tries to be a cheerleader about it isn’t being truthful. I would add that I think biosynthetic “human” insulin (lab-manufactured insulin made from yeast or e.coli, and this includes all non-insulin analogues) is in NO way the same as the insulin made by the human body, and since 1997, the U.S. no longer mandates that batch testing must be done by the manufacturers, so its little wonder that the pharmacodynamics have become less predictable.

Regardless, some of this is a learning curve, but the key is to test, test, test … anyone with type 1 who claims 6 times a day is enough is probably not testing enough!

Thank you—all of you—for your supportive words and excellent advice. Your collective wisdom means a lot to a newbie like me, and I do appreciate it. In fact, I’m going to print out your responses and keep them in the new log book I’ll start tonight. Not only is this advice worth having on hand, it’s also a great reminder that I’m not alone, as a number of you pointed out.

Scott—yikes!—should I really be testing six (or more!) times a day? My fingers are already, well, ready to give my One Touch the finger!

Steven:
I think 6 times is really a good goal to have. It you want, start with 3 or 4, but try to work your way up to 6, 7, 8… the more, the better. Don’t worry, man: I promise you will get used to it and it will become something you don’t even think of.

I am glad you found us! :slight_smile:

Thanks again, guys, you’ve definitely given my spirits a boost. I’m going to call my endo tomorrow because today, again, I hit a low and had to run for the orange juice. (Thankfully I was home this time, but the dizziness is scary.) I’m only on Levemir at this point, at a mere 3 units, but somehow it’s not agreeing with me. I’ll dig around this site to see if others have experienced insulin reactions. Anyway, thanks again.

Steven,

Sorry to hear about these lows…

I think that you got a lot of great advice-- so I just wanted to add my support.

The best advice is to take it one step at a time.

Some things that now seem overwhelming will soon seem like second nature.

I was diagnosed when I was 21 years old… so I can relate to many of the feelings that you described.

My first lows were very scary-- also because the feelings were so new. Now, I know what to expect and how to react. So I can react quickly to lows and avoid some of the worse symptoms. Everyone’s ability to feel the lows coming is different, but I think that now that you know what it feels like, you may be able to recognize it earlier.

I would check with your endo about reducing the insulin— or perhaps taking quick acting insulin (Humalog, Novolog) only when you eat a high carb meal. I know that some LADAs start off like that.

All the best to you!!!

Hey Steven,
I forgot something really important. Don’t be skipping any meals and don’t think that coffee and juice are enough to see you through the morning. I used to skip meals and think it was fine. Now I know better. And juice is good to pick you up from a low, but it won’t keep you where you need to be. You have to get some kind of protein in you in order to hold you with your blood sugars. A little packet of nuts is good to keep in a pocket when you are out somewhere. Otherwise, make sure you get full meals three times a day and snacks in between if you keep hitting these lows. When you get an opportunity get set up with a nutritionist or Certified diabetes educator. Then come back here and see what all we eat. And you won’t be bouncing all over if you keep your carb intake under control. It is just really important that you get good nutrition now.
The Levemir is a good insulin and your dose is small. I suspect you just need to get better nutrition in you and things will be easier to control for you. Meat, vegies, fruit, exercise and write down what happens after you drink coffee. Sometimnes it affects us.
My best to you Steven. I hope this is a good day for you.

Buy a carb scale, become familiar with carb-counting sites (see below) and get a good logbook going. You’re about to take a crash course called “Carbs and Your Very Own Body.”
I learned quickly not to rely on my Dr. or the “Nutritionist,” or the Diabetes Educator. They might mean well…but with the second two in particular, I found that their advice seemed largely outdated and generally geared towards type 2s. Plus everyone reacts differently to insulin/carbs (even particular types of carbs,) so you will need to learn your “new” self.
Try not to get frustrated that it will take time and won’t happen overnight…but you can control it and lots of us eat almost anything we want (assuming it’s usually pretty healthy anyway.) Once you have the knowledge you need, you should consider moving to an insulin pump. This took me about 9 months.
Most importantly, whenever you need to just stop and excuse yourself to indulge in self pity for awhile or just cry it out…do so. This too will get easier.

The scale I use…and it’s awesome.
http://www.amazon.com/EatSmart-Digital-Nutrition-Scale-Professional…
Carb counting sites:
http://www.calorieking.com/
http://www.thedailyplate.com/
http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/
You can download the USDA site to your computer of PDA.
http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=5720
I make my own logbooks now and have added tracking for calories, protein, fat, and fiber…but used this one as a template…and wish I’d discovered it sooner.
http://www.diabetesnet.com/mocb1.php

Hope some of this ends up being of use to you. Oh…and yes, test ALL the time. I test between 8 and 15 times a day, depending on what I’m doing. It will become second nature and can help to reduce the number of occurrences and severity of your lows.

Hi Steven…I was diagnosed as an adult as well, and like you I try to keep positive by being thankful that I didn’t get this as a child or a teenager or even a young adult. I also focus on the fact that there are so many resources out there, like this one, that weren’t there in the past so in that way too, we are fortunate. We also have the benefit of less years of high #'s playing havoc on our bodies.
I had many scary lows in my first year…the worst ones from over compensating for high numbers after I had eaten, piggy backing my insulin. That scared me into letting my #'s remain too high and now, 4 years later, I still struggle with finding the balance. What works best for me is to just really limit my carb intake. It is frustrating when you are determined to take control and it turns out to be much harder than you anticipate. Just keep candy in your pocket when you are away from home. If it helps, I have never passed out or needed help from stangers and I am getting my A1c down bit by bit…There are so many people on this site who are managing really well…we can take inspiration from them. Good luck.

Heh, as a member of the T1 family, you’ll get used to testing way more times than that.

  1. At first waking
  2. Before breakfast
  3. Two hours after breakfast
  4. Before Lunch
  5. Two hours after lunch
  6. Before Dinner
  7. Two hours after dinner
  8. Bed Time
  9. Before driving (you should)
  10. Before exercising
  11. After exercising
  12. During exercise

I think you will get the picture :slight_smile: You will get used to it so don’t worry about it. I have a couple of pieces of advice.

Don’t sweat the numbers to much.
Tweak your lifestyle slowly so you can see what works for you
Keep a log book

Are you sure your going low? The reason I ask is that in the beginning you may feel hypo but really aren’t, your body is used to high levels and when you bring it down into the normal range it feels low. Technically hypoglycemia start under 70.

Also I do not know if anyone has taught you how to treat a low. After you test and see your low eat 15 grams of carbs, wait 15 minutes and re-test. If you are still low then repeat the process. What this does is keep you from going to high and then having to treat that.

Well with me. My brother was dx at 24 months old. Me when i was 25 years. So i saw everything and learned at a young age. Who knew that 20 some years later. I too would have too face the same challelenges. Well my answer to the Question??? Would be What YEAR!! WOULD THE RESEARCHERS FIND THE CURE TO ALL DIEASES…TAKE CARE! Keep reaching for your DREAMS THERE OUR STILL WITH IN OUR REACH. DO NOT ANYTHING STOP YOU FOR REAHING FOR THE STARS.diabeticidol94

Don’t forget any time you get behind the wheel of an automobile! Personally, I have lived with type 1 for close to 32 years now, and have never kept a logbook; rather, I download my meter readings onto the PC and print them … I’d kill myself if I had to write all this crap down! Seriously, though, the best way to know how well your insulin-to-carb ratios and your basal insulin (long-acting such as Lantus, or basal rates on a pump) is to test, and you do get better at it over time. As for lows, they can sometimes sneak up on you, so just follow the simple rule: when in doubt, test. Its an ongoing task, but it need not consume all of your time – just don’t let it!