Defining diabetes moments

so this evening, i whipped out my syringe right smack in the middle of a crowded ladies’ room while i was out. and proceeded to stab myself in the tummy with it. yeah there were stares and the other women probably think i am a drug addict or something, but i couldn’t actually give a hoot about it. it was definitely my defining moment - not being bashful or ashamed of having to rely on shots to keep myself alive.

what moment or events in your defined the place of diabetes in your life?

Way back in the 70’s I went to a very small town school and when I got diabetes I was the only one in the whole school that had it and I hid the fact for a lot of years til one kid ask me about being a diabetic and what I had to do to stay healthy. It was really then that I finally accepted the fact that it was a life long problem. May sound trival but that was it for me.

Less than 1 month ago, June 21, 2007, I was sent to the hospital in an ambulance. I was feeling sick and went to my doctor. He immediately called for an ambulance.
I was in the emergency room and the doctors came back after taking some blood. The attending ER doctor said to me, “You had a heart attack”. I’m only 35 years old, too young to have a heart attack. Then he followed it up with, “and the blood test also shows that you are a diabetic”.
Diabetes? Is that all? I survived a heart attack at 35, I think I can manage diabetes.

I went in for a drug screening and a physical before I started my current job, and I’d had a high blood sugar that morning. I did my pee-in-a-cup test, and as the nurse was reading it, she calls out of the back, “There seems to be a lot of glucose in your urine. Are you diabetic at all?”

It was only written on the information sheet (that she was SUPPOSED to have read) 3 times. Sigh.

We won’t get into how I got a speech about how my high blood sugars will lead to me losing a leg like her cousin did. One bad morning doesn’t necessarily equate amputation. You’re a nurse. Learn this stuff.

One week after my son got out of the hospital from diabetic ketoacidosis, we took him to a playground. Just days before we were told he may die, I was thinking of how close we came when Tony climbed up a slide. Sounds like a typical thing that a toddler will do, but I was amazed at his strength after what he just went through. I watched as his arms and legs scaled that slide, he had holes all over from attempts at i.v.'s (it took them two hours) and bruises from all the blood draws but it didn’t hold him back one bit.

When I was in high school I refused to carry any supplies with me. It wasn’t that I was ashamed of having diabetes, it was just that I didn’t see it as my responsibility at the time (my parents were still doing a lot of the management like doing shots). I thought that carrying stuff around was unnecessary since I would always be around an adult with supplies, and thought a fanny pack would look stupid.

One day during gym I started to feel low, but I didn’t tell anyone figuring I could wait until the period was over. Towards the end of the period I realized I was feeling extremely low and asked if I could go to the bathroom, but when I went I was too confused to remember that I had meant to go get candy from my locker and ended up returning to the gym having done nothing. Somehow my classmates and teacher didn’t realized anything was wrong. By the end of the period I could barely walk and managed to fall on the way up the stairs, and when I got to my locker my friend who was meeting me for lunch immediately asked if I was low. By this point I didn’t even know what I was doing and wanted to know where my brother was, I think thinking that he would be able to help somehow (I knew something was wrong, just not what), and then just collapsed in the middle of the hallway. My friend made me sit up and forced me to eat some candy (literally, as I tried to refuse) and then went to get help from a teacher and wouldn’t leave me at all during the rest of the lunch hour.

That experience really scared me, mostly because later that day I thought to myself, “What would have happened if my friend hadn’t been there?” From that day on I’ve never gone anywhere without supplies, and times that I forget I will stop by a store to buy some candy. It was that day that I realized diabetes was ultimately my responsibility and not my parents, even if they helped out sometimes.

On the way home from work, I stop off at our local Post Office to check our PO Box. We get all our mail there due to living in an apartment, I feel safer when it all delivered there. Any way, I was pulled up next to the front door and proceded to shoot up with my Byetta before going ho,e since you are supposed to take it 45 minutes to 1 hour before eating and my wife will have dinner ready when I get home. And just about the time I was shooting, a lady walked over and was yelling and accusing me of shooting drugs in a parking lot. I told her I was Diabetic and showed her the Byetta pen. I went inside to do my business but when I came out, there she stood with 2 city police men. All I had to do was show them my bracelet and Medical ID I carry and the Diabetic Driver decal on my window and they were on their way. Talk about an odd situation.

Strangely, my most defining diabetes moment was when someone ELSE had a hypo. I was coming out of a lecture hall and noticed that a girl from my class that I’d never spoken to was leaning against the railings and had dropped all of her books…and then I overheard another girl saying, “It’s ok, I’ll give you some insulin alright?” I dropped everything and shot over there, stopped the girl from giving her insulin, told one of my friends to run and get lucozade in the shop across the road and tested the girl’s sugars while we were waiting. She was 0.9 (which I think is 16 in US measurements). She couldn’t talk and didn’t know what was going on around her, but somehow I managed to get her to drink and she came around.

The reason I see this as a defining moment for me, is because I think it was the kick in the right direction I’d been needing, possibly since I was diagnosed. It wasn’t that I was in denial exactly, but up until then I did everything in my power to do all the right things…but only when it was possible to do so without causing a fuss. I kind of felt like as long as I was doing the right things, no one else needed to have any involvement in my diabetes, and if that meant eating the way other people wanted me to and suffering the consequences later, just so I wasn’t causing a fuss, I did it. For some reason, this incident made me realise that as scary as it is to have a hypo in public, it’s okay to be an overt diabetic and not hide it from the entire world. In fact, it showed me that not only do I have to be open about it, but I have to make sure my friends know what to do if something goes wrong. Imagine that other girl had actually given her the insulin? She’d probably be dead…

P.S. The girl who had the hypo is now one of my best friends - having a diabetic buddy rocks :stuck_out_tongue:


You were her angel! You diabetes moment was a blessing for the both of you! You saved her life, you learned a lesson and the both of you became best friends:) this is very touching