I was diagnosed on October 2nd, 2000. Its been a long struggle one that I sometimes want to give up on but I haven’t yet.
When I was first diagnosed it not only scared me but it also made me wonder how people were going to treat me. I was sixteen years old and in my junior year of high school. It was in October of 2000, the week of homecoming and I had been having some symptoms for over a week. My mom decided that I needed to get into the doctor’s office and quick. I went to my primary care physician and talk to him about what was going on. When they tested my blood glucose, it was not able to be read on the meter. According to their meter it meant that it was over 550. Later on I found out that it was nearing 800 and I shouldnt have even been able to walk into the doctor’s office. I was admitted to Mercy Medical Center in Mason City Iowa and started on insulin and a carbohydrate diet. I was there for 3 days. The first was to bring my blood glucose under control and the second was the starting of a series of diabetes education classes. I left the hospital scared to return to school with the fear of what people were going to say. I knew there was other diabetics in the school system but she was popular and I wasnt. I didnt return to school for a day and went to work with my mom so she could watch over me. Luckily she worked for the Foster Grandparents Program for the school so they were very understanding.
I went back to school and was very supported by what friends that I did have. Though there were some that didnt come around me anymore and that showed who my true friends were and were not my friends. I had people that were narrow-minded enough to say that I was shooting up because I tend to bruise badly when I have blood or IVs put into me. Those people were silenced. Everything went good until I started getting depressed about things going on.
February 2001, I was hospitalized for depression…the doctors said the cause was because of the fact that I wasnt dealing with the diabetes like a normal person should. What’s normal? I know a lot of people have different view points of what normal is and I thought I was handling it just fine. According to them I wasnt. That started a lot of different things with that and has recently (November 2006 diagnosis) brought a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.
School got harder especially with the school faculty not dealing with the students’ harassing me and not wanting to be supportive of me being a diabetic. All were supportive of the popular girl (who was also the Superintendent’s daughter and will remain nameless). I guess that’s what having money and being the superintendent’s daughter brings the perks of…a supportive school faculty and non-supportive to those who dont have money or are not the superintendent’s daughter. It actually came to the point that the harassment was so bad I ended up dropping out of school late in my junior year of high school and getting my GED. Though I thought that was all of my troubles.
June, 2001…I got the intestinal flu, but the one thing that we were not educated enough with was sick days. I stopped taking my insulin shots when I was sick because I was unable to keep anything down including fluids like water. We feared that I would drop but never knew that I would eventually get to the point that I was in DKA. I was taken to the emergency room at Municipal Memorial Hospital in Charles City Iowa and then transferred to Mercy Medical Center by ambulance where I was taken to CCU. I was there a total of three days. I dont remember the first 24 hours of the stay. My mom said that she never wanted to see my blood pressure that low ever again. The lowest she said it got was 36/48 with pulse of 122. I should have been dead then. That’s when the nurse told her to go home and get some sleep because they werent sure what was going to happen next. I was placed on bicarbonate while in there to help with it. Supposedly that’s one of the last things that can be done when severe DKA strikes. We learned to always make sure that I take my insulin no matter if I eat or not.
I guess the first year of my diagnosis was very crazy and very hard to deal with. There’s been other things now lately going on that I will post about later on.
(taken from my blog at mydiabetescentral.com