I have only known for 2 weeks that I have Type 1 diabetes (diagnosed on leap day!). No one in my family has ever had it. I’ve never even met anyone who has it (that is, no one that I knew had it), so I feel a bit lost these days. I wasn’t even symptomatic when I was told, although my endocrinologist said that most people would have felt it at my blood sugar level.
I had a blood test in November, which I went for because my hair was thinning a little bit and they thought it might be my thyroid. They asked me to fast for 8 hours and noticed by fasting blood glucose was 111 – nothing to worry too much about, but definitely something worth checking again. In January I went again, and this time had a fasting blood glucose of 142. Finally they decided to check my A1c. Two weeks ago today the doctor called me at home and told me I was diabetic. Since my A1c was only 7.4, she said I was probably type 2— strange as I’m only 26, and not overweight/obese. She asked me to come in the next day to learn how to check my blood sugar. I was shocked at this point, and cried for a bit with my husband.
The next day the nurse took my blood sugar and noticed it was 450. “Machine is probably acting up” she said, and did it again. The next reading was similar to the first. “I’ll go get a different glucometer” she said and left. When she came back it was with an endocrinologist. That was when they told me that I was almost definitely Type 1 (what I always thought of as “the bad kind”), as blood glucoses of that level didn’t happen in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics. This has since been confirmed by a lab blood test. While I absorbed this information, the endocrinologist told me that I would have to learn to inject myself with insulin before I left the clinic. This was almost more shocking than the diagnosis itself. I’ve always been terrified of shots, and now I had to administer them to myself? Needless to say, I had to get over it very quickly…
In retrospect, I was very lucky to get found out the way I did. At the rate that my glucose regulation was declining and my ketones were rising, I would have been in the hospital very soon. The only reason I wasn’t was because it was caught before I started experiencing symptoms. At first I was angry, because in the last year I’ve quit smoking (pack a day for 9 years), started exercising (first time in my life I’ve done it regularly!) and switched over to brown rice/bread. And after all those life changes, now I get diabetes?!?!? After awhile, though, I realized that if I had been diagnosed a year ago I would had to deal with the diagnosis AND make significant lifestyle changes. Getting diagnosed now, the changes aren’t quite so hard to handle.
Anyway, so that’s my story. Now I’m learning how to manage my glucose, although I haven’t experienced a hypo yet (I’m terrified!).