I'm lost and need help

Hi everyone

I’m new to this site and not really sure what I’m doing just yet … I figured I would post here real quickly to meet new people.

My name is Amy and I’m 23 years old. I got diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in October of 2009 with a blood glucose of 846. To be brutaly honest, I was an opiate addict at the time of diagnosis so I pushed aside all of my symptoms months prior as a result of being a drug user. I finally wound up in the hospital because of a drug overdose and while doing routine blood work they found my extremely high bg. I’ll never forget the nurse running in to double check and telling me “Honey, you have Diabetes” I was 60 lbs and near death not only from the drug use but also from the Diabetes. Doctors told me that I was days away from being in a coma.

Obviously, I was admitted to the hospital. That was, by far, the toughest week of my life. Not only was I just diagnosed with this new chronic and progressive disease but I was also suffering from my previous chronic and progressive disease of addiction. I detoxed in that hospital, almost going crazy in the process … banging my head off of walls and crying non stop. Thankfully I fully detoxed and came to my senses and entered rehab where I stayed for the next year. During that time in treatment however I was not aloud to treat myself for the diabetes … I had nurses and medical staff at my call 24/7 to take care of my disease for me while I worked on the addiction.

It has been about 6 months since I have been out of treatment and on my own. I am in a new town and literally came here with a suitcase and no money. I met a wonderful man and we now have an apartment together. I have a awesome job with DirecTV (which is great because I can sit all day at work). I am, however, very isolated here. I have a few friends at work, but other than my boyfriend and my cats I’m pretty much a loner. I miss Pittsburgh and my old friends so much … but what I miss most is Pittsburgh’s amazing hospitals. I have been in Altoona for over a year and have yet to find a doctor that would accept me.

So to sum everything up … I need help. All I know about Diabetes is what I have read about it. I have been in the ICU twice this year from sever DKA and to be honest, Diabetes scares the heck out of me. I’m proud to say that I am clean from all drugs and alcohol … that battle is far from over, but I’m doing great now. And to be honest I don’t think that I could have done it without Diabetes kicking me in the ■■■ and forcing me to get healthier. Now that I have my life together I must concentrate on taking care of my Diabetes. My body seems ot flucuate constantly with its insulin needs (I take Novolog and Lantus) I suffer from insulin reactions CONSTANTLY … some so sever I have passed out and have had seizures. I also have noticed so many changes in my body … the way I get sick, my labido, my mood swings, my constant urination, not being able to sleep, even down to the texture of my skin and hair. Not to mention the sever depression I experience at times when I’m thinking of such things as “why is my body trying to kill itself??” I have even had more than one person tell me “survival of the fittest … anyone that takes life sustaining meds are pathetic and sucking up tax dollars, just die” things like that. Does any one have any suggestions or advice at all?? I’m very lost.

Sorry for typing my life story … I thought it was relevant though … thanks everyone.


Hi Amy! Well if you are looking for a great place for both information AND support you have found it here at this site! Lots of great info and people here. I’m relatively new, but I felt at home here right away. Fell free to vent and ask as many questions as you need. We’re here for you!

Welcome, Amy Lou; I’m so glad you are here, and I mean that in every sense of the word! Congratulations on your recovery and staying clean through two huge transitions including moving and starting to manage your diabetes, both of which are hugely stressful. I was a bit concerned when you said you had no other friends where you live other than your boyfriend. I strongly encourage you to attend NA meetings both for support in your recovery and to meet other clean and sober people. Also, ask your doctor or endo or other diabetes resources to see if you can find a Type 1 group. I started a Type 1 Women’s Group in my area and it is amazing to be able to meet others like myself.

As for diabetes management, it will get easier, honest! Two books I strongly recommend are Blood Sugar 101 (which you can read online as well as in hard copy) and Using Insulin by John Walsh. There is a lot to learn, but once you get the hang of it it’s just a part of your life. I’m not sure what you mean about not finding a doctor to accept you? Do you mean because of insurance problems? Who prescribes your insulin? It’s important you get a good doctor or endo to help you along the way.

Don’t hesitate to ask specific questions here, someone willl have an answer, more likely several someones! Are you on a basal/bolus (long acting and short acting insulin) regimen? How are your blood sugars now? If they have been high for a long time you will be amazed at how much better you will feel when they come down into target range.

If you can handle recovery from opiates, you can handle diabetes! Trust me!

Welcome Amy thanks for sharing ur life story with us.
By what I have read ur a strong person and I bet you will teach us a great deal and you will learn a lot from everyone on the site,we are all on “survival of the fittest” we are doing our best and for them ignorant ppl we just ignore or try and educate if they are willing to listen.
We are one big family on tudiabetes.

First off, congrats on your sobriety! This is an awful lot to deal with at once. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be overwhelmed by all of that.

There are some good books out there (Using Insulin, for one) that might help to give you a more complete picture than you probably get here and there in the doc’s office. The best place to start is keeping a daily log, as big of a pain as it is. Many times the big problems, like constant insulin reactions at a certain time or event, will stand out and you can figure out which insulin dose needs adjustment. Sometimes one small change will make a huge difference in other parts of the day. The beginning is a slow process of trial and error. Once you have a regimen that works though, you can make adjustments as your life changes. But getting to a program with fewer bounces takes time and it can be very frustrating. But you can do it with the proper support from a doctor that you trust.

But it sounds like you’re also in need of some emotional support considering how much has changed. Like addiction, it’s hard to get that from someone who hasn’t been through it themselves. Tu is a great place to bring questions. But your Diabetes clinic might offer a support group. Those can be hit and miss. Feel free to bring on the questions here, for sure. Don’t spare the details, sometimes the stupidest little things can be the culprit:)

Welcome Amy. Actually the quote about “survival of the fittest” is not correct because fitness leaves some room for interpretation. Actually it is survival for the one that is most adjustable to change - and wow you have proven that for sure. The first year is not easy because you will enter what is called the honeymoon stage. In this period your residual beta cells will recover to some degree. This can make life easier because the additional insulin from these cells helps to cover the glucose spikes. But some people have a hard time with the help of these cells because they can behave erratic. Sometimes they produce insulin and sometimes they quit. But the hardest thing is to really understand the condition. I had multiple lows and did not recognize the pattern - the connection between activity, insulin and so forth. It takes time to find your new normal in that…

Welcome from another recovering addict. I don’t have much time to write but you are not alone. I will comment more when I get a chance. Stay strong you can do this.

WELCOME! Boy what a time you’ve had! If you want help controlling the D you’ve come to the right place! WHAT A SURVIVOR!!! Passing out and seizing I can totally relate to. I’ve been a Type 1 now for 37 years and have that happen all the time! YOU CAN DO THIS TOO! Your story and what you have had to endure is a testement to that!

Not to sound like I’m blogging my blog but here is my story http://www.tudiabetes.org/profiles/blogs/on-being-a-fighter

Amy, first you should know that you are doing fantastic. You have already shown tremendous strength and a will to live by taking steps to overcome addiction. You need to know that you will ultimately learn to cope with type 1 and thrive as so many others have done. Life ain’t fair and it ain’t easy but you have proven to be a survivor.

One suggestion is to keep trying hard to find a good endocrinologist–even if they are in another town (we keep in touch with ours regularly by email even though he is in the same city). It makes a huge difference. The other things is—and I don’t want to give medical advice—you should really think about how often you test and how you manage your nutrition (and of course physical activity). If you are constantly having trouble with DKA or overdosing on insulin, it is possible that testing more often, tightly managing the correction window to avoid overlap, and focusing on foods that don’t spike as much can help a bit. At some point, if you can get on an insulin pump it may help as well.

Good luck and as others have mentioned there are a lot of good books. Thinking like a Pancreas is recommended as well.

I agree. Just as you have had to let your using buddies go, I would suggest doing the same with those negative fools. They will only bring you down.