I was just diagnosed on Thanksgiving Day.I was already upset about being in the hospital (thanks to massive DVT) when it was noted that I was running high sugars in the mornings. Of course an A1C was done and found to be 9.6. Endocrine was consulted and when they walked into the room, their first comment was that I looked like Cushing. I am asthmatic so they assumed I was taking steroids.
I must interject here that I had been an ICU nurse for 20 years a knew well the negatives associated with long term steroids and had rejected using them in favor of breathing exercises and albuterol. I actually knew I had adrenal disease. It had been diagnosed since 2001. But the catch is the wrong or rather the complete diagnoses was not made. Long story short, my endo doctors never looked at the actual C-T so missed the nodule that is most likely pumping out tons of steroids literally killing the beta cells of my pancreas. Just once, I wish doctors would listen to me when I say something is wrong.
Back to diabetes. I am so surprised buy what I didn’t know. And admittedly I am still going through the stages of grief. Anger is really holding on. But I know that everyone with a chronic disease has two choices. They can control the disease or the disease controls them.
In the American culture, food defines us. There is not a single celebration that food is not the centerpiece. When one is told that they have a disease that by its nature makes one feel like an outsider, or worse punished, it is easy to allow the disease to control you. When I say that, to me, for the disease to be in control, the individual will suffer the consequences of its progression, blindness, heart disease, vascular disease necessitating amputations, renal disease and the horrors of dialysis
For one to control the disease none of the adverse complications spoil your health but one must also enjoy life to the fullest and that means feeling in control. So people gain that feeling by counting every gram that enters their mouth whether it be fat, protein or carb. Some limit their carbs because for them it demonstrates control over the portion of our diet responsible for increasing blood sugar levels. Some make minimal adjustments to the diet but control their glucose with insulin.
I guess the point I am making is that Diabetes is like Christianity. One basic doctrine - a belief in the Christ - but many churches.
What is my strategy, well, I can only afford to eat one meal a day as eating three times a day would require me to use more insulin. I am on disability and I have no idea how I am going to afford my insulin when I fall into the hole in February. I also refuse to give up potatoes, macaroni and cheese or rice. After all I am from Texas and rice is a major crop. I have found that Humalog does not begin working for at least an hour after taking and since my meal contains foods with a high glycemic index, I don’t start eating until my finger stick BG is around 100. I do eat protein and fat first and save the carbs for dessert. For me it works. I am keeping my sugars less than 130 with no bounces, I don’t feel punished. In fact, I feel in control. I did not get there overnight. I was sent home on 20 of Lantus and 8 of Humalog before meals. I have been home 26 days. I have increased my Lantus to 40 units and will most likely go up an additional 5 units on Monday and I have discovered that I require 1 unit of Humalog for every two carbs. So if I eat the suggested carb ratio of the 1800 ADA diet I would require over 2,000 units of Humalog a month.
How does anyone afford insulin. I am caught where I make just enough that I get no assistance, but not enough to live given the cost of meds.
Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I have no family and friends live quite a distance away. So, I am hoping to find support on this site as well as the experience of those who have lived with this disease and found acceptance.