My 1st anniversary. Chapter 2 "The Endocrinologist has DX'ed you type 1"

Here’s chapter 2 of what I have learned from diabetes.

The Doctor pulls back that curtain and says “The Endocrinologist has DX’ed you type 1”. OK Dr. What does that mean? Well they use to call it juvenile diabetes and you’ll be using insulin to control it. We don’t know what causes it, we think it may be triggered by a virus. A virus? Yes, because it’s an autoimmune disease. Will I get better? Let’s say it’s possible but highly improbable.
OK, up to this point in my life my knowledge of diabetes is pretty much type 2. I have 2 uncles, brother-in-law and my mom who are type 2. I know these people got it from diet and lifestyle (stereotype). The only type 1 I knew was a co-worker’s father-in-law. When I meet him, he was in a wheelchair, one leg amputated below the knee, the other amputated above the knee, fingers missing, kidney failure and blind, but he was about 70+. This was in the 80’s!!
Well let’s see what, I have learned. I have a disease that I basically know nothing about except, I will be using insulin, I will get whittled down, go blind,be on dialysis and die early. Just $#%^ing great,
So I am not one to dwell on what I can’t change. I do know I can fight my enemy with knowledge (know thy enemy). Well let’s see I don’t like needles at all, up to now only trained professionals touched me with a needle! I knew I had to get over the needle thing real quick. The next time the nurse comes in to give me my insulin, I asked her if I could give it to myself. You want to give yourself an injection? Yes, from what I understand I will be doing this the rest of my life and might as well get started. The nurse said of course and showed me how draw the insulin and how much. So, there I am syringe in hand looking at my tummy hand doing that funny little wind up (you know 1,2,3 and stab LOL) in goes the needle, inject, hold and remove. WOW, that’s not bad at all, hurts a lot less than other things I’ve done to myself with hammers, knifes, etc … HeeHee. I’ve been Dx’ed less than 12 hrs. have had only 2 shots of insulin and I did the 2nd one. I just realized I’ve only had 1 injection that I didn’t give myself !! See in about 12 hrs. diabetes has already taught me, how to inject insulin and what DKA is. This is just so much fun. Stop, stop hold me back.
After a little more than 12 hrs. they take me out of ICU, I was told they needed the bed for the really sick people. It seems I respond to insulin in a very positive way. My BS was 672 when I came in, a couple of IV’s, some insulin and bang BS is down to 300, Still high but not high enough for ICU.
Now comes the whirlwind. One day of rest and bang it’s Monday. I was in a VA hospital and for the next day I was flooded with all this info. Looking back most of it was actually a waste of time because it was more for type 2, but they have their procedures. Heck I even had to show the educator I could inject with saline, mind you this after I was already doing it. Taking with the Dr, I tell him I have an impacted tooth and that I have been fighting infections for a couple of years. Well before you go we’ll get that looked at. I go get x-rayed and I have a tooth that needs to come out. The Dr. informs me I can stay one more night and have my tooth removed tomorrow. No, Thank You, if I promise to come back can I leave today, Yes you can. Now comes the final instructions (HaHa spelled that last word w/o spell check!!) forgive me as I am easily entertained. OkOk back to the instructions, 30 units of Lantus in the morning at the same time, before eating if my BS 100 or less don’t take the 5 units of Novalog. Your BS goals are 80-120 aiming for 100. Can you believe those instructions(Darn spelled it wrong that time LOL). Got my clothes on ready to go home, go by the pharmacy and pick up a huge bag I kid you not. I have never in my life had this much medicine and stuff. Before the big D all I ever had was pain klllers and antibiotics. Now I have a meter, strips, pain pen with lancets, 2 kinds of insulin, syringes, prep. pads, OH and control solution. I am ready to go home and start my new way of staying alive. There is another thing diabetes has taught me Life Is Worth Living, except now I really, really think about it everyday. No rest for the wicked. LOL
Since then I have learned how to control my BS. The only thing they got right is I am still using 30 units Lantus in the morning, but now when I eat I figure the carbs. and bolus(another new d word) 2 units of Novalog for every 15 carbs.
Wow in less then a week I have learned so much. I can, test my BS and I understand what the numbers mean, fill a syringe, wipe with a prep pad, insert the needle and give myself the insulin I needed to stay alive, I have a good knowledge of what Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is and what it feels like and how to read food labels. All this in such a short time. The next chapter will be learning to really take control and how the online communities like TuDiabetes helped. Ohh! one last thing a little over one year ago I couldn’t spell diabetic and now I are one. LOL

Keith, we are so glad you decided to join us here at TuD. I’ve had type 1 for 42 years, and I’m still trying to figure things out. I can still see ok, not on dialysis, haven’t had a heart attack and never been DKA or passed out or hospitalized because of my d. It sounds like you’re doing pretty well, too. TuD has helped me more than anything to deal with the emotional side, especially.