I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 21. I had just bought my own home and moved out of my first apartment, I had been at my job for almost 3 years and recently been part of a “downsizing” due to the economy. I was drinking 3 gallons of water a day, losing weight like nobody’s business, and starting to suffer muscular problems as well as a few other things. I felt horrible, and depressed. Finally a friend convinced me to see her doctor about the health conditions. I walked in, with my 2 best friends and my mother, to find out that I had the big D. They handed me a pen needle, some tips, and a meter and said basically that I had to inject myself 4 times daily and that I needed to log everything that I did and ate, and come back to them in a week. After the first blood tests, the doctor told me that I was type 1, late onset, but my pancreas was not producing any insulin at all, probably hadn’t for years based on what I had told them from my symptoms since high school. This was something that was going to be with me for the rest of my life.
This in itself was devastating more to my family than to me for some reason. I think I felt relieved that there was a reason for all of what I was going through, and that there was hope to get better. I got a new job, moved some negative people out of my life, and moved on. However, as the months went on, I read more of what my doctor had given me, and looking back now I realize that was the wrong thing to do. What he had given me was more information on type 2 diabetes, and what I was reading made me think that I could do ok on my own. I stopped taking insulin injections for a summer. 4 months total. I finally got sick and ended up at one of the health clinics at my local Walgreens. I told her that I was diabetic, off my insulin, and before I could say anything else she made me call one of their doctors and set an appointment to get back on track. I got over my cold, went to the new doctor, and felt like I wasn’t being listened to, and really wasn’t being given all that much information on why what I was doing was so bad. I was eating healthy, small portions and a lot of salad. I’d given up cookies and most things having even a little sugar in them. The doctor just prescribed me more insulin and left me to it.
Eventually I figured out that my own care wasn’t working. My mother and grandfather both got diagnosed with cancer, and under the stress my body started failing me. I was getting weaker, and the thirst was back. I saw a new doctor. She explained in detail why I couldn’t just stop taking insulin, put me in a class for new diabetics, and scheduled more blood work and visits. My mother beat her cancer (went with her for her last visit and mammogram results last week - all clear!) but my grandfather was deteriorating, and he eventually died in July. I had been fighting with myself and my doctors for almost 3 years, trying to figure things out. After my grandfather passed, I went back to the doctor. My sugars were wonky from the stress, and I was having problems keeping tabs on things. To boot, I was at another new job (more downsizing) and the hours I was keeping were kind of hectic. I started talking to her about it, and all she would do was lecture me. I needed to be writing things down, I was taking too much insulin, I needed to eat more regularly. She refused to discuss a pump, just flat out said she wouldn’t even consider it until I got more in control. And I wasn’t allowed to have children. I went home crying from that appointment. Then the big blow came, I was almost out of insulin again (this would have been october last year). I went to get it refilled, and got told that she would refill it, but not again unless I came in to see her. I told myself that I would make that insulin last as long as possible so that I didn’t have to go back to her. I wasn’t happy. I was still not eating much, and I made the insulin last until Christmas.
I’ve done a lot of reading, and a lot of talking. I have an appointment with a new doctor in February, they gave me insulin today so that I can take care of myself. I am going to talk to him about getting a pump and keeping better care of myself. But I am so tired of bad doctors and trying to do things seemingly the hard way. Why can’t things go easier? Should I have had to fight so much for the basic things that I need to live? I mean, I was using the same needle for almost 2 weeks because I had nothing else. I almost ended up in the hospital because my sugars kept going so high off the charts. I just want to know why. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know that things could be so much worse and more difficult. But they could be easier too. Anyways. Just had to get this out. Been on my mind a lot lately. Here’s hoping that my new doctor will help me take care of me.