My Diabetes Journey

I suppose the best place to start is at the beginning. In early 2000, I was pregnant with my third child and being closely monitored due to a previous c-section. The regular glucose tolerance test arrived and I was told I was borderline, but they weren’t going to do anything about it. Looking back, I wish they had but what did I know? Very little, really. I went on to the last two weeks of that pregnancy and had a final ultrasound to determine if I could try to have a second VBAC delivery.

I’ll never forget the tech’s response when she asked us to guess the weight range. I said we’d been told he was probably no bigger than 8 1/2 pounds. She said, “Then I’m not going to tell you what this says.” Oookay… that was weird. As it turned out, I went straight from the ultrasound table to a doctor’s office chair being told that she could not in good conscience let me deliver as nature intended. This was not the same doctor I’d been seeing and I could tell by the earnestness of her voice that she was sincere and I better listen. The baby was estimated to weigh approximately 10-11 pounds. She asked about the GTT and I told her what had happened. She was livid that they hadn’t treated the higher numbers or at least monitored me more closely. A few days later, I delivered a 9lb-12.5oz baby boy via c-section. That was the last I heard about blood glucose levels even with a primary care physician’s follow up a few months later.

4 years later, I was pregnant again and had decided to try a doctor closer to home, with whom I became quickly dissatisfied. Because I’d been on the ADA diet, he was going to skip the GTT. It made me very uneasy and I went back to the other practice with the doctor who helped me at the end of the last pregnancy. I was 16 weeks pregnant and craving massive amounts of orange juice. I was thirsty all the time and having to urinate frequently so I dismissed it as pregnancy symptoms. Looking back, I’d had other signs of diabetes before then but had no idea what they were.

At my first prenatal visit after changing doctors, I was told I had gestational diabetes. A lot changed very quickly and I fumbled through that pregnancy not really understanding much of anything. I was told it would probably go away after delivery. They followed up at my 6 week appointment and suggested I see my PCP at that time. Long story short, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. That was in 2005.

After almost three years of trying combinations of medications that didn’t work and some (Metformin XR) that just made me miserable, I saw some success with Byetta. However, by this time I no longer trusted that my PCP had my best interests in mind after he refused my request for a referral to an endocrinologist. So I found one on my own. My A1c was between 10-11. I started insulin the following month.

A year later, my A1c was most recently 8.1 and I feel like I’m on a ton of insulin with minimal results. There’s obviously some insulin resistance going on and I feel like I still don’t have all the answers I need but am still trying to figure out from here what I need. I am starting on an insulin pump in the next few weeks and hoping that helps. I’m just glad to have found a community of support.

Glad to hear your story and have you on the community. There are lots of great discussions here that will help you.

Have you ever had it confirmed that you’re type 2, not LADA type 1 (auto-immune diabetes diagnosed in adulthood). The treatment for LADA is insulin pump or MDI, so you’re headed in the right direction even if you’ve been misdiagnosed.

Insulin resistance is typically a type 2 problem, but Type 1s can have insulin resistance (especially when overweight or obese) and some go on insulin resistance drugs in addition to insulin.

Things that can help insulin work better (for type 2s and type 1s) include weight loss, regular physical activity, being sure to rotate injection/pump insertion sites and avoid scar tissue, waiting 15 minutes or so after injection/bolus before eating (to give time for insulin to kick in before the glucose from the carbs in the meal hit the bloodstream), and switching types of rapid-acting or long-acting insulins. Of course, I write all that knowing that it’s not easy to figure out or consistently do those things. But every little bit of knowledge–and support from folks on this site–makes the complex challenge a bit easier to attack. Best wishes!

Thanks for the welcome and for the information. Truth is, no I have not had anything confirmed as far as diagnosis of 1, 2, or LADA. I have had an incredibly difficult time losing weight since being diagnosed despite dietary changes and physical activity. Complicating my activity levels is a long-standing history of back problems only identified in the last year as a herniated disc. Type 2 runs in my family, but I have a sibling with LADA. That’s among the next things I will be talking to my endo about. I was able to lose about 25 pounds on Byetta, but soon after switching to insulin almost all of it came back and then some. It’s left me very discouraged for quite some time.

Now I have a 12yo daughter with a chronic illness (ulcerative colitis) and we are working together to be as healthy as we can be.

I’m looking forward to learning more and meeting new people here. So far people have been very kind and welcoming.

Diabetes is all about learning to manage your Diabetes and the more information you have the better you’ll be able to manage. What Kelly said is true that’s how we are able to control our disease…whatever it takes…Diabetes is a livelong education.