My Diabetic Story

Hi all! I was raised in upstate NY in a small farming community and transplanted to california when I was 14. I still have relatives in NY and will always consider it home base. Sometimes I wish to live back there again and have my kids grow up the way I country living...but california has its perks and for now that is homebase for us. I'm a wife of 12 years, mama to 2 and a stepmom to 1. Alexcina is 10 going on 15 and Nathan is 9. We also have 2 dogs. Daisy is my 4 pound diva chihuahua. I never thought I would be one of "those" crazy women with the 4 pound princess doggie but YES I am that woman now. That little dog is so spoiled LOL... My diabetic story started somewhere in the middle of '96. I was 20 years old. I was working, dating my now hubby for about 1 year...just having fun! I got my first yeast infection! YEA! NOT! so I went to the gyno. like every woman does and got the magic cream and was told not to wear tight jeans and make sure my undies were cotton! I thought "ok" ..."it happens"... "it must happen in every woman's life at one point"...thought my troubles were over...this reoccured every few weeks and when the first doctor prescribed the same thing again I decided to try a new I went to the new gyno...same exact story "don't wear tight panties you hoochie and stop wearing hooker panties" (ok maybe she did not say that) but I was frustrated when this new doctor handed me the same prescription with the same story.....this went on for a few more weeks....then I finally went to a GP (general practitioner) who ran blood test and my sugar came back around 440! Ahha! Things started to make sense..reoccurring yeast infection, tiredness, slimmest I had ever been (thought it was all the running I was doing), thristy... but in the same ahha moment there was complete shock attacked to it....DIABETES! I'm only 21!

My first concern was that I was newly married just a couple months before my diagnosis. Did my new husband really want to go down this road with me? What about having kids? I was a mess but determined to learn all I could. Since then it has been a learning adventure…

I’m still on the fence today about exactly what type I am. When first diagnosed they treated me like a type 2. Even though I had no weight to loss they told me to make sure I kept up exercising and I went to a ADA food class (which now I realized was totally ridiculous!) I was put on various doseages of glucaphage (metformin), prandin, actos…there is a couple more in there but I forget the names. I remember I was so upset for the next year ('97) trying diet changes, still excercising, drugs but my sugars were between 180-300ish, never the same and always still too high. In early '98 when my sugars were really staying 280-350 still and I was exhausted I went to my GP and found out I was pregnant! Right away they put me on R and NPH regardless what type of diabetes they thought I had insulin was the way to go at that point. I really had no problems jumping on insulin. I was at my wits end with drugs and I did not like the idea of what they may do to my liver long term being I was so young. The insulin worked beautifully and I exercised a lot during the pregnancy too. I was able to keep my sugars pretty much all of the time under 120 with the occasional high. She was born by c-section at a healthy weight of 7lb 8oz. After I was done breastfeeding I was told that I needed to try to go back to oral medication for the diabetes…why? I asked? Nobody had the answers! This was about the time I switched endo’s in search for more answers. I was only on oral med’s for 1 month before I got pregnant again and was put back on the insulin. R & NPH worked beautifully once again for control and Nathan was born by c-section at 7lb 6oz. I did a lot of walking and swimming with both pregnancies along with lean meat and veggies. Shortly after Nate was born I started digging around on the internet. I found many forums but either they were parents of kids with diabetes or they were older folks and most were type 2. I would bring up ideas to my new endo. from the internet and he told me that “woman think they know everything by reading what others post on the internet”, “none of those people are doctors”…I was floored…not only was he male chauvinist but also not open to the fact that these were REAL people living everyday with diabetes who KNOW things that doctors may not know about. Decided to search for a new endo and more answers…

It was then I started learning about type 1.5 on my own and insisted I be put back on insulin. The new endo. agreed with me only after I tried her regime of oral meds to prove that it would not work. She still told me I was more type 2 and of course I had baby weight of about 40 pounds also so it was “just lose weight and watch your diet” with a nice cocktail of drugs! During that time I also tried byetta for 3 months after twisting her arm to get it because I was dying to try to lose weight. I was exercising and eating correctly but I was GAINING more weight. Byetta made me extremely tired and the nausea was too much. Eventually I was put back on R and NPH and my sugars were once again controlled beautifully but weight was still the main issue.

My 1st GP I went to I fired because when I asked him shortly after diagnosed if he could send me to the endo. He told me “eventually you will go to hell in a hand basket (with diabetes) and at that point I will send you to the endo.” He really thought that was FUNNY?!? For a newly diagnosed diabetic I went home in tears and that comment still haunts me today. My 2nd GP told me that he did not care if I was overweight because my sugars, cholesterol and other numbers looked fantastic. It felt great to be controlling my A1c but like a brick wall was in front of me as far as the weight was concerned.

My new endo. I really love. He is like a coach more than a doctor and he calls me type 1 and a quarter although we’ve never talked antibodies or c-peptide numbers. I am curious to see what they are. Maybe he ran them but I just don’t know them. He switched me to Lantus and humalog calling R/NPH combo dinosaur insulins. As far as weight that is still my main concern. After I hurt my hip and during this past year it has been rough with family issues. I have always kept my A1c under 7 but I know my next labs will not be as lovely. I’ve let myself go in the midst of everything and I also feel that my diabetes is becoming more sensitive or brittle because I’ve had highs these past few months on and off like never before. I really want a pump soon.

There is so much more in between all of that and I’m sure I missed something or maybe my ramblings just don’t make much sense lol but I felt the need to share it here for new people visiting my page…
Big “D” Hugs!
Keep Pressin’

Jaimie, I love your openness and honesty. I didn’t know your story so it was nice to read it. I have walked down a similar path with so many doctors. As a nurse, I now realize that they are just people, not God and they don’t always have the best answers or bed-side manner. That one doc sure was a chauvenist pig! Glad you dumped him. The one thing I have learned over the years is you have to be your own best advocate in the world of diabetes. I have been seeing my endo every 2-3 weeks while we are trying to figure out this whole PCOS thing and he doesnt even remember conversations we had 2 weeks prior, always checking his charting/notes. His nurse looks at me like I’m a complete stranger. She says, oh! you were 230 this morning? That is REALLY high. Why are you so high? I just ROLL MY EYES and give some lame excuse. She has NO CLUE. And my doc has good intentions, but I am more like a checklist than a patient. Its hard. I want someone to care about my bloodsugars as much as I do. I like how you said your endo is like a coach. That is powerful. That is so what I want.
I work with cancer patients everyday and they often say the same thing us diabetics do: unless you are living with it, you can’t fully understand what we go through. I respect that statement. I wish the doctors and nurses would do the same. As a nurse, I know what it’s like to have too many patients, not enough time to spend with each one, insurance companies, medicare rules, etc…But to find a doc, in a specialty that he/she truely is passionate about, is such a blessing. Keep your coach in your corner! One day at a time. Hugs, Julie
PS. What is type 1.5? I have seen it referenced on TuD but I have never heard of it.

Congratulations Jamie for being so persistant for your own health!!! I am glad that you have finally found a dr. that is working for you the way you deserve it. and Good for you on two healthy babies!!! Its an inspiration. Your story sounds similar to my husbands, he was diagnosed type 2 about 7 years ago. However since being here on TuDiabetes I believe he is either Type 1.5 (LADA) or MODY. He has been on oral meds and insulin for the past 4 years I think. I am going to have him request that his dr. run a GAD test and a C-Peptide test to see where we stand for the different types of Diabetes. We wont be able to test for the MODY because its a genetic test and very expensive. But I hope that if we can get his diagnosis changed maybe he can get onto a pump. Right now he is on Januvia and Novalog which is working great. except when he was sick not that long ago. His A1c was at a 9 his last appointment. Hopefully with the new exercise that he has been trying to do and the new drugs we will see a significant drop in that number. Congratulations again and Welcome to TuDiabetes.

Wow Jamie, that is a great story of what most of us go thru. Persistence and letting the doctors know you are in charge and just need that “coach” is exactly right. A lot of things can effect your control, stress being a big one. I think a lot of folks don’t realize controlling things is much more and art than a science.

Keep hanging in there!

OMG! your story sounds a little like mine!!!

Jaimie, THANK YOU for being such an open person about sharing your story - the ups and the downs - with all of us. You write in a really wonderful, easy-to-read, way that is just like sitting down with a friend and having a conversation. What a gift and being able to use that gift to share with the community is great!

Keep on blogging!

Your story is so cool. sorry i was dianossed the same way when i was 6

Interesting story!

JOHNBEN or JB.for if you are in a hurry!

HI Jaime, Have you thought about trying Symilin? Are you doing well on the Lantus? DO you lijke it? M

Hey Jaime (in French," j’aime " means “I love”)…it’s amazing isn’t it, how much we must run around and search to infinity and back in our quest for answers…I remember one doctor actually getting angry with me because I knew and kept insisting that there was something wrong. I know I had diabetes for a while before actually being diagnosed (different doc.)…take care…linda.

Hi Jamie, How are you doing?? Your story is so open and I just give you kudos so being so trueful about everything!! Glucophage and Junevia about killed my husband whom is also diabetic. Have you heard about the law suit they have going against people who were on Junevia? They say it causes Cancer?? Don’t know but sure would like more info. Hope this finds you well and everything is settling down for you. God Bless you Dear…Michelle

You have a great story. Lots of love and luck to you.