My first few days as a diabetic

On June 20th, 2011, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I had been showing symptoms for months but I just never thought to be tested or go to the doctor. I was drinking tons and tons and peeing all the time and for a few weeks I’d been feeling really weak. I thought I was sick from not eating right or exercising enough so I just tried to eat healthier and I just felt worse and worse. Finally I went to work one morning and felt so terrible that I called my mom and asked her to make me an appointment. At the doctor they tested me for mono first, which came up negative and then after I told the doctor my symptoms he decided to test my blood glucose. They just used a normal glucometer but a number wouldn’t even come up because they only read to 500 and mine must have been higher. Normal is 70-110. The nurse was coming in and out of the room and whispering to the doctor and he told me he was sending me to the ER. Luckily my mom was with me to drive me there and the doctor called ahead to tell them I was coming. At the ER I was hooked up to an IV and they gave me 10 units of insulin. They told me I would have to stay overnight and I called my boyfriend, Colin, and asked him to bring me clothes. Colin and my mom stayed with me until at about 9pm they decided to let me go home for the night because my glucose was down to the 200s. I had an appointment with an endocrinologist the next morning. He showed me how to test my blood glucose and how to give myself insulin. I learned a million things in about 24 hours. I’m probably leaving tons out but it was so much happening so quickly. I don’t think I comprehended what was going on for a while anyway. I’ve been trying to be positive and think of it only as an inconvenience but it’s been really hard to do. I feel like my whole life is flipped upside down. I can’t eat what I want and I’m having to give myself insulin shots atleast 5 times a day. Those things I can live with. The part that sucks is that it’s affecting everything in my life negatively. I never feel like myself. While my blood sugars are trying to adjust to the new levels I’m constantly having mood swings, getting weak, having headaches, and losing concentration. Everything I do is somehow centered around diabetes now. I have to calculate what I’m eating and how much insulin to take. I need to record every blood glucose count which are like 5-10 a day. If I’m talking I suddenly lose my train of thought or get a headache. Last night I was sweating though my clothes. I was fostering kittens and I had to take them back to work because I physically don’t have the energy to take care of them. I can’t walk my dogs because I feel like I’ll pass out after half a block. I truly am feeling like my life is over right now. I feel like no one around me understands what I am going through. My parents have been beyond supportive and helpful and Colin has been helping me with everything. I just don’t know how to express that it isn’t the shots or the eating. It’s the fact that I don’t feel like I exist any more. Every second I’m thinking about something diabetes related. I feel like one of those caterpillars with a wasp larvae in it and my only purpose is to have diabetes and feed the wasp baby. I don’t want to talk about it and worry about it all the time. It doesn’t stop for 5 minutes. I know it gets easier once it’s under control but that feels like forever from now. It’s putting strain on my relationship with Colin. I don’t feel like I can do the things I love anymore like play with my dogs and take them places and take care of animals. At the vet’s office when I hold a bigger animal, it’s all I can do not to throw up or pass out. I’m constantly exhausted. I don’t want this to affect how I do my job. My boss has been insanely supportive and understanding. I feel like she knows more than anyone else how I feel because she deals with animal that have diabetes all the time. Hopefully my next posts will be more coherent. It feels good to have an outlet.

Hi Emily,

I’m sorry to hear you have diabetes and so happy you’ve come to this website for support. I just started coming here and the support is unbelievable. It’s normal to be scared when you’re diagnosed with something like this, but try to be optimistic. Diabetes is a lifestyle change, but you can adapt. I find having a voice helps me get rid of anxieties and this is the perfect place for you to express yourself. Good luck with everything. I hope you feel better soon.

thank you Janice, I’m looking forward to talking to people:)

Emily, hang in there! It does get better. I’m so glad you found us so soon after your dx. Please come here whenever you need to vent, cry, shout, whatever you need. I’ve had it a long time, and until I found TuDiabetes three years ago, I felt so alone with my diabetes. Since then, I’ve made some really wonderful friends here, who’ve taught me a lot of stuff I needed to know, and who’ve given me encouragement, support, and the courage to accept what I need to do. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do. We have a LOT of animal lovers here. It’s a real comfort to have a dog or cat to take care of. big hug, amiga!

Emily, I relate to pretty much everything you wrote. That was me 13 years ago when I got my diagnosis. I had been sick for almost 2 years, and REALLY sick for about six months, and when they told me I had diabetes, I was like “great, now this on top of everything else. I’m outa here.” I actually wanted to end my life…I just didn’t feel like I could do it all. And then, thankfully, the insulin kicked in, and I realized that most of the “everything else” that had seemed so hard was hard BECAUSE of the untreated diabetes. Once my blood sugars got under better control all the energy I hadn’t had for months came back. You WILL get your life back. And not only will you be able to walk the big dogs again, you may find yourself in partnership with a diabetes dog…one that can sense your lows before you do and help you out. Yes, diabetes is hard. And you will have to think about it a lot. But there’s great support out there, and a lot of what we have to do to take care of ourselves as diabetics are things that are good for all people. Eating well, managing stress, exercising regularly…we just happen to get graded on it every time we do a finger prick. When I got diagnosed, my roommate at the time said something really helpful. He said “If I could give you a disease that would make you take care of yourself, I would give you diabetes.” That sounds a little crass, but we live in a culture where taking care of ourselves is supposed to come behind just about everything else…work, relationships, family, etc. Diabetes does give you permission to take care of yourself.

Thank you Zanne. I really appreciate your comment. I want to start thinking of it that way and hopefully the mood swings will stop soon. It’s so comforting to know that other people have been here too.

Emily. I am 84 a veteran of WW2. When I was told I had diabetes no one told me much. I was in denial. I went my mrry way and saying nothing will happen to me. I moved to Florida and to my shock my new endo told me my A1C was 9.5. I was stunned. He did not fool around with meds, he put me on 4 shots of insulin a day. No one really yold me what to do. I was so discouraged. I found Tudiabetes and met wonderful friends. They encouraged me. They got me focused. I got my A1C to 6.0. There is still a lot I do not know. I just ask the folks here. You have found the right place. Do not get discourages…we are here for you. Reed

Hi Emily, I’m so glad you’ve found this site, and shared your story. Getting support from other PwD (people with diabetes), and hearing their successes and struggles is the BEST medicine. (You may also see many abbreviations on this site, so ask if you see something you don’t understand !).
I’ve had T1 46 years, and many things have changed. But I was just as scared when I was at the doctors, and heard him tell my mom I had to go to the hospital. It was my mom who had to learn to do insulin injections (practicing on an orange !) , and plan my meals. I really believe it was harder on her than me ! (I was only 5). By the time I was 7, I was doing my own injections, but BG meters weren’t available yet ! Throughout my life, there were D support groups now and then, but not many to really share my emotional side of diabetes with. My family tried, but no one but another PwD really understands.
Try to take on your journey with diabetes one step at a time. You don’t need ‘good’ numbers right away. Try to just learn the basics. Just as babies learn to first crawl, then walk, then run, and eventually more complex things like riding bikes and driving cars !
I have compared learning to live with D to be more like learning to ride a bike. You can read how to ride a bike, someone can you tell you all about the gears and the pedals, and how to get your ’ balance’, but until you actually get on the bike, and fall a few times, you’ll never learn… Think of TUd as your training wheels to support and help you learn, and soon you will be helping other new members who join.