I was diagnosed type 1 on june 20th 2011 and I literally have NO idea what I’m doing. I guess because I’m 20 I’m supposed to be able to handle this. I don’t meet with a nutritionist until the 6th and my endocrinologist only told me the basics about using insulin, testing my glucose, and counting carbs. I’m scared to eat and my body is going haywire. I rear ended someone yesterday because I lost all concentration driving(I’m not driving anymore). I haven’t even seen my glucose get down to the 100s yet. I wish I knew people that have type 1 to talk to. I’m feeling really alone.
You’ve taken a good first step coming here. I was lucky enough to attend a T1 camp when I was first diagnosed, and that helped a lot. I would recommend you find your local JDRF chapter, or ADA chapter, and see what support groups they may have. At the JDRF, you may even get someone to talk to right then and there who can help.
You are in the rigth place. While not all of us have T1 (I do however…), there are a lot of really smart people here. I hope your BG gets down soon. Did the doc give you ratios for the insulin or anything like that?
I started at a unit for every 30 grams of carbs then 20 and now 15. I’m also adding extra for high sugar. My dr keeps adjusting it while we figure it out. When my bg is in the 200s it feels SO low right now. Also I’m going from being constantly hungry all day to trying to keep it to 3 main meals. What do you do about snacking? And my bf’s family wants to go out to eat tonight, something I am extremely nervous about. Do I inject in the bathroom? What if I calculate the insulin by the nutrition info but then I don’t want to eat everything on my plate? Any advice?
I have an insulin pump so when I eat something, it calculates and administers the dose depending on how many G of carb I toss in. I pretty much take a shot to snack too.
I would recommend not injecting in the bathroom. My friend who’s a psychiatrist (M.D…) agreed when our type G friend suggested she ought to go to the bathroom to test and I was like “eeew”. If it’s warm where you are, wear shorts and fire away @ the table. While one could probably argue there’s tons of germa there too, I am always “eew” about any suggestion of shooting up and/ or testing @ the table.
I use a pen in the stomach. I feel really self conscious about it but I don’t want to do it in the bathroom either. I hit a blood vessel for the first time today too. Gross bruise:(
I always preferred my legs for public shooting. I am sure that if you explain to the codiners that bathrooms are too gnarly to shoot up in they aren’t going to go “its too gnarly for you to shoot up here, please go to the bathroom”? I used my abdomen too, which usually worked out ok if I didn’t tuck my shirt in?
It’s a shame they sent you on your own without everything being sorted out. For me, I suppose it was different because I was also getting over chicken pox when I was diagnosed, so they were extra cautious. I feel like i was in the hospital for a long time. (It was 1981, and I was 7 years old, so times have changed, and my memory of that time isn’t so great).
Using an insulin pen is a good start - I assume you’re on a fast acting insulin (Novolog, Humalog, Apidra) for meals and then a long-acting (Lantus, Levimir) once or twice a day? It’s hard to figure out the right dose because it varies with your activity and lifestyle. Lying dormant in a hospital bed will always require more insulin than being up and about.
I’d suggest that, in the beginning, try to maintain as much of a consistent routine as possible - similar meals every day - until you get your rates and ratios locked down. So unfortunately, eating out would not be such a good idea right now. (It’s always tough to figure out, even for a 30-year T1 veteran like myself!).
But it does get better. When your regular blood sugars reach a normal level, you won’t feel low all the time when you’re not. Docs always err on the side of too-little insulin as opposed to too-much to avoid severe hypoglycemic (low) reactions. And when recovering from an extreme high, it can take some time to get back to normal. That’s why your ratios have gone from 1:30 to 1:15, effectively doubling your dosage, in less than 5 days. You’ll grow to know how your body works, and how it responds, to various foods and insulin doses. You’ll be more confident, self-sufficient, and will probably know more than your doctor at some time. You’ll definitely drive again. But this is a lot to take on in five days, and it takes hours to see the response to each dose of insulin or each meal. That’s why it can be so frustrating.
As far as injecting in a public bathroom, I’ve done it quite often, and there’s really nothing wrong with that. You’re not rolling on the floor or swishing your arm in the toilet or anything. As I grew more confident, I’d begun to inject at the table, sometimes through my pants leg. But that contradicts the sanitary guidelines the doctors give, and if it starts to bleed (usually it doesn’t), it can be tough to deal with. Bottom line is to do whatever makes you comfortable when it comes to figuring out where to inject insulin. There’s no need to add stress unnecessarily. (Oh, and it took years before I started injecting in my stomach. It hurt too much and I just used arms, legs, and butt. But one day I tried it again, and it worked fine).
Best of luck to you. It’s only been five days, and from what you’ve described, you’re doing well. You DO know what you’re doing, you just don’t know how your body is responding – yet. But you will. It will get better, I promise.
Have you ever felt like you’ve gotten pity looks from people? Is it something you just get over? I know I shouldn’t be embarrassed but I’m so self conscious about this still.
Thank you for the confidence! I already feel better hearing advice from other type 1 people:) I’m on novolog and levemir. Meals are a little difficult because I’m at work for breakfast and lunch m-f. I’m definitely trying to get on a schedule though. I’ve never really had a routine before though. It takes some adjusting.
Welcome to TuD, Emily. You’ve definitely come to the right place to get understanding, support and info. I learn much more here than I ever have from any professionals!
I highly recommend you get the book Using Insulin by John Walsh. To me, it is like a bible. I don’t use it so much for the exact formulas, as we are all different, but for the great explanations and problem solving.
The best advice I can give is hang in there, because it takes time to adjust both to what you need to do and how to do it, and to the emotional change. I also encourage you to find a Type 1 group. I started a Type 1 women’s group and I love it. Unfortunately, we’re 3,000 miles away, but if you contact your local JDRF I’m sure they can help you. it’s amazing to sit in a room with others who understand.
Speaking of which, on the injecting thing: I tested and injected in the bathroom for awhile because I’m a private person. Then I had lunch one day with the first type 1 I’d met and as she tested and injected I looked around and absolutely nobody even noticed. Most people are too absorbed in their smartphones to notice much! LOL. If you inject in your stomach and wear a top and jeans, you just move the top and the waist aside and one two three it’s done! If you test in your lap nobody can see.
Do ask questions on here as there are lots of helpful people. No question is “dumb”. We’ve all been there.
I dont recall feeling that way about it. It may be apples and oranges. I was a bit younger and sort of didn’t want to let it get in the way of other activities.
Hi Emily. Of COURSE you feel alone…but you are not. Not at all.
Were you admitted to the hospital when you were diagnosed? A lot of us are hospitalized and go through diabetes ‘boot camp’ there, because we’re in full blown DKA when our diabetes is discovered and it can take days for a newly diagnosed diabetic to get released. During that time RNs, RDs, CDEs, MDs etc each do their education. If you weren’t hospitalized, I’m very glad! DKA is dangerous. But not having a stay may contribute to your sense of being overwhelmed, just returning to your ‘regular’ life as though nothing as happened.
Glycemic control is, of course, the core of diabetes management – but DON’T be so hard on yourself, as in getting your BGs ‘down to the 100s.’ While this is certainly a long-term goal, you don’t have to reach it today. Just do your best and you will be alright. You do need to eat, so don’t be afraid to. If you need to skimp on carbs for a while, until you receive more education, then do so. Do you have a firm understanding of what ‘carbs’ are? You’ll eventually figure our your personal relationship with them, both during and then after your ‘honeymoon’ – eating the right ones in the right quantities will become easier.
Your basic survival skills are most important for now. Test frequently and be prepared for lows. Always have some sugar with you: glucose tablets, a simple sugar candy (skittles, gummy bears – just sugar, no chocolate or nuts), or a juice box or two if you carry a bag and can fit them. Bear in mind that activity/exercise will make your insulin more efficient, and it’s during and after periods of activity that you may want to pay special attention and be on the lookout for hypoglycemia.
The rest will follow. You have a lot to learn. Take a deep breath, and give yourself some time. Focus on staying safe (avoiding hypos) for now. Ask questions. There are no wrong ones. Hang in there. It will all be alright…
I went to a doctor after weeks of feeling sick and he sent me straight to the ER. They gave me fluids and insulin but sent me home that night. At first I was happy to know what was wrong with me because I had been so sick. I didn’t know anything about the long term meanings. My sugar feels really low but I know it’s actually high. I haven’t experienced close to what the descriptions of low blood sugar people have talked about here though. I have never craved a baked potato more in my life.
I found out 8 days after my 20th birthday. What a great gift! I’m going to take your advice about finding people in my age group. So far all the sites I’ve been on are young kids or people that have been living with it for a while. I feel like if I had gotten it younger I would have tons of help and if I was older I would be more independent and better suited to deal with it. Luckily I have lots of family and loved ones supporting me. You should see the stack of papers and brochures on my kitchen table. I don’t even know where to start. I’m learning a lot on this site though!
Hi Emily. There’s no sugar-coating it; finding out you have diabetes is a bummer and so is having to deal with it. You are going to go through a lot of emotions and feelings of being alone, but the good news is that you can learn to live with this. All of us here at TuD deal with diabetes on a daily basis in one form or another. We’re here for you, so ask anything.
As for injecting while eating out, I test and inject in the car just before I go into the restaurant. Some people get squeamish around needles and testing, so I try to be discreet when in public. I estimate what I’m going to eat and bolus accordingly. It will take time for you to learn your carb:insulin ratios on to get them on target, but you will get there. Before you know it, it will all become so very routine. Your bf and his family might as well know and see what you’re doing now to manage your diabetes because diabetes management is now a part of your life.
Please let mew know if I can help you in any way. We’re all here to help.
BMD - that sounds really risky. If you’re going into a fast food place where you know the food will be in your mouth in a few minutes, it’s OK. But for a sit-down waiter/waitress-served meal, it can take a half hour, maybe more, before you finally get your food. I would caution against it.
That’s a good point Scott. The “I haven’t even seen my BG in the 100s yet” bit made me think there’s a cushion but, at the same time, when that sort of wave hits, particularly the first few times, it can be hair raising, particularly in a meet the parents situation?
Scott, sure, it does depend on the restaurant and the anticipated waiting period. After I bolus, I give myself a 10-15 minute waiting period before the insulin starts to kick in. That’s about how long it takes for insulin to start to affect my BGL. If the wait seems like it will be long, I will pop a hard peppermint to hold off the low, and in a worse-case scenario, I will tell the server that I need something to eat now. It has never been a problem. I guess it does depend on one’s comfort zone, and maybe for a newly dx’d T1, that is a bit of a risk.
Except for a grilled chicken salad every now and then, I avoid fast-food places altogether.