Profile for CatLady

I recently had my first “diaversary” of the diagnosis of Type 1/LADA and, as the song goes, “What a long strange trip it’s been.” In hindsight, I realize I had been struggling with increasing BG for several months–I had a couple of near collisions while driving, my glasses didn’t seem right, and I just felt disorganized. Somehow I pulled myself together and we were off to London on a family trip for our daughter’s wedding. The weather was unusually hot and I was drinking lots of water because, as I kept telling my husband, my mouth felt so dry. We were walking a lot more than usual and I attributed the leg cramps to that (and bought potassium and magnesium supplements). I was having trouble reading maps and thinking clearly and travelling through the Tube system–not at all like my usual self. I felt tired but just kept pushing through as much as possible–after all, I was responsible for organizing the trip and keeping track of everyone, right? Somehow I made it through all the festivities but my energy level was low and I feel like I look very tired in the photos–more than the mother-of-the-bride typically does. After the wedding several of us continued on up to York for some down time before heading home. I felt a bit more rested but not very lively. Luckily we still did a lot of walking and enjoyed simpler meals, too. But…I was really starting to worry about what was wrong with me. And I remember thinking as I walked down the jetway to board the home-bound plane that I was dying. Guess what? I was!

When we got home I just felt worse and worse and all of a sudden the pounds just started dropping away. My husband took me to the hospital, later telling me that he thought I was dying of cancer. However, it turned out that I was DKA (A1C of 15 percent) and diagnosed with adult-onset Type 1 diabetes. I felt and looked like a zombie and the nursing staff were all amazed that I had walked into hospital under my own (last bit) of power. I spent the next few days on insulin drips, sleeping or peeing between constant blood glucose checks. When I came to, so to speak, my diabetes education began in earnest. At first I was just plain bewildered and disbelieving. Then the anger and depression broke through, also feelings of shock, betrayal, confusion, hopelessness, and… relief that I was still alive. I was scared to death of giving myself shots but I had to learn in order to go home. Thank goodness the CDE was so patient and understanding!

Those first few weeks back at home were totally awful. I was exhausted and frail, had only the most basic knowledge of counting carbohydrates, and experienced scary high and low BGs. My vision got worse before it got better and I felt hungry all the time. I cried a lot and felt myself sliding into depression. I felt scared about my future and unable to cope with all the changes. (I’m guessing many newly-diagnosed adult T1s work their way through a lot of the same stuff and also feel quite lost and disoriented.) Thank goodness for my husband, who was a real trooper and life-saver: he did the shopping, prepared meals, walked with me in the neighborhood to build up strength, drove me to appointments, and listened patiently while I railed against my fate and cried on his shoulder. My friends were also very supportive and worked hard to understand what I was going through, and I drew a lot of comfort from the companionship of my cats (and still do–one is asleep on my lap while I write).

Anyway, I came home from the hospital with prescriptions for Humalog, Lantus, and Metformin. Titrating up to the full dose of Metformin was very unpleasant but as my dose went up, I used less Lantus. I think that my real recovery started a few weeks later when I talked to my CDE about the on-going post-meal spikes, which the sliding scale Humalog boluses didn’t resolve. She talked with my doctor and got me started on meal-time boluses. The members of the ADA online community directed me to “Think Like a Pancreas” and “Using Insulin” and I learned about the importance of timing my boluses, correcting high BGs, and making basic adjustments for exercise. On TuDiabetes I learned to test a WHOLE LOT more and to use other variables such as time-in-range in assessing my progress. So overall, I know I am making progress: I handle lows better and have fewer of them ('tho heat and exercise are still rather tricky for me) and I know what to do when I get (mildly) sick. I use my logbook to understand what’s going on when I run either high or low and make notes about my feelings and experiences. It’s a lot easier now for me to take care of myself when I’m not judging myself and I sure feel better–and accomplish more–now that I am experiencing more normal glucose levels.

While looking back is helpful, I need to look forward, too. I want to get my A1C down to 6.5 percent (or better) while avoiding lows from exercise and/or sun and hot weather. I am also concerned about adjustments for crossing multiple time zones when we visit family in the UK. So I think a CGM is in my future, maybe a pump, too. When I read others’ accounts of the R/NPH regimen (“eat now or die” is an awesome description @DrBB), I am very grateful for my handy little blood glucose meter and imsulin pens!! Other goals include keeping my activity level up in the winter and doing some strength-training. My husband and I just started taking beginning yoga lessons to improve flexibility and core strength and we also attend Tai Chi classes, which help with balance for both mind and body. Sometimes I still get quite discouraged or grumpy (okay, truth be told, I mean pissed off) about having T1D, and frustrated when I can’t figure out what’s going on with my BG, but overall I am feeling more confident in my ability to manage things and learn how to do the things I enjoy safely. :smile_cat:


I am learning quite a bit by reading other’s profiles. Mine was discovered after a traffic accident in 2011, although it was 100% the other drivers fault.
I am beginning to think my mind fog and lack of concentration was possibly due to undiscovered diabetes. At the time of my diagnosis, I had just gone through a divorce and the failure of my business.
At the time of my diagnosis I didn’t have insurance so my access to medical care was very poor at best. Eventually, I was able to qualify for Medicaid and was able to receive good medical care and met a very wonderful lady who is the mother of my youngest daughter.
I often wonder if my lack of concentration was due to undiscovered diabetes rather than my stressors in my life, or maybe it was a combination of all of them.

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I’m glad your situation has improved, @pseudoscience. I really feel that high blood sugars affect cognitive processing in a big way. I still notice this effect when my BG runs high and generally I feel like it takes me longer to do some kinds of analytical tasks than it used to do.

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