I'll put in my story, although it's a little different from most.
My first problem was getting diagnosed at all. In 1991, I had fasting lab BGs of 138, and 3 months later, 131. Nowadays, that would be diagnosable, but at the time, the cutoff was 140, so my doc said I DIDN'T have diabetes, but rather hyperglycemia, but nevertheless, sent me to the Diabetes Center for a meter. There, they said I DID have diabetes, and gave me a meter and a meal plan. Then my doc moved away, and because I was concerned, I consulted an endo. I still had good pancreatic function at the time, and did come down after spiking after a meal; the endo took a random glucose 4 hours after I had eaten, and it was 92, so he said I DIDN'T have diabetes.
Then in August 1992, I had a coronary artery spasm, and my fasting BG was in the 140's so they said I had PROBABLE NIDDM (the term for Type 2 at the time). That school year, I started to get symptomatic -- the usual 3 symptoms -- polydipsia, polyuria, and polyphagia. Then in Aug 1993, my fasting was 160, and I received the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. Diet and exercise didn't bring my BGs down, and my doc sent me to an endo, who put me on Glucotrol (a sulfonylurea, which was all that was available at the time). Well, fastings with Glucotrol were in the 180's, and without Glucotrol were in the 180's, so I concluded that the med wasn't doing me any good, and asked to be put on insulin in May 1994. So it was 3 years after my first episodes of hyperglycemia, but only 5 months after my formal diagnosis.
Well, miracles happen, and insulin started to bring me down immediately! At least the fastings -- I started on one shot of NPH at night. Didn't help the postprandials any, but did bring down my fasting BG. So we went on the trial and error route of 70/30 (horrible lows, high PPs), mixing R and NPH (good luck when you don't really know how much you'll need, because it was before the days of insulin:carb ratio), Humalog when it came out. Eventually, I decided I wanted a pump -- doc demurred, and I put myself on the pump which was given to me by a friend who had gotten a new one. When I showed it to the doc, he relented and ordered me a new one. I did attend a pump training session, and it helped, but I was mostly on my own, because this doc didn't know anything about pumping.
Last year, my BGs started getting out of control, even though I had managed well for 11 years on the pump. No matter what I did, they kept going up and up. My A1c was 10.7, which for me, being a low glycator, was life-threateningly high, and I saw my doc ONE week before going into a coma, with a fasting of 302, and he did nothing. I almost died. My BGs had been running in the 500's and HI, and now I know that I needed serious help a lot sooner, but at the time, I didn't know how bad it was, and no one I asked for help from recognized it, either. A1c is not the be-all and end-all for evaluation of BG control!
So, anyway, I fired him and got a new endo. He has me down as a Type 1, because I'm not obese and also had, before my thyroidectomy, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which is autoimmune, so I have the genetics for auto-immunity. Plus neither one of my parents, and none of my siblings or cousins have it. When I was fighting the high BGs the first part of this year, I gained weight because I was using so much insulin, but I have lost most of it. Neither my doc nor I know exactly what caused it, but I do know there is such a thing as auto-immune insulin resistance, which is said to last about a year, and maybe that was it. I do have metabolic syndrome, but that doesn't rule out auto-immune problems.
So I'm not a classic Type 1, and I'm not a classic Type 2, and I'm just grateful that I've been treated as necessary, without reference to type. I prefer that the doc puts me down as Type 1, because that gives me better insurance coverage. But the fact is that they just don't know what I have. And I don't think I'm unique.