This the story of diagnosis. (It’s long, but I needed to get it out of my head, it keeps knocking around in there.)
I was mid-October and I had been feeling like crap for weeks, some sort of head cold had set in and was on antibiotics for a sinus infection and bronchitis. My normal routine of morning coffee had turned to multiple glasses of water and the constant feeling of being hungry. I was beyond tired, my vision was so blurry I had to squint at everything and I kept feeling like I was gonna pass out. It was a Monday and I felt like I was at the end of my rope. When I laid down to take a nap, my heart was racing and my breathing felt “weird”. That’s when it hit me. Something could be up with my blood sugar. I hauled myself back out of bed and to the computer. I ran a quick search on hyperglycemia. When the page pulled up I scanned the symptoms and I had everyone of them with the exception of sudden weight loss. I picked up the phone and called my husband, then my mom. Needless to say I was freaked out.
The next afternoon my mom showed up at my house with a glucose monitor she purchase at WalMart that morning. It had been 2 1/2 hours since I had eaten (2 hard boiled eggs) so I figured I’d be ok to check. 292 is what popped up on the screen anf thru out the day it just climbed from there. At 5pm I was up to 418, so I gave in and called my general practitioner. After talking to him he called in a prescription to my pharmacy for glyburide told me to take one immediately then another at bedtime if my glucose was over 250. And it was, 458. He had also told me to be at his office first thing in the morning.
On arriving at the dr’s office the staff was not so pleased to see me without an appt. I explained to them what was happening and my conversation with the dr the night before. They took a urine sample and that’s when things started to pick up. The urine sample was proof I wasn’t crazy, I was spilling sugar over. They took a glucose check and I was at 308 fasting. My A1C was 10.4. When the dr did his exam, my stomach was tender and he thought it was my gallbladder putting stress on my pancreas causing the high glucose. I was then referred to the local ER. The Dr. called the ER to let them know I was coming and gave me the results from the test he had ran to take with me.
Once admitted into the ER the doctor came in and this is roughly the conversation that happen:
Dr: What’s going on today?
~I ran thru the symptoms and the appt I had just had with my GP.~
Dr: How do you know to check your blood sugar, did you stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night?
Me: Excuse me?
Dr: Ya know, when you stay there it makes you smarter. How did you know to check?
Me: I googled it.
To which point he looked at the nurse and they both laughed.
Now let me just have a little rant here. First, I had already given them my GP’s test results and the GP spoke with the ER Dr before referring me there. How in the heck does it matter how I knew to check?!? The fact was my BS was over 300 without anything to eat for 14+ hours. Second, this is 2010, the general populace is not tied to the “all knowing” drs. I have an Aunt who used the Internet to diagnose herself with Cushings years ago. The only reason her dr ran the test to confirm it, was to “humor her”, stated that in her chart.
The ER did do an XRay to check my gallbladder, it was fine. They placed me on an IV insulin drip and I was admitted into CCU for the night so I could be closely monitored. The next day they transferred me over to a regular room and kept me another night while they tried to get me BS under control. I was told it was probably type 1 diabetes, but nothing for sure until the antibody tests came back, they did send me home with insulin scripts, a 15 to 1 carb coverage and a sliding scale. But no one told me how to use the insulin pens I had to read the package instructions!
Now this is the part where I am VERY lucky. I already had an Endo! I was diagnosed hypothyroid years ago and I trust him very much. My hospital stay was Wed-Fri, so the following Monday I was in his office for Type 1 survival training with the nutritionist to get me thru until I could meet with the Diabetes Educator. While there I told her the story about the ER Dr and his Holiday Inn Express comment. She could not wait til my Dr came in so he could here the story. Funny thing is, the ER Dr. plays racquetball with my Dr., his reaction when he hard the story, “Oh Sh!t”.
All of that was about a month and half ago. Since then I have scourged the internet for info and comfort. I’m the only person in my family with type 1 and there is only one person in the family with type 2 (my aunt, by marriage so no blood relation). I am currently being screen for a drug trial going on at Vanderbilt and I found out yesterday my A1C is down to 8.5 and my body is still making some insulin. I have also been insurance approved for an insulin pump, which I start next Monday (Dec 6).
I want to thank everyone for this website, both the ones that maintain it and the members that participate. It has been a blessing. By being here you are circumventing the whole “ivory tower” idea that medical issues are for the doctors and nurses. You are giving support to those you have never met and giving hope that having diabetes is not the end of life, just a new one that can be adapted to.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!
Sidenote: If your not familiar with the “Stay Smart” Holiday Inn Express campaign, you can view one of the many commercials here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dOHEw8izno&feature=related
This the story of diagnosis. (It’s long, but I needed to get it out of my head, it keeps knocking around in there.)
I just looked at the video, hoping like hell it said something about diabetes. Nope, just a typical dumb commercial slogan. I think that doctor stayed at the Motel 6 - in their special “idiot suite”.
Good for you for following through, surviving the doctors, and for being a smart TuD’er!
Good luck with your new pump.
this is a scarey story. A perfect example that you have to be an advocate for yourself or a love one in your family. Thanks for sharing.
I’m constantly amazed by the lack of instructions new insulin users are given. A guy at work had high sugar and when oral drugs and diet didn’t work they gave him some basal insulin and sent him on his way with absolutely no instructions or warnings about lows.
A low can kill you and if you’re driving you can also kill someone else.
At least in our time the internet is available so we can educate ourselves. You seem to be on the right track, a site like this can certainly speed the learning curve.
The medical profession continues to baffle me.
It’s because Dr’s get offended when we know more than they do. They think they are “God” and don’t want to be told their jobs and they honestly think us dumb. I think there are very few doctors who think we can actually understand this stuff and take us seriously. The rest of them think we are crazy and stupid. It seem dumb to me on THEIR part because just listening to us would make their lives easier - they get paid the big bucks whether we do their jobs for them or not. It should also be there job to explain everything to us - we should not have to go out and wing it. I mean, most of us have already diagnosed ourselves and we are lucky if they will listen to us - so we have already done most of their job so the least they could do is explain and help us cope with the diagnosis. It is unbelievable.
That is quite a story. That is a ridiculous ER doctor. I don’t want to sound sexist, but I have noticed that female doctors take me more seriously (I am female) thant he male doctors do (esp. if they are young male doctors). Some of those male doctors totally have the “God” complex esp. ones in ER and urgent care. I had the nastiest jerk at an urgent care (and funny enough their was a crowd of ladies that came in to complain about him while I was there). If it wasn’t for the female nurse, giving me good care I wouldn’t walk out of there with hardly any treatment. Which is why now - I always ask for a woman doctor if I can get one. Nothing against young males but I have yet to come across few nice males doctors who actually take me seriously.
I have stayed at many Holiday Inn Expresses and I don’t remember that slogan - all I never came out of there with was more credit card debt!
The last thing you need during a crisis is a bad joke! It seems that there are bad ER docs and great ER docs with very little in between. It sounds like you got one of the bad ones, though ER docs are a bit of a strange breed anyway, and have to deal with more than most other specialties so I don’t want to completely trash the guy…
The lack of training you got is totally inexcusable, and unfortunately is increasingly common for dx adults. My little bro was dx at 24 and his experience was so much worse than mine @ 16 (same hospital, just 14 years later). He was taught to inject but not taught WHY you need basal AND bolus insulin which led to a very rocky start for him. It took me all of two minutes to explain it to him after his first post-dx DKA episode. It is a good thing that you ARE smart because, as you’re already seeing, diabetes care is much more self-driven than most other diseases. A good endo, or even a good gp, is an important asset to have but we just can’t rely on them. Welcome!
Thanks for the replies everyone! The ER episode really set me off. I think the thing that bothered me the most was I didn’t just walk in off the street. My GP talked to the ER Dr before sending me there. He made that call in the exam room with my husband and I present. I then had test results confirming a high BS and a urine analysis. All given to them when I was admitted. If I had been clear headed I probably would have left, but I was scared and desperate for help.
As for my Endo and his diabetes team, they praised me for figuring out the problem and acting on it. They were also horrified by the ER dr’s comment. The nutritionist told me I have a good start to a book! (That makes me laugh!)
As for being sent home without instruction, sadly enough when the attending dr told me it was probably T1, he said they would teach me how to give myself shots before I left. Once I was moved to a regular room, the story changed. I was then told they don’t do that there and I would just have to read the instructions in the package. ~That reminds me of what happened at the pharmacy when I dropped off my prescription. The girl read it then looked at me and asked if I needed it that day. I had to bite my tongue. I just wanted to reply, “nope, I just think shooting myself up with insulin would be fun! It can wait til tomorrow.”
It has been an adventure and I’m sure there are many more “enlightening” moments to come!
Haha, nope, you’re just getting started:) Half of the people that you meet will be closet endocrinologists! And half of the endocrinologists you meet will not be helpful…
Give yourself a big hug for being smart & informed. I had every classic symptom & thought I had the flu. I’m the first T1 in my family. I nearly died from DKA, all the time insisting I had a virus as my husband sped to the ER, where I passed out cold.
Man, what an obnoxious twerp of a doctor!
The day I was discharged from the hospital, I had to flag down a nurse to show me how to inject & how much. My husband filled the Rx for insulin, but hadn’t been given a prescription for syringes. Am I supposed to drink this stuff or what:)
im glad you made it here safe…
that they didn’t recommend you immediately go to the er is astonishing. with #'s like that you could have gone into dka any second.
big hug to you…sounds like you are off and running.
Well, even if you had a crappy doctor in the ER, at least things are turning around now… and you were the SMART patient, and now you’re going to have a pump, instead of a crappy, outdated, sliding insulin regimen! YAY YOU! Our community works, in part, because it’s made of members like YOU. Proactive, caring members… We are glad that you did something, that you noticed, and you cared… and that you’re alive to be here with us, and share your story. Welcome to our community.
Bloody Mary cocktails! lol
I’ve been unhappy with my prior doctors and wish I would have joined this wonderful site years ago. Glad you found us early on and wish you luck with the pump. I have minimed and they are great with procedure and instruction. Do they still teach needle thearapy with an orange? That’s how I learned. I went in for a yeast infection where they did a urine sample and realized my ketones were spilling. Fortunately the staff’s bed side manners were incredible. Wish I can remember the nurse’s name and office to thank her for bearing the news in such a manner.
Wow…blows me away that your gp called in a prescription for gliburide without testing you first!!! All this over the phone. Very different here, there’s NO WAY my doc would have diagnosed over the phone!!!