I had fully functioning Islet cells prior to February 8, 2013. It was the rest of my pancreas that wasn't working. I had long standing, chronic pancreatitis for 26 years. That meant I had unrelenting abdominal pain 24/7, nausea and vomiting with anything I ate. After many hours of research, as many as 4 medical opinions, I decided to go ahead with a total pancreatectomy with a tranplant of my own functioning Islet cells into my kidney. Not the usual place to implant the islet cells but due to my existing clotting disorder, it was not safe to put them into my liver.
In my early post op recovery, my islet cells had started to work. I was only needing what the nurses were calling baby dodes of insulin. This was however, short lived. I got a high fever and this as well as damaged islet cells from the 26 years enduring chronic pancreatitis seemes to have stopped my newly transplanted islet cells from producing insulin. There was still hope that there were islet cells left that could wake up as much as 4-6 months post op. However, this never came to pass.
I was devastated. I knew that T1D was a possibility but I truly didn't expect that to happen to me.
Looking back, was I an idiot to go ahead and remove my pancreas knowing that 26 years with chronic pancreastitis most likely had caused some damage to my islet cells increasing the risk of the transplant not taking??
I'm embarrassed that I now have diabetes but did I choose to have diabetes?? Do I have the right to complain about my diabetes management when I brought this on myself?? Do I belong in the DOC?
If you've followed along this far, Thank you!! I'm just having a moment of doubt that I did the right thing. I'm glad I went ahead and hd my pancreas removed because it has improved the quality of my life from a pain perspective immensely, but did I choose diabetes over chronic pancreatitis??
I had fully functioning Islet cells prior to February 8, 2013. It was the rest of my pancreas that didn't work. I had had long standing chronic pancreatitis enduring severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting for over 25 years. After much deliberation, research and as many as 4 medical opinions, I went ahead with a total pancreatectomy with an islet cell tranplant of my own islet cells into my kidney. This is not the usual implantation site but due to my chronic clotting issue, it was not safe to put my Islets into my liver as is usually protocol. I was hoping & praying that the transplant would take & I would not become a T1D. It could take up to 6 months for my transplanted Islet cells to wake up fully & do their job: keeping my blood glucose stable by producing insulin.
My Islets starte to wake up some in the very beginning. I didn't require much insulin at all. We were very excited!! However, I got a fever of 103.0 very soon after the surgery & it seemed to have stopped all of my islet function. We were still hoping that most of my islets were still "asleep" & could still wake up as much as 6 months after surgery. To assess this status, I had my C-peptides followed. (C-peptide is an indicator of how much insulin a body produces. It is measured thru a blood draw.)I never got the much hoped for Islet cell function most likely due to the high fever post op, as well as my islets having been damaged from the 25 years of chronic pancreatitis. My C-peptide was 0.2 at its highest.
I was very depressed & grieving for the loss of my own insulin production. But, do I have a right to complain about having diabetes now, because I chose to have this surgery knowing that diabetes was a risk? Do I belong in the DOC? I feel embarrassed that I have diabetes because I chose to have the surgery and ultimately, the diabetes. It's not a result of my immune system attacking my poor pancreas. I had it ripped out