So until this month I didn’t know the date of my diagnosis but last month I found out that I could order my health records from the hospital that diagnosed me even though it was 27 years ago . The results of my inquiry were really interesting although somewhat incomplete (I assume because of how much time has passed).
I was in the hospital for 6 days, 3 of which were in the ICU. The first BG they were able to obtain from me was 1200 mg/dl!!! My mom says that at first they couldn’t even get a reading and couldn’t figure out why. I was in hypovolemic shock, DKA and severely dehydrated. The part that appears to be missing is that I was in a coma and wasn’t expected to live. When I miraculously came out of the coma my mother was told I likely would have severe brain damage and although I had forgotten how to walk and talk I responded normally to all stimuli and quickly relearned everything I had forgotten.
I of course don’t remember any of this because I was only a year and a half old. My diabetes was sudden onset which my mom swears was caused by the flu and current studies would concur with her assessment. The really crazy thing is that the first hospital my mom took me to didn’t know what was wrong with me and suggested I be taken to a bigger hospital! If someone there had just tested my BG we would have avoided me nearly dying and the emotional trauma my family went through because of the coma.
It’s been a difficult 27 years with seizures caused by hypos, Bg’s so high my meter couldn’t read them and many sub-par Dr.s (although a few really great one’s) along the way. I’m thankful that I haven’t gone into DKA since my initial diagnosis and I haven’t needed a glucagon kit in ten years. Having a CGM and Afrezza have made all the difference to my control taking my A1C from 8.9 down to 6.4 in the past year and a half with hardly any hypos!
I still believe a cure will be found in my lifetime and better medicines and devices are being developed all the time. Sometimes it’s incredible to think about how less than a hundred years ago I wouldn’t have made it to my second birthday. Even though diabetes certainly changed many things about my life and altered my viewpoint on everything from food to where I feel safe going, I am alive and happy to be so. Here’s to the next 27 years!