Diabetes and my life story: please write yours here!
Pretty simple story really. No fights with docs, misdiagnosis, anything like that.
I was a few weeks away from my 4th birthday, I remember not feeling good, not wanting to eat, and drinking a LOT of water. I had this great little metal play-coffee set that I never-endingly filled with water to slake the thirst.
This behavior only lasted around a week. My grandmother was a type 2 diabetic, and both my mother and grandmother became worried about my water-drinking, lack of appetite and weight loss. Gramma made me pee into a plastic ‘toilet hat’ and tested the sample… horribly orange. I.e. for those not familiar with the days of test tube and chems to check for sugar in the urine - there was a LOT of sugar excreted. Alarmed, my mother took me to the family doc, who sent us to the ER at the hospital.
While awaiting admission, my father bought a can of one of my favorite drinks - Country-Time Lemonade - and we shared it on the front lawn of the hospital before admission. My mother was furious. Dad didn’t care, because at that time the dietary rules were to AVOID.SUGAR.AT.ALL.COSTS; he figured it would probably be the last time a sugary treat like that could be enjoyed (rather than being used to treat a low).
I remember my parents being shown to give injections on an orange, and then on me… I will never forget their tears giving me injections. The tears prompted me to learn early (age of 6) to give injections to myself with the assistance of a metal Monoject injection device.
Spent several years as a diabetic camper at a week-long summer camp in Montana; positive experiences there led me to counsel there as an adult and (hopefully) model to the camper kiddos that we don’t necessarily need to live our lives as ‘diabetics’ but rather as people who just ‘happen to have diabetes.’ The diashmeetes has not impeded on my life in such a way that I haven’t been able to take advantage of every bit of it…and hope that others can find peace in their lives with it. That’s not to say that it isn’t a pain in my a$$ - I have great days and days of … eh… not so much.
I was also diagnosed with Graves Disease October of 2000. Spent a year previously dealing with what was thought to be Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Hot, tired, sweaty, lost a ton of weight, no muscle mass, hubby could hear my heart beating (and see my pulse beating in my eyes, yikes). Diabetes control …none. Miserable experience. When the Graves was diagnosed I of course was scared but happy there was an end in sight. Thyroid was radioactively ablated late October that year, and rode a hormone roller-coaster for the next year until the right amount of thyroid hormone was dialed in. Have had to make some small adjustments as time and activity levels have changed, but all is well overall.
I also have mild vitiligo (small patches of skin where the melanin cells no longer produce melanin, the skin is paper-lily white…autoimmune-mediated). No biggie, the patches are super-small and diffuse. Normal treatment would involve corticosteroids and we know what that does to BG’s. Not worth messing with at this point.
Point being, I have seen a lot of changes in therapy modality and approaches, and am glad to think I’ll be around for more. Here’s to living life to the fullest, no matter what kind of hand we’ve been dealt. Cheers!