This may be a long story.
Diagnosed April 4th, 2016. A lot led up to it. Drank too much, ate terrible, treated my body poorly my whole life. Never really thought about diabetes, although a LOT of my family had/has type 1 & 2.
Ok, so the perfect storm…
Had all my wisdom teeth out about a month before. Couldn’t eat much of anything, My stomach hurt all the time. Couldn’t drink alcohol*. (That’s important later). Was working 60+ hours a week. Food service, very physical work. Finally went to the dr because my “stomach” hurt so badly that I couldn’t walk.
Acute, chronic pancreatitis, DKA. I had lost 50 lbs in 3 weeks. Obvi, I had chalked it up to not being able to eat. Fun stuff. Stayed in the ICU for 4 days. Was given a quick lesson in diabetes by the resident CDE. Sent home with a glucometer and a scrip for Lantus.
I felt incredibly guilty, that I had brought this on myself.
Told that, because of my pancreas, I couldn’t eat protein or fat, and because of the diabetes, I couldn’t eat carbs. I ate a lot of naked salads for a few months. Was constantly fasting to keep my pancreas from acting up. Had to quit my job, because I was going mental. Was finally, begrudgingly, put on Zenpep, a pancreatic enzyme.
(While in the ICU, a very large mass was found in my uterus. It was benign, but had to have a hysterectomy in October to make sure. The mass was also putting a lot of pressure on my intestines, and pushing everything into the wrong places)
That’s when I finally met the right GI dr, who put me on enzymes that worked and got me on humalog as well. He explained a lot more about diabetes. He was the first dr who told me that, although my drinking did attribute to my pancreatitis, it also probably saved me from dying.(*At that point, alcohol was probably the only thing that was keeping my BG down). He was the first dr who didn’t seem to blame me for my diabetes. He got me started seeing a CDE (who was AWESOME) and an endo who was meh.
Developed gastroparesis in January 2017 from my stomach being such a mess. Went on Reglan, which, if you know what it does, is not fun with regulating BG. Crazy spikes over 400 as my stomach emptied itself all at once. I am a control freak, and I had my A1C down to 6.2 at this time. Any BG over 150 was a disaster for me.
My pancreas still acted up about every 2 weeks. The only thing I could do was fast until it calmed down. Opiates make me sick, so went on gabapentin, amitriptyline(ugh!) at different times. Quit both, neither worked.
March 2017, had pancreatic surgery, which did not go as planned. Was supposed to be a modified whipple procedure. Partially successful. Turns out my duodenum was wrapped around it, and completely calcified, so they cut out what they could, removed my gall bladder, and kind of rerouted my stomach pathways.
My pancreas hasn’t acted up in over a year. The gastroparesis comes back once in a while, but I just ignore it.
Sometimes my stomach decides it doesn’t want to work, for days. Lime jello has been my savior, because, well, when you can’t digest anything, you can’t take back those 17 units of Tresiba from the night before. I have to bolus conservatively, because sometimes the enzymes don’t work great, or take hours to kick in. I’ve tried tracking it, to no conclusion.
I don’t work anymore, because I’m a workaholic, and don’t know my limits. I feel like a weak little girl if I have to call in sick, or ask for a break, so I just don’t.
I don’t drink alcohol anymore, except for once every year or two, my BFF and I share a beer, and the subsequent 3 day hangover is enough to keep me away from it.
For awhile, I was mad at food. (I used to be a chef, and food is my passion, so this was traumatic.) I’ve learned to love cooking again. Sometimes its healthy, low carb. Sometimes its pizza and eclairs. I love eclairs, and I make literally the best creme patisserie.
I have a very supportive husband, who has shouldered a lot for me. He changed his life because I had to change mine. He loves giving me my Tresiba, helps him feel like he’s helping me. Its much easier to do it myself, but if it makes him feel good…
I’m still learning to accept MY “new normal”. I’m still trying to figure out how to stand up for myself without feeling ashamed. I’m still working on not beating myself up for that one 8.1 A1C a year ago.I’m still trying to decide if I really want a diabetic bracelet tattoo. (I came up with a great design, super gothy)
Yeah, I’m still figuring out a LOT, but I have the time…