I thought it would be interesting to put my story down on paper. Though I will give some details I will leave the LONG story for my book…. Yeah sure I will write it someday…. Anyway, here it goes.
I work for a communications company and I currently handle the projects from concept to sign-off. I am the one that takes the theory of the idea and makes it work in front of customers in the real world. I started out testing these radio systems then moved to technical support and like I said I am now currently working as a project manager. So I help the other departments as I can and this was one of those times. I went out of town (as I do so very often for my job) and but this time I was helping work on cell phone sites. I work on this kind of stuff in various ways. The technical support manager and I were upgrading our company’s radio systems for this customer and they don't want it done during the day so we work from Midnight to 5am shifts. So that was the first problem. Ughh I was so tired after the first few days. I did not feel real good going out on this trip but "I JUST HAVE A BIT OF THE FLU" so I carried on just like I always do.
After a few nights/mornings of this "FLU" it started getting worse. When I have gotten the flu in the past my back always tightens up so bad I can hardly stand. Weeee this was no different so as I thought just like before, just relaxing in a hot bath and some nice orange juice (for vitamin C) and I should be able to kick this "FLU" in a few days. Well this trip was supposed to last 2 weeks. We started on 10-31-2011 and were suppose to end on 11-11-2011. But we finished up Tuesday (11-8-2011). Ahhh there is nothing like getting done early so I could go die from this crazy "FLU" on my couch at home.
Well I went home and was very tired so I just took it easy and then took Wednesday off of work to recover from this really persistent "FLU" I had. While I was out working those late nights I started noticing that my mouth was very dry and on the flight home I was very very weak. Man this "FLU" SUCKS. So I have meetings each Thursday that are very important. In these meetings I find out about all my projects and how soon I can expect to have the equipment ready and to my customers. This particular Thursday meeting was a very important one because I had one of my main customer's equipment in the pipeline. So "FLU" or not I went to work Thursday with my wife saying "You really need to go in to the doctor and get looked at you have lost a lot of weight and don’t look so good". She was right but we will get to that in a minute. So off I went to work but as I drove in to work I was so thirsty that I stopped in and got a gallon of milk and a gallon of orange juice. Those seemed to keep my mouth moist longer even thought with the "FLU" they cause mucus but I was willing to deal with that for the longer lasting moistness in my mouth. Besides that the orange juice tasted REALLY good.
I went to my meeting and had multiple "go home Mike you look AWFUL" comments. Thanks Guys I love you too. So I did go home after my meeting and some follow up paperwork for things that needed to happen TODAY TODAY... Of course in my world everything has to happen TODAY and it is ALL priority 1. I then ventured back home to again slowly die on my couch. Of course I could not stay on my couch long at all due to having to pee every 10 minutes. DANG "FLU".
My wife came home from work and said... Hmmm Dry Mouth, Urinating A LOT, weak, vomited a few times.... GO TO THE DOCTOR. She even suggested getting my blood sugar checked. HUHH?? I am not diabetic you silly woman. So I convince her that I was fine I just had the "FLU" and we headed to bed.
Friday 11-12-2011 (THE DAY) I woke up and was actually feeling a lot better . So I convince my wonderful wife to go to work and I would call if I needed anything. I then proceeded to make a large glass of milk and French vanilla ice cream. This makes the milk REALLY cold and taste great also. Well I drank that and that stupid "FLU" said "NO SIR" and I threw up. THAT WAS IT. I got dizzy and started to feel weaker than I had in the past few days. I sent an unintelligent text to my wife and she called asking what the heck was wrong. I told her I raised the “white flag” and was ready for the doctor. She hung up and called the doctor. About five minutes went by and she called me back to say "Ok they will take you in 15 minutes." I answered her but it was not English that I spoke at the moment. Scared I was going downhill fast she rushed home to find me slumped over a chair trying to get my shoes on to get to the doctor.
We got to the doctor and I was instructed by my wife to let them gather the information about my symptoms and make their own diagnoses. "DON'T SAY YOU HAVE THE FLU!!!" she thought they might just agree with that and give me some flu medications and send me home. Needless to say I had no sense at that moment and when the nurse came in and said the usual "what seems to be the problem today?" I, of course, said "I HAVE THE FLU" this was followed by a dirty look from my wife of course. My wife kindly asked the nurse to also check my blood sugar. The nurse agreed but was not sure why if I was not diabetic. When she took the reading it said "ERROR HIGH" which she then took again if I remember correctly. Not sure at this point things go a LITTLE FUZZY. But regardless she showed it to the doctor and he came in and asked what emergency room I would like to visit???
I got to the emergency room and they did a "better" blood test and found my blood sugar to be 650 mg/dl...... WOW... of course I say WOW now but when they told me I said, "IS that bad?" I was in full blown Ketoacidosis mode at this point. And found out at the point of being admitted to the ER that I was 20 pounds lighter than I had been just before the trip. I was starting to weigh myself and was considering working out because I had been putting on a lot of weight the last few months.
So after spending a few days in the hospital on some kind of insulin drip and getting some 5 minute discussions about not eating too much "Carbohydrates" by dietitians I was as informed as I needed to be RIGHT? I was also visited a few times by my new best friend (my endocrinologist) and sent home after I was holding a better sugar level for a few days. I was given the 5 minute discussion of how to use the "PEN INSULIN THINGGY" and sent home. For those of you on the pen insulin I am sure you will find this funny but the doctor told me to put on the needle, take my does, then throw it away. I thought he meant the entire PEN and not just the needle. Uhhh good thing I read some stuff before I did the first shot. It was not his fault just my mistake on the “Then throw IT away” comment.
I must say that he is a good doctor just not the best at telling me stuff I need to know unless I ask the right questions. I now understand what some of those questions are NOW and he is a good guy, he is just a little busy knowing all the things but not telling me very well. He has gotten better since the hospital and I have learned how to interact with him better.
OK, so what “TYPE” am I?? Well I am apparently a TYPE 1.5 or LADA…. Uhhhh I THOUGHT there was only two types of diabetes. NOPE you got the new type (not new just better diagnosed really but you get the idea)…. Well nothing like being an overachiever… so now I was off to learn all about that fun fact. LADA or Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults, I just tell people I am a late blooming TYPE 1 diabetic. I also found out I have REALLY high blood pressure and very bad cholesterol. Well that makes sense considering I wasn’t really doing any physical exercise and I ate Twinkies like they are going out of style (which I hear they might be… hahaha). So that makes getting into shape even more important now I was told.
Well, as you can see from the dates above I have not been dealing with this long, at this point, and have found a great deal of information out on the internet (especially here on tudiabetes.com)I have read a LOT of books and looked at a lot of interesting and informative videos online. I am now as informed as I need to be RIGHT? hahaha..... Just kidding I have not even scratched the surface of what I want to learn about this disease.
I would love any opportunity to start speaking with people in large open forum settings about diabetes because all I knew about diabetes before November 2011 was that my Dad has it and it has something to do with sugar levels in the blood. My goal is to get in shape (and I have been doing great with that, lost 35 pounds so far and have about 30 more to go to get to the weight my doctor wants me at) and do what I can in some small (or large) way to help people understand the things they can do to help themselves if they have diabetes and help non-diabetics better understand the people around them that have diabetes. I will probably start slow but I hope to someday find a way to be a spokes person for diabetes awareness.
And by the way “STOP ASKING YOUR DIABETIC FRIEND IF THEY SHOULD BE EATING THAT?”…..
Thanks for taking the time to read my wonderful story. I hope in some way it helps you know you’re not alone and there are many people out there like you that can help. I used to be a complete introvert and now I have a Facebook page and Twitter and this Tudiabetes.com account. Soon I hope to figure out my nitch that I could do some YouTube videos. Whatever I can do to add to the information stream that is out there.