I don't have records showing me what the date was when I was diagnosed, but it was 20 years ago this spring so I am going to celebrate it today. What a long, strange trip it's been.
When diagnosed, I was already going to an endo for thyroid problems. This was the silver lining, as my T2 was diagnosed early on. I remember thinking "Oh *****, more pills to take". I had the most common symptom, thirst, but did not associate that with diabetes until after the fact.
I spent 12 years on oral medications, with medeocre control. Every time my A1c would drift up to about 8, a dosage would be increased or another pill added. Basically, I did what my Dr. said, but knew diddly squat about diabetes. The internet we have today did not exist then, much less forums dedicated to diabetes. Diabetes was never a big deal, but I did not ignore it either. I took my pills, counted carbs, and limited them to 180 carbs as told to. I gained about 50 pounds during those 12 years.
It came as a very rude shock when my A1c jumped to 8.7 in a three month span, with no change in lifestyle. My Dr. said it was time for insulin. I really dislike needles, and asked if there wasn't something else we could try. Five months and 2 additional pills later, it was clear to me I really had no choice but to go on insulin.
I set up a Dr appointment and told him I was ready for insulin. He said "So you don't want to get yelled at?". I said "No, I don't want complications". I don't think he believed me, but in later years he called me his star diabetic a number of times.
I spent 6 or 8 weeks gradually increasing my dosage of lantus (called titrating). The expected dosage was 30 units, 100 u turned out to be not enough. I was switched to 70/30 mix, better results but still not good. I had high fasting, over 200 every morning. I have dawn phenomenon, both those injection methods were doomed to failure.
All during this year or so of injections, I was looking at insulin pumps. I was testing 5 or 6 times a day, and graphing the results. I went to my Dr and said "I need an insulin pump, and here is why. I think this one would work out best for me, and here is why." He said "I think you will do very well on a pump". Three days later I was approved for a pump.
I had hopes of lowering my glucose numbers by 40 points. My first morning after pumping all night, my glucose was 107. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my fasting would go down 100 points like throwing a switch. When I spoke with my pump trainer and told her, she was very surprised she had my basal rates so right. From day 2 on, I have done my own pump adjustments.
After about 10 days, my average glucose had dropped from about 140 to 99. I noticed I was not nearly as hungry. I remember thinking "Maybe now I can drop my weight". I cut back on carbohydrates to 120. That was easy, so I tried 100 and that was still easy and the weight started to come off. Eighty was harder, took more planning, and required limiting or avoiding more foods. I dropped 35 pounds in 8 months, and kept it off for 6 years now. I still take the maximum dosage of metformin.
I have the big advantage of a body that reacts predictably to insulin and carbs. I also have a lot of experience counting carbohydrates, I know what I am doing, and I work hard at it.
My results are far from typical. Your milage may vary (a lot)!
I can't help but feel if you know what you are doing and work hard at it, you will have better results than if you don't.