Hi everyone. I'm David. I'm new to TuDiabetes. I've had diabetes for over 12 years. I've read the "coming out" stories of many members, so I thought I'd share mine.
I was 20 years old. I had been experiencing symptoms such as extreme thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth, leg cramps, weight loss - you name it, I experienced it. I ignored my symptoms for quite a while. Looking back, I probably began experiencing some of these symptoms 6 months before I was diagnosed. However, being young and stubborn, I ignored them as much as possible and didn't go to the doctor. By the time I finally admitted something was wrong and made a doctor appointment, my wife (girlfriend at the time) and I were about to drive from Maryland to Long Island to visit her college roommate. So I had an appointment scheduled after our return with my primary care physician.
The drive to Long Island was horrible. I needed to pee constantly. There were several times that we barely made it to a restroom. I even had to pee in someone's backyard because we were in traffic with no way to get to a restroom.in time.
During our visit, I had to constantly quench my thirst. Of course, I was drinking regular soda and peeing every 15-30 minutes. When my wife saw me at one point with my shirt off, she was horrified at how skinny I had become. We decided at that point to cut our visit short and drive home the next morning. I only remember parts of that drive, because I was in and out of consciousness. I do know that the brakes went out in my car, my wife told me that we stopped many many times for me to pee, and it took about 8 hours to get home (about twice as long is it normally would).
I was living at home with my parents at the time. So my wife drove me there. I remember asking for some macaroni and cheese. I don't think I ate much. Then I went to bed. Of course, it wasn't long until I needed to pee. My mom saw me stumbling from my room to the bathroom and knew immediately that I needed to go to the emergency room instead of waiting for an appointment with my doctor. I stumbled in to the ER. I was diagnosed almost immediately. I guess my symptoms were obvious...
I'll never forget that day - July 4, 1999.
When I entered the hospital my blood sugar was 1500. Yikes! I was told I was in a "walking coma" and that I was very lucky. Who knows if I would have been alive the next morning.
I was in ICU for 2 days, in the hospital for a total of 4 days. When I first arrived I weighed 96 pounds. My normal weight at the time was about 130. So I was pretty thin to begin with. I was a skeleton. I gained at least 20 pounds back while in the hospital from IV fluids and getting my blood sugars back to a normal range. I was incredibly weak. I lost so much muscle. I remember having difficulty pressing hard enough on the lancet device to poke my finger.
It took weeks to regain my strength. I remember being so fatigued that I had trouble keeping my arms up long enough to wash my hair. My eyesight became blurry for a couple weeks as my eyes re-adjusted to normal blood sugar levels.
The first year after my diagnosis, my life was monotonous, day in and day out. I was on MDI so I ate the same things for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. Boring! It was the only thing I knew to do to manage my diabetes. I was in pretty good control, but I had no flexibility. I was on a sliding scale for corrections, but my long and short acting insulin doses were the same every day. So my meal was decided based on how much insulin I took, as opposed to taking insulin for what my meal consisted of. After that first year I started on an insulin pump. Freedom! At that time I chose a Disetronic pump. Anyone remember those? I think Minimed was the only other pump manufacturer that I knew of at that time. I chose Disetronic because they gave you two pumps. So I always had a backup available. Since then I've had two Minimeds. I'm currently using a 722.
I am lucky to have a wonderfully supportive wife, two sons and a daughter. While I don't like having diabetes, I was actually thankful for that diagnosis because I was thinking something much worse was going on! I also feel lucky to have the modern technology that we all enjoy, as well as the DOC.
I'm sorry for making this so long! I've told my story many times, but I don't think I've ever written it.
Thanks for reading and thank you for being such a supportive group of friends! I look forward to getting to know many of you and sharing and learning along the way.