Flash back to April 1, 1993... Four days of fever, chills and the fight to take a breath finally drove me to make an appointment with a doctor. Being in my early 20s, I didn't have a PCP and picked one out of the phone book. As I got out of my car at the office, I stopped four times for several minutes between my car and the doctor's office to try to grab whatever oxygen I could out of the air. Just making it in the door, the receptionist looked white as a sheet at me and brought me right in. The doctor on staff immediately asked me to call someone, or they would call an ambulance for me. This was not good.
After suffering a huge bout with the flu over the New Years holiday a few months back, I knowingly or unknowingly began to rapidly loose weight (yes, I was running at the time, but not that many miles). This was paired with an insatiable thirst. Having competed in triathlons for years, I had a high threshold for pain and my bull-headedness worked along to make myself believe that I would get over whatever I had.
My office was right around the corner and I called a colleague to drive me to the local hospital. By this time everything was a blur and I could hardly breathe at all. In the ER, a quick blood check pointed out the obvious... a blood glucose 1200, paired with my symptoms... DKA, or Diabetic ketoacidosis.
I was immediately admitted and spent the next four days recuperating and learning about my new life. I was later told by my doctor that I would have slipped into unconsciousness within a few hours had I not gone to the hospital.
Of all of the hospitals in metro Atlanta, fate stepped in that day and I was fortunate to live near one with one of the strongest diabetes treatment centers in the country. My diagnosing doctor also happened to be very highly recognized in the world of diabetes care (he is one of those doctors whose name can be found in the small type at the bottom of the page of groundbreaking studies as well as quoted within materials provided by the major pharmas and pump manufacturers).
Life didn't end for me that peculiar April holiday... it just changed course.