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.

Views: 1005

Comment by Peetie on March 14, 2012 at 4:13am

Good to hear that you made it through that experience and that you are willing to educate others. Cheers! Joanne

Comment by Michael McClure on March 14, 2012 at 6:03am

I dunno... just sounds like the flu to me. :wave:

Welcome. Take your harrowing story, and just change a few key points and it is the story of so many of us. I remember I traveled home to my parent's house the weekend before I was dx'ed. For the trip back to San Diego, I was so thirsty I grabbed TWO fo those old large bottle of coke, and downed them on the trip back to my home. Maaaaaaaaan! I had to pee soemthing awful on the road...

Upon dx (@ 574 mg/dL!) I was taken into a room with a nurse, an orange, a glass of water and a syringe. She showed me how to fill the needle (aspiration included!) and then inject the orange. She then handed me a needle and said, "Now, take this medicine..."

And that was it. My official training and internship was over.

It is up to US to get edu-ma-cated on this stuff, and you are doing the right thing. I just wish I had someplace like TuD to look to when I was dx'ed 30 years ago.

/\/\

Comment by GinaY on March 14, 2012 at 12:50pm

Interesting read, I could relate to a lot of what you said. Yea, no offense or anything, but I agree you've barely scratched the surface of what there is to learn, keep it up, but be discriminating about the loads of information out there.

Dx'd T1 almost exactly two years to the date before you. Also 650 BG and DKA, I too said, "Is that bad?" But rather than "I just have the flue," My "tagline" woulda been "Yea!, I'm not going crazy, I just have diabetes." Funny now (not!) to think about how happy and relieved I was to be told I have diabetes. Lots of worse things to hear, for sure.

Your smart wife may have saved your life, sudden kidney failure can happen fast, bet your not gonna tell her that (if your smart) - Joking!!

Welcome to TuD, see ya round "Pinhead." (I kid, I kid, great Avatar, very appropriate).

Comment by LaGuitariste on March 14, 2012 at 2:27pm

I'm glad you got through your DKA OK and I hope you never have another.

T2 here. My onset was slower but equally clueless at first. Blurry vision? Check. Frequent trips to the potty? Check. Crazy-thirsty all the time? Check. Muscle cramps in the night from peeing out all my electrolytes? Check. Weird infections that are slow to heal? Check. Then...double-vision and night-blindness? CHECK!!!

"What? The melanoma didn't spread to my brain? I have diabetes? That's why my vision is so wonky? Really? That's great news! I guess. O.K., sooooooo...now what?"

...blink...blink...blink...

Ten years later, I'm still asking, "O.K., sooooo...now what?"

It's a looooonnnnng learning curve and to keep things exciting, diabetes changes up on us frequently. It's mostly manageable now, thanks to TuD, the on-line diabetes community in general and several really good books. Whew.

Comment by Mikeonline2821 on March 14, 2012 at 7:24pm

Michael: Well they showed me how to use a syringe in the hospital and even let me do a few of the shots on myself. Then as I was being discharge my doctor came to my room and showed me this pen thing. The rest is in my story above. Needless to say I had no idea how to play with this new toy until I got home and read a few things. and yes this site has been MORE than helpful. Maybe that is it... hmmm I just wrote down a "BIG IDEA" in my "BIG IDEA" book. Sweet. Typing this made me think.

GingaY: No offense taken. Heck even my multiple PHD trained doctor looked at me funny when I asked about some of the information I have read about. I think they get in a rut and forget this disease is being discovered more and more each year and new things are out all the time. And yes I have thanked my wife more than once and I have even told her "YOUR WERE RIGHT".... I don't mind saying it just as long as I am still here to say it.

LaGuitariste: Yes from the books I have read and things on the internet this disease is not changing but more of the understanding of the disease. Heck a few hundred years ago they would pour the urine on an ant hill and see if they liked the sugar in it. Then you would slowly starve to death or die from uncontrolled blood sugars. Guess I will deal with a few finger sticks and needles. hahaha.

Thanks to all of you for the wonderful responses. Now off to figure out if this "BIG IDEA" will work. hmmmmm

Comment by LaGuitariste on March 15, 2012 at 3:47am

@ Mikeonline2821 - yes, our understanding of diabetes changes with all the new research, but I was referring to how OUR OWN diabetes changes over time, sometimes for mysterious reasons. A basal or correction factor that works one month may need to be tweaked the next. A food that didn't spike us very much when we were exercising six days a week may become unmanageable if we cut back to exercising three days per week and working some overtime. A death in the family might throw us off for months due to stress hormones. We just have to keep testing, keep making course corrections, and never, ever give up!

Comment by Mikeonline2821 on March 15, 2012 at 4:23am
Oh how very true that is. I am only a few months into this and on my "honeymoon" phase still. So I change daily on what works and what doesn't. But my diabetes doesn't change in one way and that is it is always changing and being a pain in the butt. But I am about the most positive and upbeat person you could meet so that helps me get through each day. I love to laugh and am very positive. In fact when I was DX'ed I just said "well I guess I have that push to finally get healthy".
Comment by Mikeonline2821 on March 15, 2012 at 5:42pm

Type1Gal: I think the doctor was just trying to tell me I was type 1. he told me I was LADA but when I asked if he did any specific testing for the diagnoses of LADA he said NO. So next time I go in (in a few weeks) I am going to ask him to just go ahead and do the GAD and C-Peptide testing. I am just curious to know how I am doing. And yes I understand LADA is just a fancy way to say I am an adult that has type1.

I can tell you about 2 years ago I remember seeing some thing on diabetes on TV and I thought to myself "Wow how hard would that be to deal with?" Well with my travel schedule for work I can honestly say "IT SUCKS." but I don't let it get me down. I just wake up each day and make sure I have my pouch of test equipment and insulin and I move through the day. I love my life and hope to live a long healthy life. Thanks

Comment by Mikeonline2821 on March 15, 2012 at 6:17pm

Right now I am in my honeymoon stage and yes I am on smaller amounts of insulin right now. I take Lantus in the morning and at night and only take my Humalog if I am higher before meals. My Humalog requirements keep changing week to week so I just base it on my levels before food right now. in fact if I work out at night I don't take my humalog and I just test a few times during the night to make sure I have not spiked. This honeymoon stage is hard because I keep changing my insulin requirements but it's all good.

Comment by Mikeonline2821 on March 15, 2012 at 6:20pm

yes Father is type 2 from what his doctor tells him. He is not on insulin and he does well with it i guess. He takes oral meds. I have wondered if my doctor just placed me as type 1 and I am really type 2. Either way i still am diabetic but it would be nice to get the type correct.

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