Hi all,

I'm relatively new to the community; I follow along on Twitter, but this is obviously my first post. Although I'm not as active as I want to be, I just want to say that I do find help in everyone's stories. It's nice to have a place to openly talk about the triumphs and troubles that come along with being diabetic.

So a bit about my story:
I was 20 when I was diagnosed with Type 1 a little over a year ago. I felt some of the lighter symptoms during my spring break my sophomore year (I was the only person in my group downing water and taking two naps a day). I chalked the symptoms up to being on the beach and being on vacation, but a week later, when I had to leave every class to find the nearest water fountain, I mentioned my incessant thirst to my mom. She urged me to go to the school clinic, where they checked my sugars and found that I was at 312. They sent me to the hospital for the day to make sure I wasn't going to go into a coma, and after monitoring my sugars, the doctors diagnosed me as a Type 2 and put me on metaformin.

This diagnosis admittedly messed with my head. I was afraid of food. I felt guilty, like it was my fault that I got this disease. I felt overwhelmed and couldn't stop crying. I went to my first endo appointment, where they tested to see whether I was Type 1 or Type 2. Two weeks later, when the test came back, the doctors told me that I was officially type 1 but was honeymooning. For the next half a year, I didn't use insulin (and for a bit I wasn't even on metaformin). I controlled my sugars through diet and exercise. And while I have coped with/accepted the fact that this diagnosis is chronic, some of my initial reactions to hearing the news remain with me.

The end of last year, I got sick and my sugars flew out of control to the point where I needed insulin. I've been insulin dependent since then, and I'm actually still on metaformin. I know that's normally not a Type 1 prescription, but I've found that recently when I've tried to get off of it, it's harder to control my sugars. I'm trying to work on counting carbs better and changing my ratio when necessary; I think this has been the hardest adjustment so far.

My family has been extremely supportive and active in helping me with control. I have found two reactions with my friends: they are either kind of awkward about it and hesitantly ask questions, or they are interested in everything that I have to do (these are generally my pre-med friends). I don't mind answering questions and am happy that most of my friends acknowledge that I'm diabetic but don't make a big deal out of it.

All in all, I consider myself pretty lucky: I caught my symptoms pretty early, I haven't had a scary low (yet), and while I'm still learning how to better control my sugars, I'm proud of myself for coping the best that I can. While it's annoying to constantly be stabbing myself with this or that and obsessing over what I'm eating next, I have become much healthier than I used to be. In a way, I've also become more responsible. I grew up a lot this year learning how to take care of myself. I've admittedly fallen off of the bandwagon at certain times over the year and resorted to my old ways of eating, but I have learned that I actually feel better when I eat well. I've found diabetes to be both a blessing and a curse so far, and I try to remain positive/optimistic (most of the time).

That's my story/introduction, and I must say that it feels pretty cathartic to post all this :)

Views: 16

Comment by Kathyann on June 5, 2011 at 9:44pm
Thanks for sharing your story. I was misdiagnosed like you but needed Insulin from day one. Metformin did nothing for my BGs but did hurt my tummy. I'm so glad you are doing well!
Comment by latvianchick on June 5, 2011 at 11:55pm
I was misdiagnosed - after 10 years of symptoms which were ignored! I am so glad that you have caught it early and that after the initial shock you are getting on with it. I do understand your depression about it. It is a big deal and there are lots of myths you may have heard and that your parents might have heard throughout your lives, but suffice it to say that treatment has improved amazingly over the last few decades! Testing for one!

For me, the diagnosis (even though a misdiagnosis as Type 2 because of my age, but was in fact Type 1) left me in shock for the first five minutes - literally - and that was because of my fear of needles) but absolute elation after that since it explained a whole host of problems I was having before but for which the explanaitions were vague or dismissed as "all in the mind". At least now I had a reason for all these problems, though how the extreme thirst and the constant toilet trips could all be in the mind, I do not understand, even now!

You might want to try the different groups that are available for more specific discussions - including "Keeping Diabetes Fun...."

Just stick with it and laugh at it. I have a friend whose husband was diagnosed several years after me and I set about writing him an e:mail to encourage him - admittedly some of it UK specific - such as free prescriptions, fast tracking when there are problems, free foot care and eye care whether you are working or not - and the foot care is incredibly difficult to get a hold of for non diabetics! .....

You are not alone in your shock but a positive attitude is a great help! I find hypos are a nuiscance but I can laugh at those too. They have got me into some "interesting situations" and one day I went hypo during an interview with my pastor who went into a flap! I just asked him for some biscuits and while eating them and recovering from it, I mused "Do you know? I quite like this illness! At least the treatment can be quite pleasant!"

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