The big "D" all started for me during my last pregnancy. This was my fouth pregnancy and so far I had never had any concerns at all about Diabetes or Gestational Diabetes.
I remember it as if it were yesterday, although it was almost 9 years ago.
I was camping with my family a few hours away from home and was called from my doctor and told that my first glucose tolerance test was questionable so I had to come back to do the 3 hour test. I had to drink that horrible syrupy, all-sugar drink AGAIN! Gross!
I left camp before the sun even came out, drove towards home and went to the lab.
Having an empty stomach, being pregnant and stinky (due to camping) I felt like I was going to vomit the drink back up. It was torture! It took all my inner strength to keep this drink from coming back up. I did not want to have to drink it again!
I survived the 3 hours of torture and went back to camp to join my family.
While swimming in the lake the next day, my husband calls down to me and says, "the doctor is on your cell phone..." I waddled as fast as I could to the phone.
Yep...I have the big "D"! It's confirmed, and I have to get back home to start taking care of it.
Aside from about 8 shots of insulin a day and having to fit diabetes in with my busy schedule of caring for our other 3 children, the rest of the pregnancy went well.
I delivered a 6lb.12oz. baby boy named Joe. All my hard work was worth it!
Once my son was about 2 the symptoms started. I remember being away with my husband for our anniversary and I made him go fill up the ice bucket for me.
I ate that entire bucket of ice on my own. I'm surprised I didn't chip or loose any teeth in the process.
I couldn't get enough to drink. I would have drank the ocean if I could have. I said to my husband "I think somethings wrong with me, this could not be normal".
I would wake up peeing all night and I have to say the best part was the weight loss. Seriously...8 lbs a week!
I knew something wasn't right so I scheduled an appointment with my family physician. He ordered me to go to the lab and then the wait began.
I honestly did not know the symptoms of diabetes so it never crossed my mind.
I remember being at work and getting a call from his nurse.
"Lori this is Mary, Dr. Browns nurse. I just wanted to let you know that you have diabetes. You need to come into the office tomorrow to get started on some medication." 'Excuse me?', was my first thought. 'Are you kidding me?'
Not even a call from the doctor, just the nurse basically telling me that I have a life changing disease and that I need to come into the office tomorrow to see the doctor.
From that day on my misdiagnosis of Type 2 began. I was referred to an endocrinologist who had me trying all different kinds of medication.
I was put on Avandia, Metformin, Glipizide, Glyberide, Byetta (just to name a few).
The weight gain began and so did the loneliness and isolation. My endocrinologist kept stressing the importance of weight loss, diet and exercise with Type 2 but he kept giving me medication that caused weight gain. Go figure. They even went as far as to have me increase my A1C to 9 so that I would qualify for Byetta which is suppose to help you loose weight.
I just worked so hard to get my A1C from 13 to 7 and now I need to bring it back up so my insurance will cover this medication. Ridiculous.
Whatever! I did what I was suppose to do.
In the end, Byetta did not help me at all!
My family tried their best to be supportive but nobody could really understand. This was my disease and I needed to figure it out. They kept telling me to just loose weight and the diabetes would go away.
I lived with guilt everyday thinking to myself 'how did I do this to myself? Why can't I just loose weight and make it go away?'
I felt like I was being watched and judged constantly by what I was putting in my mouth. The diabetes was not getting any better. If anything it was getting worse.
I went on a diabetes forum and met a women who was also diabetic. Her story was very similar to mine and she suggested that I ask my Endo to test me for Type 1. That never even crossed my mind.
I guess it was possible. At the time I really didn't know the difference between the two.
My endo office refused to test me. They said that it wasn't necessary and it was a very expensive test. They continued to say that it really didn't matter if I was Type 1 or Type 2. The treatment was the same.
They were the medical professionals. They new what was best for me. (Or so I thought.)
I continued as a Type 2 diabetic for another year with problem after problem. Always tired...high blood sugar...irritable, and continued weight gain. Which by the way, made me more depressed, which in turn resulted in being put on anti-depressants.
I honestly felt like my grandmother. I had resorted to getting a pill box to help me remember to take all my meds and when. My grandmother was diabetic as well and she passed away 9 years ago. Unfortunately, I have diabetes on both sides of my family.
It was open enrollment at my husbands work and we decided to switch to Kaiser. I had my reservations about this because of different stories I had heard in the past, both good and bad. We started with Kaiser in January of 2010.
Any reservations I had about Kaiser were gone. They instantly had me see my family physician. My physician refered me to a nutritionist. I worked wtih her while also seeing a therapist to address my depression.
Kaiser was on the ball with my diabetes care. They are all about prevention and I felt so relieved to start getting such amazing care.
Around 6 months into my care with Kaiser, my physician said that she wasn't entirely happy with how my diabetes was going and wanted to test me for Type 1. Really? I was actually excited about this. Maybe all my hard work wasn't paying off for a reason.
My physician phoned me a few days later and told me that in fact I was definitely a Type 1 diabetic and I needed insulin. At that moment I didn't know whether to cry because I was afraid or to jump for joy because I was happy to have the right diagnosis. I honestly also felt some bit of relief and weight lifted because I did not do this to myself.
It wasn't my fault that I have Type 1.
Society is so uneducated about diabetes and I feel that most people believe that if you have Type 2, you brought it on yourself because you're unhealthy, overweight or eat too much sugar. It's so not the case, but who am I to try to change people and the way they think? I felt like at least with Type 1, I might not be judged as much. I needed insulin now because my Pancreas has just stopped producing it.
Instantly with my new diagnosis of Type 1 my diabetes care changed.
I was referred to an endocrinologist who referred me to his nurse practitioner with whom I have been seeing ever since, and boy does she know Diabetes. She put me on an insulin regimen which instantly made me feel better.
Wow...theres hope at last! I was starting to feel better. Starting to live again. I missed so much time with my kids because of being misdiagnosed. I can't get that back but can only move on from here.
I had done some research about the insulin pump and asked my nurse practitioner if I would be a good canditate.
She said absolutely and my training began. I had to go to pump school which was a school I never thought I would ever have to attend in this life time.
I received my insulin pump in the mail October 1, 2010 and BAM! I was hooked up and I was pumping! It has been about 1 year now with my pumpy and it has definitely had its up and downs... like finding the approppriate place to put it based on my activities at the time: horseback riding, swimming, camping, sleeping or just lounging. It's challenging but well worth it.
I love "da-pump" and have no regrets about getting it at all!
visit my blog "Life with Da Pump" @ http://da-pump.blogspot.com