Like any good diabetes blog, I’m starting this one off with my own diagnosis story.
I’ve always been healthy. I was lucky if I saw my doctor twice in one year. I think we liked it that way. My sister was always the one who was sick and caught everything but I always managed to escape that.
That all changed about a month ago.
Late April I noticed that I had to get up occasionally in the middle of the night to pee. No big deal, I was drinking a lot of water (I work in health and fitness so this wasn’t unusual). At the end of the month I had a minor surgery to remove a benign cyst from my left breast and that’s when shit hit the proverbial fan. After that I was constantly thirsty and was drinking almost everything in sight, especially if it had sugar in it (I drank almost 2 litres of cranberry juice in one night, much to my boyfriend’s shock). I was also getting up 4-5 times in the night to go to the bathroom. And it wasn’t just a little tinkle. We’re talking large volumes of urine. But to me, the most concerning sign was the weight loss. As I said, I work in health in fitness. I know the mechanics behind healthy weight loss. And this wasn’t healthy. Without changing my diet or training, I lost 20 lbs in 6 weeks; from a healthy curvy 158 to 138. I knew something was wrong, so I went to the doctor. He sent me for blood work and told me to follow up a week later. I was supposed to see him on Thursday, but he called Monday to reschedule for sooner. And that’s when I started to freak out. When he told me it was diabetes, I wasn’t overly surprised. Google already had me suspecting it. But let me tell you, it does not lessen the shock of hearing those words. Fasting blood glucose of 16.8 mmol/L (for you non diabetics, it should be below 7). Lower than a lot of other stories I’ve heard but still not good. Not at all. So I left with all my prescriptions (and there were a LOT) and tried to wrap my head around the change this would bring to my life. But it doesn’t end there.
The next day I got a call from my local Diabetes Management Centre (which is AWESOME, by the way) to come in and have my ketones checked. I said sure, but I had no idea what they were talking about. I would learn a lot about them in the following 14 hours. When I got there my ketones were at 3.7. They should be at 0. So I was sent to the emergency room where I spent the next 14 hours hooked up to an IV and getting 6-8 liters of fluid. Remember the weight loss? I gained 10lbs in that 14 hours just from fluid. Hello dehydration. I hated that freaking IV even though I knew it was all for the best. Luckily I had my boyfriend (aka my guard dog) and one of my really good friends there to keep me company, bring me food, and just distract me from the chaos that had become my life in the past 24 hours. I really can never thank them enough. I got out at 4am. And had to be at the diabetes management centre for my first educator appointment at 930 am. Gotta love how life works sometimes eh?
Since then, everything has been going way better. I honestly didn’t realize how bad I’d been feeling until I started feeling better. I’ve put the weight back on, my sugars are getting under control, and my inner nerd has kicked in in my mission to learn as much about this disease as I can. I’m trying to look on the sunny side (hello free eye exams!) and trying not to let it get me down. I’m an eternal optimist and that’s what’s going to get me through this. That and all the amazing people in my life. You know who you are. Love you all.