I didn’t really have the time to do a whole 2010 reflection like others have (and I loved reading them by the way!) but I did want to send a message to all my readers.
I wish each and every one of you, your families and friends a very healthy and happy new year. May 2011 be a year full of successes, good memories and experiences. I am looking forward to riding through the next year of life with all of you 🙂
I don’t know if now is the best time to be posting about this since for some reason I am feeling very down. But as I thought about passing on the idea, I thought that maybe writing something after the fact, wouldn’t have the same meaning. So here I am.
29 years ago today, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Some freaking Christmas present huh? The first thing I think is wow, I feel old. I’ve had diabetes longer than most of my analysts at work have been alive. I’ve had diabetes longer than a lot of people have been alive. Wow. I know there are many people around who have had it longer than I. But 29 years is nothing to sneeze at. Thinking back on the day doesn’t bring back memories of any kind since I can’t really remember. But I do know the story thanks to my parents.
It was Christmas eve and my family had started arriving at our house for the holiday. I was constantly drinking and peeing. Since my father was a type 1 himself, he recognized the symptoms right away. This was before blood glucose monitoring was available to patients at home, so my parents tested my glucose level with a urine strip. And it was dark. They called my father’s endocrinologist and were told to bring me to the emergency room. Which they did, having to leave my poor twin sister with relatives. When the hospital was informed of a 5 year old with high blood sugar coming in, they expected a very sickly child. Instead I was walked in holding my father’s hand. If I remember the story correctly, my actual blood glucose once at the hospital was high 300’s so there was no doubt diabetes was what I had. But it was nowhere near as high as it could have been, if it had gone undiagnosed for a long period of time. Long story short, I was admitted for about a week then transferred to a different hospital where the pediatric endo my parents wanted me to see practiced. Again I don’t remember any of this but I can only imagine what my parents and sister went through.
Overall I am doing good all these years later. I’ve had some minor issues that could be related to diabetes (but not proven). And I find the longer I am living with it, the more it is weighing on me. I think what bothers me the most about “celebrating” so many years with diabetes is the unknown future. I know of all the things that could happen. And that truly scares me to death. So I do what I have to do and try not to think about those things. What I have in my favor are all the advancements that have been made in the treatment. I used to take just 1-2 injections of insulin a day. And tested my blood sugar only 1-2 times a day. These days, I have a continuous delivery of insulin via an insulin pump which acts more like a real, working pancreas. And not only do I test my blood sugar 8-12 times a day but I also have a sensor under my skin which feeds glucose level readings about every 5 minutes from my interstitial fluid. Now that is advancement! I know there are organizations working on finding a cure for diabetes. And not to sound pessimistic, but I don’t feel that I’ll ever see that day in my lifetime. My father and I were told probably not long after I was diagnosed that a cure was 10 years away. Well here it is 19 years after that and still no cure. But I am still grateful for their hard work.
As much of a thorn as diabetes is in my Christmas eve, I do have a lot to be thankful for. I hope that I will have many more Christmas eves to reflect on years past. I know some of my D friends don’t know the exact date of their diagnosis. I unfortunately, can never forget.
***I wish all my friends and their families a very happy holiday. And best wishes for a healthy, happy 2011 for everyone***
“I’m not going to lose my leg! I’m not going to lose my leg”! That is what was repeated in my mind over and over again earlier today.
It started about 3 weeks ago when I began having pain in my lower right leg. I didn’t do anything to injure it so it pretty much started out of the blue. It trickles down to my ankle/foot area at times. The pain is at its peak when I walk. It’s not to the point that I cannot walk but it does hurt something fierce. To some people, this may not seem like a big deal. Some people may be able to grin and bear it. But I have diabetes. And there are so many things that can go wrong with my legs. I first went to a walk-in-kind-of-place to have it looked at last weekend and they sent me to the ER where I waited hours and hours to have a Doppler test to check for a blood clot. That test came back okay thank goodness. But it didn’t explain the pain. Since I wasn’t sure what type of doctor to see, I listened to my hubby’s suggestion of seeing an orthopedic doctor. I had been to an office already 2 years ago when I had my trigger thumb surgery so it’s not like I had to find a new place. So today I went.
Although I had been to this office before, I was seeing a new doctor. They brought me in to the exam room and gave me paper shorts to wear. (And yes, I looked really sexy! 😉 ) When the doctor came in, I immediately liked her. She was so pleasant and I can actually see her listening as I described my symptoms. The first thing she did was feel my leg and she knew exactly where to touch it that hurt the worst! She said she knew exactly what it was. Shin splints. After finishing my exam, she sent me down the hall for x rays. I was sitting there in my bright blue paper shorts and Ugg boots. An older woman came out of the x ray room, looked at me and said “boy don’t you look cute!” We exchanged some laughs and nice words and she was on her way. After she left, I sat there by myself and the thought of all the pain I’ve been having being from shin splints weighed on my mind. And the notion that this was something treatable, not life threatening and most importantly not something that was going to put the life of my leg in jeopardy, brought tears to my eyes. I still tear up thinking of how scared I was. How I was thinking there was something seriously wrong with my leg. That is was the start of diabetes complications. That it may lead to me losing my leg. And the relief I feel that it is not what I was imagining, is indescribable.
The x rays didn’t show anything which is good. She said there is a very slight chance I could have a stress fracture but she doesn’t think it’s likely. I need to limit my activities (bummer!), take some pain relievers and begin physical therapy. This is going to be a pain in the a** but definitely something I can deal with. And hopefully the therapy will help the pain let up so that I can get back to normal. This is one doctor I really, really liked and one visit that I really, really appreciated. There is something wrong with my leg and it does hurt. But the fact that it is only shin splints, is great news.
12/1 5:59pm 251
12/1 3:39am 266
11/30 6:18am 209
11/29 11:03am 239
11/25 9:52pm 236
Sadly, these are some of my blood glucose readings over the past week or so. And unfortunately there are others like it too in between some random decent numbers. No pattern. No apparent reason. Just. All. High. Living with a pancreas that doesn’t work and using a portable electronic device in its place, there will be high blood sugars. What my “job” as a diabetic is, is to try and keep those highs to a minimum by giving myself enough insulin (but not too much). Sometimes though, it doesn’t work the way I want. When there are days or weeks like these, it gets me feeling like garbage. Not just physically either. Emotionally and mentally like garbage too. I posted a status on Facebook last night “to all my family + friends who don’t have diabetes, be glad you don’t (I am bitter today)”. I know there are worse conditions or illnesses to have than diabetes. So when I feel down, frustrated, helpless or overwhelmed in dealing with it, I feel guilty. Anyone who knows me can attest that I usually have a positive outlook on things. I’m not a pessimist. I don’t dwell on the things that aren’t what I’d like them to be. But sometimes diabetes can get the best of us. And that’s what is happening to me. Not being able to control the one thing that is crucial to my overall health is discouraging to say the least. I’m scared about the impact it will have on my body in the future. Near or not. I don’t like how it’s making me feel now. And the stress of getting it back to where it’s supposed to be is hindering. I’d say those are valid reasons for feeling upset. As long as I don’t let it overcome me.
So I’m hoping that I’ve had enough of this high blood sugar streak. And in turn, I will have had enough of this feeling bad all around and I can go back to my enduring self, monitoring (semi) normal readings. Fingers crossed!!