Here’s my story. Hang in there, as it is a big long, but needing to be told.
To start out I was originally diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic on September 24, 2004, two days before my 29th birthday. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I had been losing a lot of weight (50lbs in 3 months), drinking MASSIVE amounts of anything liquid (about 200+ ounces daily), and inhaling food like a vacuum. I made an appointment with my family CFNP just to see if there was something crazy going on (I know I know… it WAS crazy, but I was in denial). My appointment was 8:30 on a Friday morning. When I got back and had the chance to explain what was going on to my doctor, she said, “I don’t think its diabetes. More likely a thyroid issue, but let’s run some blood tests and see.” I went off to the lab and then headed into work. No big deal. That afternoon about 3 o’clock, the doctor’s office called me:
Dr. Office : “We need you to come back into the office. You cannot go home today without coming in and seeing us first. Your blood sugars are a bit high.”
Me: “What are they?”
Dr. Office : “511”
Me: “Ok. What’s normal?”
Dr. Office: “100. How soon can you get here?”
I had to pick my daughter up from school at 3:30 so I said I’d come in then. When I got there, they did a finger stick and I was in the upper 300’s. They gave me a shot of insulin, and checked again in 20 minutes. I had only dropped about 20pts, but they were comfortable that it was going in the right direction. I was given a prescription for Metformin and told to eat between 45 – 60 carbs per meal. I also had to make an appointment with the Diabetes Clinic to get a meter and some dietary training.
That was a rough weekend. I cried. I was angry. I tried to count the carbs, but felt like I would starve if I only ate what was on my plate. The worst part was the timing. My women’s group at church had a retreat to the mountains planned for that weekend. I went. For lunch we had soups, breads, veggies, etc. Then they brought out the carrot cake for my birthday. It had a Winnie-the-Pooh figure on it. I still have him. To this day he still sits on my dashboard.
I found a new doctor of internal medicine and got into him right away. He was great. He adjusted my insulin:carb ratios. He adjusted my Lantus, and then switched me to Levemir. He was interested in everything I had to say and was completely open to feedback and suggestions. After a year of seeing him, my A1C was around 7.8. I had been doing a lot of research of my own and began to wonder if I had been misdiagnosed, and should have really been Type 1. I asked him about that, and he said that he had only rarely heard of a misdiagnosis. He did not rule it out, but felt we should more focus on getting my levels stabilized. That was when I asked for a pump. He thought it was a great idea, but admittedly didn’t know much about them. He gave me a referral to the Diabetes Clinic to see the endocrinologist.
The endocrinologist was the most dry and monotone Dr. I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. He would not see me without fresh lab work for everything. That was fine by me as my insurance would not approve a pump without confirmation of Type 1. It was July 2010 when I finally got to see the endo. As he was reviewing my labs he kept mumbling to himself and … grunting.
Endo: “So they’ve told you that you’re type 2?”
Me: “That’s what they’ve been saying.”
Endo: “Well… they are WRONG. Stop taking the Metformin and make an appointment with our educator to get the pump paperwork started.”
That was the BEST doctor day of my life. I did end up crying over that weekend. I was angry again. It was like I went through the mourning for a second time, but this time it was a bit easier because I knew I was finally on the right path.
I have always said that no matter what it is that I’ve gone through, and no matter how much I couldn’t understand why I was going through it, it’s ok. Someday, somewhere, someone will be experiencing something similar and I can be there to say, “I’ve been there. Here let me share with you what I did.” and it will have all been worth it. So here I am… sharing.