Type 1 Diabetes, What is it and My Story
Type 1 Diabetes is not as rare as you think and it could literally happen to anyone. As many as 3 MILLION Americans have Type 1 Diabetes. I am one of 3 million. It can easily get confused with Type 2 Diabetes, they are very very different. Below I explain what exactly T1D is and my journey with the disease.
WHAT IS IT?
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease the affects 5% of all diabetics. The pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin is the hormone made by the pancreas to allow the body to break down sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates.
Diabetics need to take insulin by injections or via pump. There are many health risks that come along with diabetes. Type 1 is not curable… With the right dosage of insulin and a healthy diet, blood sugars can be managed.
High and low blood sugars can cause series health problems, result in coma or death, and may even cause a limb or two to be amputated. Stress makes the blood glucose levels go crazy. Being sick causes them to go high, and it also takes a diabetic more time to heal cuts and bruises and a longer time to get over being sick.
January of 2015 I got the flu and once I got rid of that, I had pains in my left rib. This went on for months. Multiple x-rays were done and finally a 3D x-ray which showed I had Pneumonia. I ended up having walking pneumonia for about three months. After that went away, I still had the pain in my rib. Blood work was finally done in May. My blood sugar came back at 200, 100 is normal. This is when the doctor is supposed to diagnose diabetes, but she didn’t. Instead she wanted me to fast and get blood work the next day. The night after following up with the doctor I began fasting at 8:00 p.m., I began to get cold and weak, so much that I laid on the floor crying, I don’t cry much either, this was around 10:00 p.m. My mom then took me to the ER where they did blood work and urine tests. I was extremely dehydrated that I laid with an IV in my arm for almost two hours.
The doctor came in and diagnosed me with Type 1 Diabetes, an invisible disease that would change my life forever.
I now go to my specialist every three months and a few days before my appointment I get my blood work done to check my A1C, the average levels of my blood sugar within three months. Mine keeps rising, it is at 7.9 as of November 2016 when it should be at 6.5.
I check my blood sugar at least four times a day, and give myself an injection at least four times a day. I must inject insulin before I eat and at bedtime. I take Novolog when I eat and Levimere at bedtime. Right now, I take 1 unit of Novolog per every 10 grams of carbohydrates. At bedtime, I take 20 units of Levimere (long-lasting insulin). I must exercise and eat healthy to keep my blood sugar levels normal.
There is a third pen that is needed when I am severely low. Fortunately, I have never had to use that pen. I also take vitamin D tablets because I live in Ohio and we don’t get much vitamin D from the sun; this helps prevent low blood sugars and it makes me feel great, I never miss a day to take it.
I am not very fond of the specialist I go to, she doesn’t seem to genuinely care about my well-being, it seems she is just there for the money. I recently considered other specialists in my area. I found a different endocrinologist to go and try, and they wanted a fax of my medical records… I had called my doctor’s office and the lady said she’d have to ask the doctor first. Thirty minutes later, she called back and said my doctor said I can’t see two doctors at the same time so she cancelled my appointment. I am now without a diabetes doctor. Thanks Dr. Newton.
I went to a new doctor and I am so glad I made the switch. She is so nice and knows what she is doing. Everything she did Dr. Newton never did. Hopefully my blood sugars can stay under control with these new adjustments.
Update March 11, 2017: I’m getting an insulin pump! I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I can’t wait to get my blood sugars under control, not have to inject myself five times a day and to be more free. I’m just waiting for it in the mail! I will let you guys know when it comes! 🙂
Update April 11, 2017: I got my pump!!!
After I first started it (April 4) my blood sugars kept dropping, but we fixed it. Since then there’s been a few highs and lows but we’re working on it! So far I love it! Most of the time I forget it’s even there. I definitely wish I would have switched sooner!
Update May 5, 2017: I LOVE the pump! I feel that I have more freedom! I never have to remember to take injections at certain times and no more bruises from injections!
It is now November 22, 2017 and everything is great! my blood sugars are better, my A1C is better and I feel better! The pump is life changing and I can’t wait to get the new and improved ones!
P.S. If you want to learn more about how the pump works, let me know in the comments below or on Facebook and I’d be happy to update this post!
I also wrote about what it is like to live with Type 1 Diabetes, you can read that post here.