Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Diabetes Awareness Month


It’s here! Diabetes Awareness Month! This is the month that I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I didn’t go to the doctor thinking I had diabetes at all. In fact I had had a horrible bladder infection and after another hard night of dealing with it I finally gave up and went to the urgent care. Of course the first thing they had me do was pee in a cup.  Pretty standard nothing to think twice about. Then the doctor came in with a concerned look on his face, he looked at me to go over my results and mentioned that I had a large amount of ketones in my urine. I had no idea what this word even meant and started to become a little concerned that there was something more than a bladder infection happening. The doctor began to ask me these questions,

“How often are you relieving your bladder”?
Me “a lot”
“Are you thirsty”?
Me “I can’t quench my thirst”
“Have you noticed any weight loss”?
Me “yes”.

Then the doctor told me they were going to check my blood sugars. Hesitantly I handed the nurse my finger panicking at the thought of her sticking my finger. I apologized for my nerves and explained that I hate to be poked and prodded. She smiled thoughtfully and said “you can use your middle finger if it makes you feel better” I laughed and then one, two, three she stabbed my finger, filled the test strip with as much blood as she could and covered my finger with a cotton ball. With my finger still pulsating with pain the nurse announced 263. I asked the nurse if that was bad and when she answered “yes”. Then the doctor came back into the room and told me they were going to run a few more tests and refer to an endocrinologist because it looks like I might have diabetes.

My eyes welled up with tears. “Do I have to give myself shots”? I asked. The doctor replied, “I am not sure, I am giving you a referral for endocrinologist”. He then had the Nurse take me to where the kiosk for the endocrinologist office was and from there I made an appointment for the next day. I called my mom on the way home still crying and telling her that they think I have diabetes and I needed her to come to Santa Cruz tomorrow morning for my appointment. My mom was silent for a moment and then said she would see me in the morning.

The next day my mom and I went to see the endocrinologist who had me get my labs done that morning so we could go over the results. The doctor thought that I had Type 2 diabetes, because I still was producing some insulin, but was not completely convinced considering my being underweight. He wrote me a prescription for my oral medication and a blood checker. I was told to make another appointment because he wanted to see if this was just the honeymoon phase and he wanted to see if I would stop producing insulin altogether. That night I fought my mom over sticking my fingers and replenished my refrigerator with diabetic friendly food.

By the next appointment all my fears came true and I was introduced to syringes. I still will never forget the day I was taught how to do it. I was so scared to give myself a shot that the nurse jabbed it quickly into my belly to show me that it wouldn’t hurt. I have had diabetes for 7 years and luckily was screened during diabetes awareness month. If you are feeling hungry, thirsty, and peeing a lot go see your doctor, who knows it could change your life!

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