Well, I really wanted to start this blog off with where it all began. A photo of me prior to diagnosis. The imagination will have to do because all my OLD photos are at home (in Minnesota, I’m living in Germany right now).
Here it goes. In the fall of 2006, I was 14 years old and had typical type 1 diabetes symptoms for quite some time, 2-3 months if not longer. Extreme thirst. Constant urination. Hunger. Hunger. Hunger. More water. Bathroom break. Sleepy. Extreme muscle cramps. Sudden weight loss. HUNGER. THIRST.
I used to drink until I felt like I would blow up or throw up, literally. My stomach hurt so bad. I was still thirsty, but couldn’t physically drink more. I still remember this feeling, 10 years later. I remember my mom driving us to the “cities” and I had to pee SO bad. It wasn’t her fault, but she didn’t believe I couldn’t hold it…we had just stopped an hour earlier. I peed behind a bush next to a sidewalk. Humiliating, but I HAD to. It’s all so hard to write in a way that really describes what it was like. And in a way, my memory at that time was already compromised, being at such high elevated blood sugars for so long.
I was five foot two inches tall and weighed maybe 90 lbs, normally I was 115 lbs at that age. Even with sudden and extreme weight loss, I could still eat like a king. I ate an entire pizza by myself, a feat for me. Rumors spread through the school that I was anorexic. I looked like death. Typical ninth grade drama I suppose. Asking the school office for a safety pin to pin my pants up should have been some sort of indicator that something was wrong. Hind sight is always 20/20.
Ok. Ok. I’ll get to the point. Hockey was starting soon, and I needed a new sports physical in order to start practicing. October 2, 2006 my life abruptly changed. Thank goodness I needed a new physical, but I would have ended up in the hospital in a few weeks anyway. My HbA1c was in the 15% range, it could have been higher. Someday I will contact my original doctor’s office and ask for my value. I’m going off memory here.
What shocks me the most, is that I wasn’t admitted into the hospital. I had to have been in DKA. But I was at a small town hospital where diabetes experts are not present. Looking back, I am shocked that my diagnosis wasn’t treated like the medical emergency that it was. Instead, the next day I went to school and sat on the side lines during gym. I don’t have the best recollection of the first months with diabetes, only excerpts here and there. However, I know the care I received (or lack thereof) was not the care I should have been given. I am thankful that I am still alive and endured through the horrid first months of diagnosis.
What similarities or differences do you see between your diagnosis and mine?