Six years ago tonight, I almost died. Today is my diabetic anniversary. I wrote about it on my other blog last November. My diagnosis was a long complicated story, but I consider my anniversary the day I was finally diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and given my first dose of insulin. Here’s what happened today:
(I had not been feeling well (duh!), so I went to see my GP. He wasn’t available so I ended up with his PA)
had a piece of paper in my hand with a few weeks of meter results on it. There was not a number on there under 200 and the past few weeks were all 500 or above. She left the room with my log to presumably speak with the doctor. She returned a few minutes later with a Post-It note. She told me I needed to call this number (an endocrinologist) because I needed to be put on insulin. With that, my appointment was over.
As I left the office, I waved to my doctor and he waved back. Everything must have been okay.
I called the endocrinologists office that afternoon and got an appointment for that Friday. With that, I drove back up to campus to resume classes the next day. I was also interviewing students for leadership positions that night.
I had to leave part-way through the interviews because I felt awful. I could not be around other people. Later that night I was on the computer on AIM with my best friend. I was telling her what had happened at the doctor the day before. Little did I know, she was also on the phone with her parents, telling them my symptoms and what the doctors had said. Her parents were very upset and told her to get off the phone with them and call someone at the school right away. All I knew was that suddenly she was not responding to my IMs.
Around 11 oclock, there was a knock at my door, and there stood my best friend, my Resident Director, the Resident Director on duty (dorm parent for the older readers), and a Campus Security officer.
Would you believe that the RD on duty was a Type 1 diabetic pumper? I think his presence and knowledgeable convincing that night was the only reason I agreed to go to the hospital and not wait for my appointment that Friday.
We got to the ER and triage asked me why I was there I told them that my friends made me. I was not doing well convincing them that I was really sick. They eventually took me back to a room and tested my blood sugar. 713.
I was informed that I would be spending the night and they started an IV. Correction they tried to start an IV but missed the vein and saline started building up under the skin of my right elbow. The ER was deserted and I could not find anyone to come fix it. Finally a nurse walked by. Is it supposed to look like this? and she quickly pulled it out and started a new one in my hand much better!
Saline, insulin, and potassium and I was on my way upstairs!
It was about 1 am at that point, and I seriously debated calling my parents. I didnt want to wake them up. I was convinced to call my mom, but I was so out of it, I have no idea if she came up that night or not.
The next day, a doctor came by to visit. He said they were reviewing my labs to see if I needed insulin or pills. He came back about 10 minutes later and said he changed his mind. My A1C came back at 12.6 and that mixed with my history convinced him I was Type 1. He also told my mom that the other doctors office never should have let me go. I should have been admitted straight from their office. My mom was very upset!
She called the doctors office ready to chew him out! He said that he had no idea I had been there two days before. Get this the physicians assistant never consulted with him on my case! She didnt get fired but I wish she had! Then when I saw him on the way out, he did not recognize me. I was about 20 pounds under weight and my blond hair had been dyed deep red. Heck I didnt recognize me. He felt really bad and was really apologetic, but I have never stepped foot in his office again!
To give you an idea of the power of insulin, A little over a week later (with doctor’s clearance), I was in Vegas celebrating my birthday with friends. It is still odd for me to look at pictures from this time, but you can see how thin and pale I still looked.