Moments of Wonderful

…rather than a lifetime of nothing special. A diabetes blog.

Moments of Wonderful - …rather than a lifetime of nothing special. A diabetes blog.

Six years ago

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:

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(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 endocrinologist’s 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 o’clock, 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 didn’t 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 doctor’s office never should have let me go. I should have been admitted straight from their office. My mom was very upset!

She called the doctor’s office ready to chew him out! He said that he had no idea I had been there two days before. Get this – the physician’s assistant never consulted with him on my case! She didn’t 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 didn’t recognize me. He felt really bad and was really apologetic, but I have never stepped foot in his office again!

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This was actually part 3 of a four part story. If you want to read the whole thing click here, here, here, and here.

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.

out of hospital
Six years ago, I never could have pictured my life today.

Category: diaversary
  • Jo says:

    I remember being down to 123#s before I was finally diagnosed with a glucose level of 713! I’m a T2 and even though it took a year to get within range (after begging for Lantus), I know what you mean. Once you’ve started treatment, the reversal is amazing. Within 3 months I’d gained my weight back and was much healthy.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:32 am
  • melissa says:

    What an awesome best friend you have.

    It’s unbelievable that even six years ago, there were people working in the medical profession who couldn’t immediately notice the – quite obvious – signs of diabetes. A similar thing happened to me, I went to my GP and he said I had a virus. Two days later I was in A&E in a coma.

    And I agree, the change that insulin makes in such a short period of time is amazing. Happy 6th diabetic anniversary, here’s to many more healthy years :]

    February 4, 2009 at 7:32 am
  • Lee Ann Thill says:

    Happy D-anniversary, Sara! I hope you’re doing something fun to mark the occasion 🙂

    February 4, 2009 at 7:37 am
  • Richard157 says:

    Sara, I read all four parts! You had to go and make tears run down my cheeks. Lol! I get emotional when I read about sad backgrounds of diabetics. You were young and strong able to withstand the physical and mental trauma better than many older folks. It was a tough read because I know you (kinda, sorta). I am happy for you that you are doing well and have a good sense of humor about the whole thing. I am happy that you are part of DD. Take good care of yourself Sara!

    Richard

    February 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm
  • Scott K. Johnson says:

    I remember the story. Man, what a ride Sara!

    February 4, 2009 at 9:59 pm
  • Mandy says:

    Wow! That was the first time I read your whole story. It’s amazing how many things can slip through the medical cracks.

    I’m very glad you had such a good friend watching out for you!

    February 9, 2009 at 10:58 pm

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