We don’t always realize it, but each one of us had come a long way since diabetes first came into our life. It doesn’t matter if it’s been 5 weeks, 5 years or 50 years, you’ve done something outstanding diabetes-wise. So today let’s share the greatest accomplishment you’ve made in terms of dealing with your (or your loved one’s) diabetes… (Thanks to Hilary of Rainie and Me for this topic suggestion.)
I wrote about my proudest accomplishment so far in my life with diabetes last year for Diabetes Blog Week and I already used one of the wild card topics so I am going to put a bit of a different spin on today’s topic.
This is a story of a time where I am just proud that I managed to accomplish staying alive.
I’ve written about the trip before, but just about a week after I got out of the hospital for my diabetes diagnosis, some friends and I headed to Vegas for my birthday weekend. At the time, I was taking NPH and Humalog. I took both insulins just at breakfast and dinner – the NPH at a set dose and the Humalog on a sliding scale based on what my blood sugar was at the time.
From what I can remember (it WAS ten years ago), most of the trip went just fine. It wasn’t until the last day that I got myself in serious trouble. The plan was to check out of the room and head down to the buffet for breakfast before hitting the road back to California.
I still wasn’t that good at drawing up the insulin from the vials and hadn’t really done it in public yet – not in a public restroom and certainly not at a restaurant table. I decided I would dose my insulin in the room and then we could head down to the buffet.
It was my first time in Vegas so I didn’t have any idea about the buffet lines. I didn’t know too much about insulin yet, but when they told us the line could have been up to an hour and a half, I knew I couldn’t wait that long.
One of my friends (the one who was responsible for getting me to the ER the night I was diagnosed and basically saving my life) had been to Vegas a few times before and knew her way around. She suggested that we go to a chain restaurant down the road – certainly they would be able to seat us faster.
We retrieved the car from self park and set off to find our breakfast. As we approached the restaurant, I could tell that this place was not going to be any better for me – there were crowds of people waiting all around the parking lot. We decided to not even stop and just keep driving. We figured that the further we got away from The Strip the less people there would be and the more likely it would be that we could find a place to get some food.
We finally found another chain breakfast place, and I told my friends before we even went inside that no matter how long the line was, we would really need to wait and just eat there.
I’m not sure if it would have helped any but we never mentioned that I had diabetes until we were seated in our booth about 30 minutes later. As you can imagine, at that point I really felt LOW. I’m not sure that I had even experienced hypoglycemia before that morning! We told the waitress that I had diabetes and needed some juice as soon as possible. Every single seat in the place was full and it seemed like it was taking hours for her to get back to the table.
Seconds felt like hours. I was sweating, shaky, and my brain was feeling really fuzzy. I was sure that I was going to pass out at the table. Finally someone remembered that the car was packed with snacks. I gave my friend my breakfast order in case the waitress came back (because apparently that was still important in my low brain), grabbed the keys, and headed out to the car.
I still remember feeling like I was floating and not actually taking any steps as I made my way out to the parking lot. It took a while for my shaking hands to manage the key in the lock. I just remember sitting in the back seat with the door open eating snacks from the bag. There must have been more but the only thing that I can clearly remember eating were a bunch of no sugar added sandwich cookies (because people with diabetes can’t have sugar of course).
One week into life with diabetes, my biggest accomplishment was just surviving.