Today I am thankful for friends who uplift, encourage, are positive and accept me the way I am!
November is National Diabetes Month, so I thought I would share my story. I found out that I had type 2 diabetes on October 21, 1997. I was 39 years old. I had a yeast infection that wouldn't go away with over the counter medication. I was reading the label on the box and it said something along the lines of "if infection persists it may be a sign of diabetes". I read that over and over and slowly began to realize just how many symptom of diabetes I had.
I had been very thirsty. I couldn't get enough to drink. I went to the bathroom about every 30 minutes. I thought it was because I drank so much! It turns out that a diabetic is thirsty because they pee so much! I was extremely tired. I felt like I couldn't get enough sleep. I even took off work a week just to sleep. It didn't help. I almost couldn't function due to the fatigue. I lost 10 pounds without even trying! This was definitely not normal for me!
I mulled all this over for about 2 hours and then called the doctor. I told the nurse I had a yeast infection and she immediately wanted to call in a prescription for me. I then told her I thought I might have diabetes and described the symptoms I was having. She put me on hold, and then asked if I could come in that afternoon.
After taking my blood pressure, temperature, and asking a hundred questions, the nurse told me she was going to get a blood sample. I thought she was going to "take" my blood, but that's not what she did. She inserted a strip of what looked like shiny paper into the end of a handheld device. With some kind of a needle she pricked my finger and held the device with the paper strip so that a drop of blood saturated the tip of the paper. After a few seconds, she showed me a number that showed up on the device. It was 425.
That number didn't mean anything to me so I asked the nurse what it meant. She said my blood sugar was very high and that a normal reading would be between 70-100! Next, she really took some blood and I waited for the doctor and the results of the blood test. The name of the test was the A1C test. Again, I didn't know what this meant so I waited.
The doctor came in and I had to tell her all over again my symptoms and why I thought I had diabetes. She confirmed that I did. The A1C tells you the average of your blood sugar levels over a 2-3 month period and mine showed that my average was 475, way over the 70-100 range!
At that point I was bombarded with information packets, a referral to the dietician, a glucose meter, prescriptions and instructions! I was overwhelmed to say the least and more than a little scared! Now it was time to go home and process all this information and come to terms with it.
In tomorrow's post, I'll tell you how I did that!