Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It's been seven hours and fifteen days..

Photo Lana Joos
Not really. It's been a whole lot more. Eleven years, to be exact. It's been E-LE-VEN ! years since I got diagnosed with D. It was a scary moment but at the same time a moment of relief and understanding. I was glad a doctor finally took me and my symptoms serious. A doctor, who - by a simple poke in my finger - could tell me the symptoms I had, were the symptoms of diabetes. She didn't have to hesitate, since the number on the screen of her glucometer was 599 mg/dl. If you know that normal sober numbers are below 100 mg/dl, it doesn't take much disbelief to realize this was actually diabetes. Did she say: DIE-a-beetus??? She sure told me about complications like kidney failure, amputation of toes and even feet, loss of eye sight, heart failure.. Grumble. Not very pretty you know. I asked her when those complications would first show their face. She told me I could expect the first signs of complications 10 years after diagnosis. Hello? I was nearly 31 when she found out. Did that mean, that by the time I was 41, I would need dialysis 3 times a week? Would I have to wear orthopedic shoes to help me walk after having my toes surgically removed? Would I ever see my kids grow up into beautiful adults?

Right there and then, I was determined I was going to do the best I could, to prevent myself from getting those nasty complications. I was put on injections 4 times a day and had to poke my fingers as many times. I was told how much insulin I had to inject for my meals and what I was supposed to eat to cover that. The dietitian told me I had to weigh a 300 gr portion of boiled potatoes (!), a fair amount of vegetables and a small part of meat or fish for my warm supper. I could no longer eat fruit or dairy products without thinking and I had to give up on sweets. I was lucky she didn't forbid me to drink diet coke..

It didn't take me long to accept the verdict. I didn't mind poking my fingers, I didn't care about the needles that punctured my skin while injecting insulin. I hated that Lantus though.. It had to be injected in my thigh and it gave me a burning sensation and pain, every time I forced myself to inject. Some years later, I had to divide that ugly Lantus into two portions: one in the morning, one at night. It didn't work well for me. I had quite a bit of high readings and my doctor wasn't very happy with the way I treated my diabetes. In fact she thought of me like I was her worst patient ever.. My hemoglobin HbA1c didn't drop below 8.5% while I was her patient and my weight kept going up. I was unhappy with how things were going and I started to dislike D. But hey! Diabetes is chronic, forever, for life!

After 4 years and numerous shots later, I decided to give the insulin pump a try and like the saying: once you go black, you never go back, it's the same with the insulin pump. I would harm you if you would try to steal or break my pump. It's what keeps me alive and it's what gives me better control.

Just this year, 7 years of pumping and poking my fingers at least 6 times a day, I decided it was time to move on. Since my Dexcom CGM entered my life, I no longer fear complications. Dexcom will help me get better control and teach me about my body and how food, exercise, stress, emotions, work, sickness have their effect on my blood sugar. I'm grateful that I got diabetes in the 21st century and the fact that we have access to the most modern treatments, is a bonus.

I'm planning on living a whole lot more years of a complication free life with D. After all, I'm more than complicated already..

1 comment:

Scott K. Johnson said...

Here's to many more years of living well and telling your story! :-)