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Getting diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes

(Since I was small, I could not remember all of it, mom helped me with a lot of details 🙂 )

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on December 3, 2002. Then I was 12 years old and studying in grade 6.

My mom and dad had returned just a few days back from Vellore (a city in South India). My dad had undergone a bone marrow transplant a year back. He had to regularly visit the hospital in Vellore for post transplant care and check-ups. I and my sister were elated to have both of them back home. Post his treatment, a lot of care regarding medicines, injections and food needed to be taken. So, mom used to be busy trying to keep everything together at home.

While things just began to be normal after their long trip, my symptoms began to show up. It started off with a drastic weight loss from 25 kgs to about 20 kgs in a matter of few days. I felt immense thirst and urinated about dozen times a day. Eating routine was gradually breaking and I would eat a lot or nothing at all. Mom consulted a doctor but the medicines made no difference.

When I see my old pictures, I can actually notice a difference between my grade 5 and grade 6 pictures. I had become pale and dull. It seems like my pancreas was just in the process of giving up completely.

On 1st December, mom took me to get a blood test done and consulted another doctor. The lab refused to give the blood sugar level (saying it is taking time) and gave the rest of the report (probably unable to understand such a high level of blood sugar in a kid). It showed normal (everyone was happy at that time to see it but it was unfortunate, as my diagnosis got delayed) and so the doctor could not diagnose me. (It is one example of how sad the knowledge of diabetes was, even among laboratories and doctors.)

Things got worse when I urinated in the bed the next night without realizing. Nobody could understand what was happening and the doctor we consulted gave me medicines which weren’t working. Next morning, I vomited and was feeling really weak to the point of unconsciousness. My parents rushed me to a hospital in the city and my sugar was tested based on the symptoms my parents explained. My sugar level was 512 mg/dl. My ketones were 4+.

I was immediately put in the ICU on a huge dose of continuous insulin. My blood sugar charting by the hospital shows the high fluctuations on the first day and relatively stable levels on the next. In a few days, they brought my ketones and electrolytes in control, but the amount of insulin my body was absorbing was beyond limit, initially upto 50-60 units a day. At that age, it was just not normal. Also, it wasn’t stabilizing my sugar levels. But I had started feeling better. I had started looking better. The dryness of mouth and skin was lesser and my appetite improved.

Diabetes Blood sugar test report
Blood sugar test report

I was then shifted to one of the hospitals in the capital with a great endocrinology wing and gradually my doctor could control my insulin dosage through diet changes and regular tests. I was continuously monitored and checked. Lot of pricks, lot of injections and a lot of blood tests became a routine. My mom would stay with me all the time and dad had to take care of himself on his own. He couldn’t stay all the time as he was prone to infection due to the recent transplant. But he visited me whenever he could and we would talk about how to manage things in a better way. He is the reason I have the strength to battle type 1 diabetes and he will be my hero for life and beyond!

After a month of dose adjustments and diet plans, glucometers and insulin pens, cotton rolls and spirit bottles, no sugar and lot of fibers, diabetes lessons and meetings with other type 1s, I was discharged with stable sugar levels, with a lot of energy and appetite and a new way of life! My insulin dosage was set at 8-8-3 for short acting insulin and 3 units of long acting insulin. My doctor is simply awesome who brought my insulin requirement down to 22 units and I have been consulting him since then.

So that’s my story. I will be happy if you read this and feel a connection with it somewhere. I’d also like to hear your story. You can put them in the comment or share your links here so that I can read yours.

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6 thoughts on “Getting diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes

  1. I am a type 2 diabetic and I am currently out of control. I didn’t care at first, but now I need to do something about rather than just swallow pills and eat what I want. Just not there yet. I am glad that you are doing better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, your story sounds quite similar to mine. My doctor was unable to diagnose me in 2010, and I later ended up being hospitalised. I find it interesting that they kept you in hospital for a month while you adjusted. I was discharged after 5 days and then had to go back for regular appointments at the hospital’s diabetes clinic to learn everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our experiences after being diagnosed are probably different because we are from different countries. Even today I think a lot of people are still misdiagnosed because many doctors aren’t aware of the basic diabetes symptoms.

      Liked by 1 person

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