Sunday, January 18, 2009

q and a

1. What were the circumstances that led to your initial diagnosis? What is your story? I was working as a waitress and started feeling tired all the time, then i started feel thirsty, then i went the bathroom almost every hour, i had constant yeast infections, i lost a lot of weight but didn't notice because i was exercising, and i had mrsa before being diagnosed. I didn't know anything was wrong with me because i thought this normal feeling because of all he hard work i was doing as a waitress (long days, stress). I went to my local Urgent care and told them my friend and I though i might have diabetes, they tested my sugar, gave me some pills, and that was that. I didn't take the pills because i really didn't know the seriousness of diabetes. Couple of days later i started feeling really sluggish, my mouth was dry to the point it was peeling, my breathing was shallow, and i slept all day. I didn't go to the doc because i didn't have insurance, my friends convinced me to go to the ER. I was to weak to argue. I think i passed out a couple times and when i woke up i was laying in a hospital bed hooked to IV's. They said i almost went into DKA and could have died if i hadn't come sooner.

2. How did you feel at first? Scared? Guilty? Ashamed? I felt sick for a long while. I was scared of eating and waring myself out. I didn't feel ashamed because i didn't do anything to cause my type 1 diabetes. It was kind of exciting at first, in a weird way, because it was an answer to why i was sick and there was a solution to fixing it! But i didn't realize how hard it would be.

3. What kind of education or instructions were you given once you were diagnosed with Type 1 DM and by whom? (Nurse, Dietitian, Doctor?) A Diabetes Educator visted me while i was in the hospital and gave me some literature. She told me that I would have to take shots, count my carbs, and number one starting rule was to cut cola. She said i could call her anytime. I think i was supposed to fellow up with my er doc but he had no openings. So i really didn't have any doctor guidance, just the diabetes educator.

4. What is your daily routine (monitoring, shots, etc) from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep? I'm supposed to check my sugar before and after meals. Take three shots of humalog a day and a shot of Lantus at night. In between i monitor how i feel, and try to avoid hypoglycemia with snacks or juice (personally). I have to write down my carbs, the amount of insulin taken, and my sugars before and after meals. I try to every 3-4 hours, amongst my 3 meals and 3 snacks.

5. What are some situations that require you to change this routine? (Going out for drinks, traveling, work schedule, etc.) Since i work third shift I sometimes have to wake up early or stay up later from work so i can run errands for things open during the day. Sometimes i don't want to take my medicine and that changes everything and leads to me not testing or taking the right amount of insulin, this can effect me for days to months that i do this. Sometimes at work i have to postpone eating because my break is different, i could fight this if i wanted. But i hate to have my diabetes be a inconvenience to my work ethic.

6. What are you concerned most about regarding your health in the future? Losing eyesight, amputated leg, the usual horrors but these seem so far away that i don't really let it sink in my head that this could happen, could be because i'm still a new diabetic and I'm young (my body fights it better now). I worry about yeast infections and urinary tract infections.

7. How has living with Type 1 DM impacted your relationships with others (romantically, friendship, family, children, etc). Hasn't really impacted it in a bad way. It's something you either they have to accepct or they don't and you move on. But sometimes when you felling bad you might act out against loved ones. They might not have diabetes but they have somebody who has it, and that can make it just as hard for them to see you suffer.

8. How has insurance (and dealing with insurance companies) impacted your life, health and general outlook? I don't have insurance. The only insurance i had didn't include diabetes because i was "pre existing."

9. Anything else you'd like to share.
things i notice: misconceptions from others about what you can and cannot do (or eat). The doctors i've encountered don't have time for diabetes, and you will waste alot of money till you find a good one. Being diabetic is expensive, especially if you don't have insurance and have to pay hospital bills out of pocket. Because of that i'm sure alot of people avoid going to the doc or er, i do. Alot of diabetics deal with denial, guilt, and anger. Alot of new diabetics are told the basics and then let out in the real world with no raft. I try my best to do pay and get help for my supplies but i always find that bills not related to diabetes go ahead of everything else. I can't afford to be broke because i need good food, good medicine, and a good job to pay for it, But it's a bit like the snake eating itself when it comes to all that. Without food i can't take my medcine, without medicine i can't take shots for my food, without insurance i can't afford to see the doctor or get the supplies i need, without money i can't do anything.

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