Living with Type 1 diabetes

Discussion in 'Chatter' started by clembo, Feb 18, 2021.

  1. clembo

    clembo Well-Known Member

    It can be done and the right "tools" are very helpful.

    I was diagnosed with Type 1 about 5 years ago. It happened practically over night.
    Until then I was type 2.
    I've suffered from chronic pancreatitis for many years and diabetes is basically an added bonus.

    So how the sudden change from type 2 to type 1?

    It started off with congestive heart failure that landed me in the hospital. After my release a pulminologist wanted me to have a test done.
    It required that I stop taking my Metformin for a few days.

    I did as directed and my sugar started to skyrocket. I called him and he said I better take care of it. Thanks, I didn't know HOW to take care of it.

    I called my primary care doctor. They asked me to put my wife on the phone and told her to get my ass to the ER which she did.
    Apparently I wasn't making much sense.

    Hey kids! It's diabetic ketoacidosis. My sugar was way high at 671.
    I was basically out of it for a day and a half. Every hour it was a finger stick. Every four was a blood draw and as an added bonus I had 4 IVs hooked up.
    When lucidity started to return I asked a nurse what they were doing.

    She answered "saving your life" and I was good with that. They did after all.

    After that my endocrinologist told me I was type 1. Yippee! I went from pills twice a day to five injections a day!

    Really have to watch what you eat when you're type 2 is what I learned. Oddly enough type 1 is easier if you have the tools to do so.

    I used to do at least 3 finger sticks a day and adjust my carb intake and insulin accordingly.
    Was sailing along pretty good until a reaction to a medication I had taken for years landed me in the ER.
    They gave me a steroid shot and sent me home cautioning "it might mess with my blood sugar a bit".

    Understatement of the year folks. My sugar soared over 500 again so I called the ER. They said call your endocronologist which I did.
    This was on Easter Sunday by the way and he got back to me in about 5 minutes and instructed me to inject way more insulin than I ever had.
    I did this for days and it finally returned to a semblance of normal.

    I know I'm rambling here but maybe this story will help you or someone you know.

    My next diabetic adventure involved serious sugar crashes I was experiencing. Those are way scary and can lead to death.
    One day I laid down for a nap. A few hours later my wife found me on the floor.

    All I remembered was getting out of bed to use the bathroom. I had no idea where I was when I woke up and why my wife was telling me to drink orange juice from a straw.
    I was on the floor of course and she said it took half an hour to get me fairly lucid.
    Oh, and I did go to the bathroom. Wet and soiled actually.
    I'm not ashamed of that nor am I embarassed to tell you.

    Had she not found me I would have died.

    When I'm awake and my sugar crashes I can tell (dizziness, shaky, blurred vision, sweating) and deal with it through juice, candy etc. If I'm asleep it can lead to death.

    This is where the tools come into play.

    My enocronologist prescribed a CGM (continuous glucose monitor). A Dexcom G6 to be exact.
    Me and the doctor's office fought with Anthem for 4-1/2 months to get this.
    They wanted me to get Freestyle Libre which is a good product but won't do what I need unless I choose to never sleep again.

    I've been using the Dexcom since October now. I can check my sugar whenever I want but the MAIN feature is that it has an alarm system.
    It tells me if my sugar is crashing or going way up. It gives me an indication on just how fast these things are happening and also has a graph so I can see what has been going on.

    Probably shouldn't say this but "if I'm lying I'm dying". It woke me up the first time I went to sleep to warn me of a sugar crash.
    I sleep better now.

    One day my wife heard it. I was crashing hard and she got me up.
    I wasn't making much sense but I knew I needed to pump some juice into my system.

    Yes indeed it's a life saver but one insurance companies don't want to save your life with as it's much more expensive then the Freestyle.

    Nowadays I finger stick at least once a day to make sure my CGM is reading accurately. I wear a sensor on my belly 24/7. I have to change those every 10 days. Did it last night actually.

    I inject two types of insulin. On a good day only 4 times on a bad day 6 but usually it's 5.
    I'm much more comfortable giving myself an insulin boost as it were if my sugar is running high.
    CGMs are great and I agree with the Dexcom commercial. Every type 1 diabetic should have one.

    As for insulin I'm sorry but I have to relate a Trump lie that most probably didn't catch unless they use insulin.
    He said it was as cheap as water.

    Funny. Without insurance there's no way on earth I'd be able to afford it. I'd most likely be dead. If water cost as much as insulin we'd all have water bills in the millions.

    How else do I live with diabetes?

    I REALLY watch my carbohydrate intake.

    Now as anyone that has read my Watcha Eatin thread you may or may not notice that I am fond of foods that are high in carbs. Or maybe you didn't.

    Either way I've made charts of how many grams of carbs are in 100 grams of foods I frequently eat such as noodles, rice, potatoes, fruits, juices and sweets etc. Many of these numbers I know have memorized.

    I weigh my food frequently to determine how much insulin to inject.

    I have pretty good control now because I have the tools and I work at it.
    Diabetes is controllable.

    Proof? In the past hour I went out to shovel some snow. My Dexcom alerted me that my sugar was down to 67 and falling fairly fast.
    Came in had a big version of a Little Debbie Swiss Roll.

    I love those things and what a way to pump a quick 30 carbs into me (I have that one memorized).
    I'm sitting at a comfortable 94 as I type.
  2. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    Wow! You have been through the wringer. My wife has been a type 2 for over 10 years. She doesn't allow people to call her a diabetic. She says that she isn't her disease. She is adamant because you wouldn't refer to someone as a hypertension if they had high blood pressure so why would you define people with diabetes as diabetics?

    Anyway, I have never considered that a type 2 would suddenly become a type 1. She manages her blood sugar extremely well. I also have an in-law that became type 1 after a brief illness at 19. She was perfectly healthy until she caught what she described as the flu and then found herself in the hospital with type 1 diabetes. Changed her life just a little bit from there forward to say the least.

    Diabetes is no fun. They are making advances in treatments but there is a huge need for newer approaches that aren't so dependent on supplementing insulin that the body should be able to produce on its own.
    Mopar Dude likes this.
  3. clembo

    clembo Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear that your wife takes care of her diabetes Joe.

    Way too many don't. That often leads to much bigger problems.

    I'm guessing she's a "label reader" when shopping. I sure am. I read the nutrition facts on everything I ingest. If I can't find the information I look it up.

    It was landing in the hospital for an entirely different reason that led to my diabetes diagnosis. I snapped my femur in half when I fell. I used to fall down fairly often during dizzy spells.
    Now as many times as I'd landed in the ER for pancreas attacks (those are truly miserable) you'd think they would have caught the diabetes so I asked them about it.

    Seems when your pancreas is going hog wild your sugar is too. No way to tell. Makes sense I guess.

    So now I live with type 1. I take meds for the side effect of neuropothy as well. When it's bad I can hardly stand up for a few minutes at a time.
    I try to go for short walks 2-4 times a day. Depends on how my feet and hips feel but my endocronologist and cardiologist think it's great.

    My vision was greatly affected too. Cataracts were getting really bad. It's part of the reason I was gone from here for so long.
    Had surgery for those and see much better now.

    Bottom line is overall I'm much better than I was but as I said it takes work and the right tools.

    My last A1C reading was 5.9.

    Under 7 is good for those with diabetes. Under 6 is good for those without.

    As for being called a diabetic. Tell your wife it doesn't bother me.

    Hell, I'm a diabetic, hypertensic, pancreatic, neuropathic amongst other things and damn proud of it!:confused:
  4. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    Jeez-a-Mickey!! Brother you HAVE been through the ringer. My only brush with diabetes was with my dog who was sick on the floor one Christmas morning. We went to the vet ER and found he had a sick pancreas that cause him to be a diabetic. Insulin shots every morning and every evening for six years. He developed cataracts quite rapidly and when we went to the eye doctor he said they were too developed to be operated on so he spent his last five years blind though you would never know it as he spent all his time in my easy chair.

    As a funny and heartwarming side note.... When old Champ was ten and not moving much, we adopted a new pup. Champ had been blind for years so he didn't do any running about. He knew his way around because we never moved anything. One day I saw him running the yard with the new pup and I was astounded to see Champs nose resting on the pups back while they ran. That pup had quite literally made himself a seeing eye dog to my old buddy..... They are both gone now. I hope they are playing together and waiting for me.

    Dogs 002.jpg
    clembo likes this.
  5. clembo

    clembo Well-Known Member

    Dogs are incredible!

    Our last dog was diabetic as well.
    Two shots of Humalog (I take Humalog) a day. She'd give us kisses after her shots. She knew they helped her.

    As for vision? She ended up losing one eye and went pretty much blind in the other. We finally had her put to sleep due to Alzheimer disease actually. She was 15 and lived a good life though.

    Now you know my views on religion but I'll tell you this. If there's a heaven I figure it's full of pets.:)
    SmalltownMN and Mopar Dude like this.
  6. SmalltownMN

    SmalltownMN Active Member

    One of my aunts has diabetes and her story sounds a lot like yours. Growing up living next door to her, we saw the ambulance over there too many times. Scary stuff. My uncle loves her dearly and he would get so tore up when she'd have one of those bad episodes.
  7. clembo

    clembo Well-Known Member

    Was the ambulance there for diabetes or pancreas problems?

    Diabetes tends to go hand in hand with pancreatitis but it's the pancreatitis that has landed me in the ER on all but one occasion.

    As pain goes pancreas attacks are beyond bad. Take it from one who has had the pleasure.

    If you haven't done so already see what kind of setup she has for monitoring her sugar.
    It could help her avoid such problems immensely.
  8. clembo

    clembo Well-Known Member

    Yesterday was a sugar roller coaster for me folks.

    As high as 225 and as low as 40. Bad sugar crash.

    The 40 is way more scary but good old Dexcom kept me informed and although I don't enjoy that particular roller coaster I rode it with no problem.

    Today has seen no alarming lows but a high of over 250, Gave myself some insulin for that one but once again I'm able to manage it more easily.

    I sleep and eat weird hours. Getting ready for some dinner. Time to calculate my carbs and medicate accordingly.

    The joys of type 1 diabetes.:confused:
  9. SmalltownMN

    SmalltownMN Active Member

    My uncle would wake up next to her and wouldn't be able to wake her up. Pale, sweaty and unresponsive. It scared the bejesus out of him every time it happened.
  10. clembo

    clembo Well-Known Member

    Classic signs of really low sugar.

    Need to get juice into her immediately.

    I still have episodes like that but my Dexcom wakes me up before they get that severe so I can address them in plenty of time.
    SmalltownMN likes this.
  11. clembo

    clembo Well-Known Member

    SmalltownMN this is specifically to you.

    My sugar is at 58 as I type this and dropping. I just ate a Little Debbie Swiss Roll package. 40 grams of carbs and 28 grams of sugar.

    This should turn that around.

    Dexcom alerted me and I'm lucid enough to address the problem before I become like your aunt does. Been there done that.

    I know I sound like an add for Dexcom but it's truly been a life saver.

    It just sounded another alarm.

    57 now and still dropping.

    Time for a peanut butter cup.
    SmalltownMN likes this.
  12. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    It is my understanding that eating less processed sugars evens out the highs and lows. Yes, you can eat a sweet to bring your blood sugar up quickly but the best way to maintain a more level blood sugar is to eat food that isn't already broken down to its basic elements. That's what my wife tells me anyway.

    I am no expert so disregard my advice as you see fit. I've been watching her for 15 years and she does pretty well. Hers began with hypoglycemia and after our third child, it morphed into Type 2 Diabetes. Lots of gestational diabetes in her 30's which is why our kids began to come into the world at 11 plus pounds each.
  13. clembo

    clembo Well-Known Member

    Your wife is right Mr. Nation.

    Peanut butter cups and Little Debbies are delightful to me but I really only "need" them when I need sugar fast. Same with juice.

    Breakfast for me is usually fresh fruit. Carbs and sugars for sure but in it's natural state.

    I do experience crashes too often unfortunately. I never go anywhere without candy available. Tootsie rolls are always on my person.

    I once experienced a bad crash at the grocery store. Standing in line I dran k a bottle of orange juice after I told the cashier.
    Then I paid for it.

    It happens.
  14. FryDaddyJr

    FryDaddyJr Well-Known Member

    If you or someone you know if living with pre-diabetes, Full blown Type 2 diabetes or is a Type 1 diabetic, this is the episode for you.

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    Intro Music Credit:

    Insulin Resistant? Who cares?

    What is Insulin Resistance?

    Encouraging Fruit for Type 2

    Ketogenic adaptation stop.

    Type 2 Diabetics die from Heart Disease

    Robbie Barbaro and Cyrus Khambatta || Ian Cramer Podcast 52 (
  15. clembo

    clembo Well-Known Member

    Had a little adventure about two weeks ago.

    A "light" pancreas attack as it were. By light I mean I didn't end up in the hospital.
    Still plenty painful but I rode it out. I slept for 12 hours straight when the pain finally subsided.
    Pancreas attacks really suck but it's been a while since I've had one.

    It really screws your sugar up. I was as high as 287 and as low as 43 all in one day. I'm finally getting it back to a more even level.

    Feeling better and doing some gardening!:):):)
  16. FryDaddyJr

    FryDaddyJr Well-Known Member

    you should have read my link

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