My diabetes story is spread out over four days. It starts on Friday the 21 October after me, my Mum and my Niece had gone shopping and while we were out, we’d decided to stop at a cafe and have a drink and a piece of cake as we normally do. Once we had got home my mum could feel that the sugar from the cake had gone to her head and so decided to ask my oldest brother Robert (also type 1 diabetic) to test her blood sugars to see if her head rush equated to a high blood sugar. Which it did, her blood sugar was slightly higher than normal but nothing to be alarmed about.
At this point I had come into the room and my mum decided that it would be a good idea, if I had my blood sugar checked because me and my mum each had half of the same piece of cake and so my Mum wanting my blood sugar done, to see if her blood sugar was higher than it should be. So Robert tested my blood, and the first time he did it he said “no that can’t be right” and try a different machine and again, it was really high at 27. (For those of you that don’t know someone without diabetes blood sugar should be at around 4)
Now I can’t really remember what happened next but obviously this was quite a concern and my mum got me to test if I had ketones (I not too sure what mean but basically they got me to pee on a stick that will change colour depending on how many ketones I have) but I had very little to no ketones so that was good.
Robert then gave me a spare blood tester (which was actually pink, which was a nice plus) because they wanted me to motor my blood sugar over the weekend myself, as a had already made plans to stay with my boyfriend for the weekend. This is also when I started my record book to keep track.
While I was away for the weekend my mum had also suggested that a lower my intake of sugar to try and see if my blood sugar could go down naturally. Once I got back we even made an effort to lowering my carb intake as well, in the hope that we would be able to kickstart my pancreas, just though my diet. Which did help a little but the lowest we were able to get it was 8.8 and that was really trying and not fun at all because I love my food.
So on Monday morning, me and my Mum went to the
doctors to see if we were able to get a referral for the diabetes centre. At the doctors, we told him about what had been happening. (I had also checked my ketones during the weekend and they had gone up slightly.) From what I remember he did my BMI and I was fine. He asked me if I had had any other symptoms such as drinking a lot or going to the toilet a lot. But I hadn’t had any symptoms what so ever, apart from my blood sugar being really high. He also asked me to check my ketones again. (Which was kind of awkward because the toilet was out in the waiting room so I had to walk through the waiting room with a cup of my pee. 😳) When he tested my ketones the stick that he used was obviously a lot more professional than the one we have at home so loads of different colours came up for all sorts of different things, so we weren’t able to tell if it was the same amount of ketones I have been getting before. I suspect that it might have been higher because he did seem quite concern about the amount of ketones a had and end up ringing the diabetes centre. We had an appointment at 2pm that same day to see the duty nurse.
Before we the left the doctors I also had to have a blood test done so me and my mum waited for the nurse to become available for my blood test. I really was quite nervous to have my blood taken because it’s not something I’ve ever had before and I’ve heard horror stories and seen people with massive bruises from the after mass but it was actually fine. It all depends on the person doing it and luckily the nurse at my doctors it really good at taking blood.
This day seemed to be the longest day ever 2 o’clock seemed to take forever to come round. I remember my first reaction towards the diabetes centre was the fact that it smelled like a hospital, which I didn’t really like. But everyone there was really friendly which it helped a lot.
While I was with the duty nurse the beginning was basically just what had happened at the doctors again so she did my BMI and checked for ketones then went to talk to the doctor on sight about what should happen. A junior doctor also came in at that point and just asked me questions about my family history to do with diabetes from what I can remember.
When the nurse that came back it was pretty scary because they had decided that I did have type 1 diabetes and that they were going to start me on insulin straight away. So the next hour was spent giving me all the equipment and telling me all this information, which felt totally overwhelming .
It really did and still does feel like such a shock, and almost as if they got it wrong that I’m not diabetic. Even though I know I am because my blood sugars have been great ever since, but it’s the fact that I’ve never had any physical signs, and one day I didn’t need insulin and the next I do.
It’s definitely such a dramatic thing to happen and completely life changing.
Disclaimer : Anything I say regarding diabetes, don’t take it as the Holy Grail as I am no expert and I’m just trying to figure it out as I go.
That’s all from me for now – Kathryn 🙂