A Ton of Bricks

type one diabetes kit, insulin and meter

I just graduated high school in June of 2014 and was working at a local fast food restaurant. During the first month of summer that year, I noticed I started feeling tired after I ate. I attributed it to stress. While at my chiropractor he suggested some supplements to take to help with that issue, he did warn me I may lose a little bit of weight. I didn’t mind losing a few pounds because I had a little bit of belly fat. So I started taking the supplements and started to feel great. I even lost a few pounds. I then got off the supplements.

So I started my first semester of college in the fall of 2014 while being just promoted to a shift manager at the local restaurant I was working at. With being a full-time college student and working 35-40 hours every week, I was even more stressed. I started to notice I started feeling more worn down and I started losing weight. Within a couple weeks I lost 15 pounds. I attributed it to high stress, and not eating properly. It was not until the week of Christmas I started drinking more water, soda, and sweet tea. I kept feeling more and more thirsty, then came the frequent urination. It was not until January 2015, when I took a big turn for the worst.

My parents noticed my significant weight loss which was about 25 pounds in two months. I was slim built to begin with. They knew I was not eating properly. One weekend I started to have trouble swallowing, no matter what it was. I went to see my primary care doctor that Monday and explained all my symptoms, along with the weight loss. Her diagnosis was a virus. She prescribed anti-nausea medications. I took the medications and took a day off. The next morning I felt better. So I went to work, I was working an 11am-10:30pm. It was not until the evening that I started having chest pain and difficulty breathing on and off. My mom called the doctor, and she called an inhaler into my pharmacy. I got off work early and had one of my friends pick me up and take me to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription that was called in. When I went to the pickup counter the cashier said the prescription was never called in. I then got back in the car and called my mom and told her,she said she was sure the doctor sent it in. As I was on the phone with my mom I heard a voice tell me “go to the ER now!” and I told my mom that I feel I need to be at the hospital and told her something is not right. Since I was right by a MedExpress I went there because I felt like I was going to drop over. My friend, Cody brought me there and went in with me. The doctor came in the room and I told her everything that was going on and I said to her I feel like I am dying. She examined me and I could tell she seemed concerned after listening to my heart. She told me that when the nurse took my blood pressure it was 162/109, and my pulse was 124. She had a flu swab, throat culture, and urine test done. As they were doing the tests my parents arrived.

Within a few minutes after my parents arrived the doctor came in and asked if there was a family history of diabetes or if I had been vomiting, which the answer was no to both of those questions. She then listened to my heart again and then had the nurse prick my finger and check my blood sugar. My blood sugar was so high that the meter could not read it. The doctor looked at my parents and explained that I was in a life-threatening situation called diabetic ketoacidosis. Which is when there is not enough insulin in the body and the body produces ketones, which are toxic. She said that I needed to get to the emergency room ASAP, and would have everything they did send there.

My parents rushed me to the emergency room and the nurses immediately got me back and got me on IV fluids and started drawing blood. They then started insulin and did an EKG. As the insulin started I slowly began to feel better. The doctor came in the room and said my blood sugar was up at 458, and that they were going to admit me. When I was brought to my room a cardiologist came in and listened to my heart and looked at my EKG, she told me if I would have gotten that inhaler and  went home and used it, I would have died within a half hour. Through the night the nurses were in and out of my room checking my blood sugar every 30 minutes, I barely slept. By the morning I was down to 167. Later on the doctor came in the room and that was when I was officially told I had Type One Diabetes. Type One Diabetes is a disease in which a persons immune system becomes compromised and recognizes the insulin-producing cells, beta cells, as foreign invaders. The immune system then produces anti-bodies resulting in little to no insulin. The doctor explained to me that I would need insulin injections for the rest of my life, along with checking my blood sugar multiple times a day, and counting carbs. He also explained the numerous complications that are far too scary to think of. I initially did not know what to think at first, it was just like a ton of bricks was thrown on my shoulders.

Before I was discharged I met with a caseworker, dietitian, and nurse who got me set up with resources, carb counting, meal planning, checking my blood sugar and giving myself injections. After being discharged I went to the pharmacy to pick up my meter, insulin pens, lancets, and test strips. My mom asked the pharmacist if that script ever came through from my primary care doctor the other night, and she said: “nothing ever came through”. Keep in mind the doctor called this in and even had a confirmation number and everything to back up it was called in. Whether you believe in God or not, I believe it was God who made sure I did not pick up that inhaler. Because if I did pick it up, I would not be writing this right now.

You may question my belief in God. You may ask, if you believe in God, then why are you facing a life long illness? Number one we have illness in the world because it is a fallen world from the first sin with Adam and Eve. Secondly in Job 42:5 we are reminded suffering produces intimacy with God. Another good example is in Romans 8:28-8:39: ” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Look at James 1:2-4 : “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  One last example is that during our trials it equips us to comfort others, take a look at 2 Corinthians 1:3-5: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” I am also believing that there will come a day that I will be completely healed of this disease, where man says it is impossible, it is possible with God.

Today I have been managing my Type One Diabetes very well. When I was first diagnosed my A1C (average blood sugar for three months) was 12.3 which meant that on an average day my blood sugar was 315-325. As of November 2017, my A1C was 5.7 which is a three month average of 127. I have found a new primary care doctor and a great Endocrinologist to help manage this condition. I am truly blessed to have great doctors to help me manage my condition. Since then I have graduated college with highest honors and landed a full-time job in my field. I do my best every day to strengthen my faith that I WILL someday be able to say “I HAD Type One Diabetes”.