It was July 11, 2012.
I had been experiencing the strangest symptoms the past 7 months, but more so, the past week.
I was very fearful of hospitals, and had taken me at that time doctor seriously, when she said I wasn’t sick, but rather anxious.
I had a strong nagging feeling I needed to go to hospital.
So, I breathed in deeply and told my mom,
“I’m dying, I can feel my organs when I pee.”
My mom immediately took me to the ER, and as soon as they hooked me up, a swarm of nurses, and white coats circled around my bed, all very calm, but in a fast pace of purposeful actions.
It was all a blur and all I remember is asking the nurse, “I don’t want to stay overnight, I’m scared, will I have to share a room with someone?” The nurse responded with a smile, “oh sweetie, you will be getting your own room.”
Little did I know, I was being rushed to ICU where every breath I took, it felt like a nurse was by my bed side doing things for me. I didn’t quite understand what was going on, all I knew was I got my own room and even though I was scared, I knew God and my mom and grandma were with me.
Soon after, a doctor came in with a priest to pray over me, and documents to sign.
This is when I realized, oh, I was right. I am dying.
My pancreas had failed, I had been starving for many months, which explains looking like a skeleton and weighing 70 pounds. I was in diabetic ketoacidosis.
I was in the icu for a week.
When the doctor did his rounds with the med students, he would say, “this is our miracle patient. She should be dead right now, but she survived.”
It was then that I was diagnosed with a life sentence of Type 1 Diabetes.
It’s been 6 years being a diabetic.
I have learned so much, that all the lessons will not fit in this blog post. But here are 5 lessons I have learned while being a Type 1 Diabetic.
- Having a blood continuing glucose monitor is a must.
My first monitor was Dexcom, I loved it, except that I had to carry around the pink gadget that told me my blood sugar. And if I left it in another room, it would disconnect.
Switching to an insulin pump with its own sensor, is much better and more manageable for working in the medical field.
- Replacing unhealthy hypoglycemic snacks, such as, soda, candy, chocolate, juices, with raisins or Go Macro protein bar, works just as quick, and does not leave your stomach nauseas.
It also stabilizes your sugar when it raises back up, so the number does not turn 300 or 400 from correcting the low.
- Vegan, gluten free, processed free, organic, and sugar free diet dropped my A1C down from a 7.2% to a 6.1%.
Right before I switched full vegan, my A1C was 7.2, and then 3 months after I tested and it was 6.1% this year. The healthy diet stabilized my sugars to where I was not experiencing such high blood sugars as frequently.
- Participating in Diabetic research trials helps you earn money and increases your knowledge about your disease.
I take part in research trials every few months and get paid to do so. It is a unique experience being the test subject, because I am getting paid to do something I already do daily at home. I also have met so many incredible research assistants and people through the trials, that it makes being a diabetic more positive. Last summer, I worked in a trial personally, with the creators of one the top devices in Asia. Being able to hear how they created their device and built a diabetic empire was truly inspiring to me.
- When I have low blood sugars while I sleep, I dream about seeing my monitor showing me the number, and then my body wakes me up to correct my low.
It is so fascinating how our bodies alert us when something is wrong. Instinctively, I become aware that something is off and then when I go to check, it is correct. This also happened when I was diagnosed. My body was telling me I needed to go to the hospital, something is not right. And thankfully, I listened and became diagnosed when I did, or I would not be here right now.
There are so many more lessons I have learned, and will share them all with you through the coming posts. But for now, I hope these few lessons shed light on this disease, and what I have been learning through the 6 years of being a diabetic.