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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Diabetes...It sucks

Well, perhaps you've been waiting on pins and needles to find out about my diabetes diagnosis that I teasingly referred to in July.  Or, maybe you haven't.  (Probably you haven't...but I'm telling you about it anyway!) :)  Here are the most commonly asked questions:

#1 What were your symptoms?
Well, first I was drinking water like it was going out of style.  Literally. I was downing more than a gallon a day and peeing like crazy!  I would get up 2 to 3 times a night to go to the bathroom, and I wasn't pregnant, so I knew that was weird.  If I didn't have water with me I could almost not think of anything else because my mouth was so dry and I just could not get enough.  Even if I was almost home from somewhere I would have to stop and buy a bottle of water and then drink most of it before I got home.  Then I would get a LARGE glass of it as soon as I got home and drink it.  Apparently that's a big sign of diabetes, but I didn't know it.

#2 I was also sick to my stomach.  I really thought I was pregnant because I was peeing a lot (even at night) and I felt sick to my stomach.  I even took a couple pregnancy tests, which obviously came back negative.

#3 I had talked to a lady whose daughter was diagnosed with Diabetes in December and she had mentioned similar symptoms, and I thought about it, but put it out of my mind.  But when I was telling my mom and Allyson about it they told me that I needed to go to the doctor because it sounded like Diabetes to them.

#4 I was losing weight.  I have worked hard this last year to lose weight--exercising 3 to 4 times a week and eating better.  I had lost 30 pounds...but from about March to May I had stopped going to the gym and eaten out A LOT because of baseball season, and I STILL lost about 6 or 7 pounds.

 At church the day after I talked to my family, I talked to that lady again and told her what was going on and she said she could check my blood sugar for me right then.  When she did, my sugar was at 357 (I had eaten 3 hours earlier).  Apparently that's VERY high, since normal blood sugar is from 60 to 100 before meals, and no higher than 120 after meals. then we pulled an EMT out of class to talk to me, and then a dermatologist in my ward.  They all convinced me that even thought I felt FINE that I needed to go to the emergency room because it was very serious.  

I thought maybe I could just wait until Monday and go to the doctor, but they talked me into it because they really thought I should.  (It turns out I could've waited, but no one knew that and it's OK because we did what was best at the time).  When I was in the hospital my blood sugar was all the way up to 382.  They gave me 2 liters of fluids to bring down my sugars and it only went down to 272 or so.  They discharged me and I went to the doctor the next day.

I got my blood work done and they do a test called an A1C that checks where your blood sugars have been for the past 3 months.  You want to be below a 6, and I was at 10.7.  That means that over the past 3 months my blood sugars had averaged around 250 a day.  They also tested my bloods for the past 3 weeks, called a Fructosamine test, and it should be between 190 and 270.  Mine was 503.  So, yea...high numbers.  I was spilling a lot of glucose in my urine.  Basically I was peeing out half of what I was eating (thus the weight loss).  (Apparently it's a great diet for a while!! :)  That Tuesday my blood sugar went up to 453, and the doctor told me to come right back in.  He put me on a 24 hour insulin that I would take every night at the same time.  (It's called Lantus).  He still thought I had type 2 diabetes, even though I didn't totally fit the profile (Type 2 generally runs in families, happens when you are overweight or very unhealthy, and if you've had gestational diabetes--which I had--you are at a much higher risk for this.  With Type 2 you can usually control it completely with diet, exercise, and sometimes a pill.  If you're very severe you might also need to take insulin shots.  But basically Type 2 is insulin resistant...their bodies just don't use the insulin they produce correctly.  Type 1 is insulin sensitive--meaning your body uses it very well, but it is an autoimmune disease where your pancreas stops producing insulin because your body begins "attacking" itself.  If you are type 1 there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it or to prevent it from happening in the first place.  You will be required to use insulin shots for the rest of your life because your body does not produce it anymore.  Type 1 diabetics are the ones who wear the pumps, or have to give shots of insulin at each meal and check blood sugars 6 to 12 times a day).  Well, it turns out I'm Type 1. I get to check my sugars when I wake up, every time I eat, 2 hours after I eat, and any time I might feel "low."  Feeling low feels MUCH worse than having high sugars.  It's where there's too much insulin (maybe you gave yourself a shot, but didn't finish the meal you were eating--and you decide how much to give yourself based on the carbs you're eating), so your sugars drop.  You feel sick--sweaty, shaky, like you want to eat everything in sight, and like you're going to pass out.  If this happens I have to eat straight sugar (glucose tablets, jolly ranchers, juice boxes, etc.) and then when my sugars rise a bit I eat something with more complex carbs.  This can be dangerous, though, because if they fall too fast I could pass out and not be able to take anything, so people have to possibly give me a shot or rub cake gel into my gums, etc.  I need to order an ID bracelet now because I'm diabetic.  Basically, it's pretty much changed my life forever.

Can I have more kids?
Well, Troy and I were planning on getting pregnant at the end of the summer, but it turns out I really can't until my A1C scores are down in the 6 range (which takes a long time and a LOT of hard work).  Right now it's iffy that we will have anymore kids, which makes me quite sad since I don't feel done.  Also, Allyson's having one in October, and now Lana's pregnant and having one in May.  I really wanted to add one of our own to that cousin mix, but alas...not to be.  Type 1 Diabetics can have babies, but it's much harder and higher risk.  Also, if you conceive during a time when your sugars are really high there is a much higher risk for congenital birth defects.  We wouldn't want to risk that.  So right now we don't know what will happen.

So, there you have it.  Everything you wanted to know, and probably more, about Diabetes and me.  It sucks!  (I don't recommend it to anyone). :)


johnson six said...

Hey Jenny, it's Brenda. I found your blog through Jere and Allys. What an ordeal. I have a nephew who is 14 with type 1, and it also runs heavy in Johns side of the family (nephew not genetically linked to Johns family) so we will need to keep a close eye on John. I am glad you were able to get a diagnosis and be able to begin to treat it. Take care.

Jonathan and Mandi Crandell said...

Oh man, that totally sucks! Sorry to hear it. I hope it doesn't take too long for you to get under a 6. Congrats to Cooper! I'm sure he did great with his speech. He's such a fun kid. I know he'll make a GREAT VP!

Geoff and Emily said...

Hey Jenny! This is Emily Brooksby! I found your blog on the followers of "seriouslysoblessed". I love that blog, too! I was so excited to come and see what you've been up to, and then had to read about the sucky diabetes! I am so sorry! That is not a fun thing to find out at all! How are you coping so far? I have had a lot of health problems for the last few years and it totally messes with the whole "being a Mom" thing, doesn't it? I am so sorry, anyway! You have a darling family, though - and it is fun to see you all these years later. I can't even think of how long it's been. Do you remember when you wrote me a letter on a whole roll of toilet paper? I just remembered that. Or I remember calling KZZP and hanging up on them all the time at your house. I have so many funny memories with you! I live in Layton, Utah right now while my husband, Geoff, is in pharmacy school (it's been a long road) and I have 3 kids, too. If you want to check out my blog it is I am going to put you on my friends list 'cause I want to start stalking you... if that's OK with you, of course?! I would love to hear from you! Take care, Ol' friend of mine! Emily

Sarah Foote said...

Jenny thanks you so much for telling the whole story. I know that I learned a lot, and I thought I already knew quite a bit about type 1 diabetes. You are so amazing! I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to get to know, you and your boys. They are so flipping smart and fun to work with in Cub Scouts!

Erock! said...

One day at a time Sis! When the time is right for another child it will happen...if that is the plan. I sure love you!


LanaBanana said...

You have a good attitude about this--despite all the suckiness of it. You've been down-playing it from the beginning. You're a good example of taking the hand you're dealt with and learning as much as you can. Thanks for the post of info.

Dixiechick said...

Don't give up baby despair completely. I had a friend that couldn't get pregnant for 7 years. They tried every fertility drug possible. Then she found out she had diabetes. They treated it, got it under control and bam, she got pregnant. I don't know if she had type 1 or 2 though. So maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, just don't give up hope yet. :)