Somehow I’ve made it through almost fifty-eight years on this planet without a life threatening incident. Sure, I’ve had some moments, like nearly going off the side of a mountain on my dirt bike, but I never viewed them as "life threatening", or sensed my own mortality.
I’ve also always considered myself fairly active, working very hard for long days, roller blading and dancing and hiking and water skiing and cross country skiing and dirt biking – things that people my age don’t normally do. Lately I haven’t been doing a lot of anything, but that was because I didn’t have the money, not because I couldn’t.
My situation with not being able to sell the house put me in dire straits financially. My roomie, Ric, has been paying the rent and keeping food on the table, and lending me money when something was critical. One thing I could not afford was my very expensive medicines for my diabetes. I ran out near the end of August, but I had a mortgage arranged for early September, and figured I’d "catch up" on my meds as soon as I had some money and took care of my bills. "Dumb" is not the word for it. Not only did I stop the meds, but my depression made me eat and eat things I am not supposed to touch, let alone gorge on. I ate those mini chocolate bars like there was no tomorrow. I had ice cream with chocolate sauce. I ate ice cream bars and drank Coke and had two or three drinks of Rum every day. I was the poster child for what NOT to do as a diabetic. The mortgage got more and more delayed and still hasn’t come through.
A couple of weeks ago I thought I was getting sick with something. I felt horrible and went up to the clinic to see my doctor and get some antibiotics for what I thought was something like bronchitis. I had also just had my blood work done a couple of days before. When my doctor saw me he said he was going to send me straight to the hospital. My blood sugars were completely out of control and I was on the edge. He took a urine sample and said if I started on insulin shots right away I might avoid the hospital. My blood pressure was bad. My cholestoral was bad. My kidneys were bad. I was on the verge of going into a diabetic coma.
The next few days were hell. I almost slept around the clock. I had trouble speaking. I couldn’t remember what day it was. My mouth was pasty dry all the time and I drank and drank. I peed twenty times a day. I felt as though I was outside my body. My brain was not working properly, which I leanred is a symtom of very high sugar levels. I had not used my glucometer for years, again, not bright, and when I tested my sugars, they were so high all I got was a "too high" flashing on my meter. The least little bit of exercise sent my head spinning. I was so weak. There were a couple of days in there that I thought I would not wake up again. It was pretty scarey stuff.
My sugars are slowly coming down with the insulin shots. The doctor has doubled my insulin, hoping to get my sugars down to where they were long ago. He says I will have more energy and will eventually get back to "normal", which, at the moment seems hard to believe.
This has very much changed my life. I know I came close and I am not infallible anymore. I took my health for granted and I paid the price. I am hoping I have not done too much damage, and that I can get back to living a normal, healthy life. I may be a type 1 now, meaning the insulin shots are permanent, but it won’t stop me from living my life as I want to. I need to get healthy, lose some weight and quit smoking, and take all my meds faithfully, or I won’t be writing anything on my fifty-ninth birthday.
I hope you learn something from my story and never put yourselves in this position by being as stupid as I was.