I was diagnosed with Diabetes in December of 2002.
My symptoms were the same as everybody else. Unquenchable thirst, frequent urination, constant exhaustion, and blurred vision. I had also lost about 20 pounds over the course of a few weeks. I remember looking into a mirror at work and thinking to myself – I’m dying.
I remember being very upset about my vision. I had always prided myself on having better than average eyesight and the thought of it getting bad bothered me. I became quite near-sighted over a couple weeks and even went and bought some cheap glasses from Walgreens. Whenever your blood glucose is high for a prolonged period of time, the fluid in your eye has to adjust, causing your vision to be blurry. Eventually, the eye adjusts and vision will return to normal. This actually happened to me and when I finally went to see a doctor to talk about my symptoms, I was convinced things were getting better, because my vision was back to normal.
When my doctor’s nurse asked if the doctor had mentioned that it might be Diabetes, I was devastated. I knew nothing about the disease and thought it was an immediate death sentence. Not good news for a 28 year old that had been dating his future wife for just over a year.
Like many adults near 30 years old, I was initially diagnosed – by 2 different doctors no less – with Type 2 diabetes and for a year or so I took oral medication and watched my diet (I ate a LOT of sugar-free Jello). This worked for a while, but soon I wasn’t able to keep my blood glucose in an acceptable range. Looking for help, I visited a dietitian and her first question was “what type of insulin do you take?”. Um… insulin? I’m Type 2. Another scare. Insulin? I don’t what to have to do that! I HATE needles!!!
The dietitian put me in contact with one of the top Endocrinologists in the St. Louis area and soon after I was a confirmed Type 1 diabetic. I started by taking multiple daily injections with an insulin pen along with Lantus and then shortly after, I moved onto a pump. Making the jump to an insulin pump was another lifestyle change. When talking injections, I felt like the remainder of the day I wasn’t diabetic. With a pump attached to me 24/7, there was no escaping it. Pretty big pill to swallow, but I made the change and couldn’t imagine my Type 1 life without an insulin pump.
Looking back, it was a terrible time in my life, but I only felt sorry for myself for 1 day. Seriously. 1 day. I decided to just played the cards I’ve been dealt. Every once in a while I’ll get upset about something that this damn disease is doing, but I let it pass. I don’t let Diabetes control me. Simple as that.
Since my diagnosis I have done amazing things. I have gotten married, had two wonderful children, have run a marathon and did an 8-hour adventure race. As I like to say – there are no limitations!
I need your support! Make a donation and support me at the Great River Ragnar Relay. Click here for more info.