November: Diabetes Awareness Month

Oh I would would love nothing more
than a tall glass of coke.
Alas, I cannot, my pancreas is broke…. 

-Sal Rizzo

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Type 1 diabetes has been a very rough ride for me. The cost of all my supplies, care and hospital visits have led me to my current circumstance: Moving out of the country. It scares me when people have said their insurance dropped them due to being diabetic or that they aren’t covered for supplies. American companies do this stuff but not Norway’s healthcare, which is Socialist.

My own story is this:

I kept getting serious infections that each progressed until I ended up in the emergency room. No one suspected diabetes yet. I then followed up with a gynecologist who tested my blood and urine. To her surprise my blood sugar was up in the 600-700s (normally it should be 70s). She was very scared for me and sent me to my primary.

He is a crook. He misdiagnosed me as type 2 and insisted I take metformin and start the Atkins diet to reverse the type 2 diabetes. Okay, so 1. I am not type 2 2. Atkins diet is NOT recommended for diabetes. He was afraid to treat me because it was clearly obvious not catching that I was diabetic was his fault. I could have sued him for malpractice but instead he was arrested and shut down for selling drugs, rape and giving false prescription medications.

The next endocrinologist was not much better. She instead I was type 2 also, giving me metformin again but in a high dosage. “You’re fat so you must be type 2.” All the nurses and educators agreed with her when I went to classes at the hospital to learn about diabetes. When it was finally decided that I was type 1, I went on insulin. This endocrinologist WOULD NOT FILL MY INSULIN PRESCRIPTION. I waited for a week until I finally called my new primary to fill it. I got very scared as I should have been. It was dangerous. The nurses and educators at my classes still refused to acknowledge me as a type 1 in the meantime. type-1-vs-type-2-diabetes

Once I was on insulin, I began to see the massive problem from hell that is American healthcare. My supplies were expensive and barely covered. It cost 200-300$ per box of injectable insulin pens. A month of insulin easily would cost over 1,000$. It was ridiculous. When I bought my first boxes of insulin, I cried at the counter from the price.  How was I supposed to live with that cost every month? Later I got a better insurance, thankfully and I got better coverage of my supplies and medications that I could live with, however my premium is still high.

Now, my endocrinologist has told me there is nothing more she can think of to tame my horrible blood sugar. What? So I wait for the onset of nasty complications now? I’ve done everything I should like giving myself correct shots and testing my blood sugar numbers. I tried diets such as LCHF, Paleo and ketogenic. Nothing makes my atrociously high blood sugar numbers come down.

I have a disease, infection- something is causing my numbers to not want to come down. Finding it is the hard part! I refuse to give up.

That is my story.

Some things I can’t stand about diabetes are:

  • Feeling my blood sugar fluctuate. Oh my goodness! I got hot flashes, nausea and chills when my blood sugar suddenly changes. It’s not fun.
  • Waking up at 4am to change my insulin pump. It’s not convenient to have to change out your insulin pump and change it’s location.  It’s always right before work or in the middle of the night. Never at a time when I have time.
  • Getting stared at when I use needles. Like, didn’t your momma ever teach you not to stare? Clearly it’s not heroin, you moron. People have gotten up and moved, given dirty looks or covered the eyes of their children when I give injections or change my pump out. It’s rude to me, and very unsympathetic.
  • Being constantly high and being scolded by medical professionals. Now that we know it’s my body that is not cooperating and not something I am doing, I am really annoyed. Every time I visited my doctors I would be scared. What would I be scolded for this time?

If you’ve made it this far through my complaining, might I just say that there actually some good things that came from being type 1 diabetic. Things such as:

  • Being more aware of my health. I eat better, drink water, exercise and sleep enough. I take care of myself and in some ways it shows. People comment on how healthy my skin is and that I look young. I don’t think that it’s genetics but how good I take care of myself.
  • Being part of a community of people who understand what I go through. Through my struggles, I’ve been able to reach out and cheer on other diabetics. Maybe they just needed an extra push to get motivated again to try to get good blood sugars or the are scared of a recent diagnosis. I can’t help but tear up when people do runs or hold charity events for those like me. I read blogs and forums of type 1s. I belong to groups. There are a lot of people out there going through what I do and/or supportive people. I find it helpful and motivating.
  • 82b0fc5708d856a657197633c1a1d08dBeing closer to God and trusting in Him. As you have read, my journey has been anything but good. There have been many prayers and reliance on God for money, for motivation and for hope. Days when I am high as a kite with blood sugar spikes, I rely more on God than my pump for everything to be okay. That’s just the way things are right now.
  • Being an inspiration to someone else. I’ve been told I’m an inspiration and a beast. A fighter. That I’m beautiful with all the pump site scars across my stomach. That I’m special I am motivation for others to keep going.

 

Norway is hope for me. Their healthcare system is so different that I will spend less for coverage and be able to get the help I need easily. I will also have different and healthier food to choose from. Chemicals put in food in America are banned in Norway or just not used. There is hope.

To learn about diabetes or donate to the American cause click here.

To learn about diabetes or donate to the Norwegian cause click here.

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