I Have Type 1 Diabetes | Diagnosis Story

I Have Type 1 Diabetes | Diagnosis Story


hi my name is Laura for anyone who’s new
to this channel I usually make videos about hiking and camping but today’s
gonna be something a little bit different and I’m gonna be sharing with
you my story about how I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. So I was diagnosed
with type 1 diabetes when I was 25 years old, on April 17th 2019. So it’s been just
over nine months since I’ve been diagnosed. So this all started for me
back in January 2019. I had started feeling sick I had, like, really large
lymph nodes in my neck, I was tired, I was nauseous, and just generally had some
flu-like symptoms, and eventually I started feeling worse enough that I went
to the urgent care clinic. I described my symptoms to the doctor at Urgent Care
and he said that sounds a lot like in epstein-barr infection which causes
infectious mononucleosis or mono, so I had a blood test done in urgent care and
I found out that yes I do have mono so I got diagnosed with mono and maybe like
the second week in January 2019 and then basically it was just on bed rest for a
few weeks because I was just so tired all the time and I really couldn’t do
much. About a month after I was diagnosed with mono, I noticed I was really thirsty
all the time and it was just like a completely different sensation of thirst
than I’ve ever felt in my life. Like honestly just felt like my mouth
was full of sawdust and I would drink like a big loss of water and I’d finish it
and honestly a minute later I would need to drink another one like my mouth was
just so dry and I was so thirsty all the time and because I was so thirsty I had
to pee constantly so I was probably going to the bathroom, when I was awake,
like every 30 minutes to an hour and at night I was really thirsty too, and I was
probably waking up at least four or five times a night just to go pee. So the
thirst started maybe halfway through February and I didn’t really think much
of it I kind of thought that maybe it was related to having mono. My brain was
always so distracted either I was constantly thirsty or needed to pee or I
was tired and I’m doing my PhD right now and there were just a couple months or
honestly like I could barely focus at all because I
just felt so terrible. So the time when I was thirsty I think I was drinking
around five liters of water every day. I’d drank a lot during the day just
because my mouth was so dry and then at night I wake up having to pee all the
time and at the same time I was still crazy thirsty so I’d wake up go pee
drink another big glass of water go to bed and then the next hour just kind of
repeat the exact same routine again. And I was already really tired because I had
mono so on top of that I wasn’t really sleeping because I had to wake up so
much to drink water and go to the bathroom and I just started feeling even
more tired and then I started noticing I was having a lot of weight loss. I knew
that weight loss was the symptom of mono, but the amount of weight I had lost and
just how rapidly it was happening was not typical of mono and I was starting
to get pretty concerned so I called to make an appointment with my family
doctor, who was unfortunately on vacation at the time, so by the time I called and
got an appointment it was about two weeks later. So it was uh in the first or
the second week of April that I went to go see him. When I went to
go see my family doctor I told him you know I’m still feeling pretty tired from
mono, I have this weight loss I’m a little bit concerned about, and I’m also
really really thirsty all the time and I constantly need to pee. And the first two
things I complained about he said you know what if that might be just mono
like you’re tired there’s weight loss associate with that, but that constant
thirst you have like that is not part of mono like I’m concerned that this could
be something else. And he mentioned at the time that constant thirst could be
diabetes, which was something that had never occurred to me prior to that
moment but looking back it makes perfect sense, like I had very typical symptoms
of diabetes at the time, but I was just thinking because I was sick with mono
this must have to do with mono somehow. So he sent me for a blood work and I got
that blood work done later the same day and he told me he would call me if there
is anything concerning and we would get to the bottom of it. So at 9 a.m.
the next day, I was at work, and I got a call from the doctor and that’s when my
panic just started to settle in because I knew it wouldn’t be good if he was
calling me first thing the next day. So I picked up the phone and he told me that
my blood sugar was really high and that my A1c, which is the blood test they do
to given an indication of what your blood sugar’s been like the last
three months, was also really high and based on those numbers he was concerned
that I had diabetes. So he let me know that there was an endocrinologist that
worked in his building and he had gotten me a referral to go see him a week later
and I just kind of had to stick it out for the next week. I let my family know
that my doctor was concerned that I had diabetes.
It was probably type 1 diabetes just because I’m pretty young and I’m fit and
active so it wouldn’t be like type 2 diabetes or anything like that.
And I think my family and I were all kind of in disbelief. like I said it
might be that but I think part of me just didn’t want to believe it was true
so I kind of just went on living life being like this let’s see it can’t be
true this isn’t right I’m like clearly there’s just been a mistake like the
blood works wrong I’ll go and get it redone like we’ll clear all this up and
I’ll be fine in no time like this this isn’t diabetes there’s no way I have
type 1 diabetes so on the day I met my under chronologist I brought my
boyfriend with me because I was so scared and panicked and the
endocrinologist sabbith down and basically you know looked at my numbers
and said yeah like you have type 1 diabetes your blood sugar is very high
and we need to start you on insulin today and that was just such a shocking
moment for me I wasn’t expecting to get that kind of news and you know my
boyfriend and I were just kind of sitting there in a state of shock and
disbelief and just we couldn’t believe that this was happening and that this
was real he had like an insulin pen on his desk and he was showing me how I was
gonna use it when I went to pick up mine from the pharmacy and he told me about
getting a continuous glucose monitor so I want
to prick my fingers so he was just viewing so much information at me and I
think I was just in a daze like I honestly can’t remember the appointment
very well because I was just so confused and upset and I was doing my best just
kind of like not along and my boyfriend was really good because he was taking
notes and just you know remembering these things because he he knew that I
was not okay so type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease
it isn’t preventable and it’s not curable at the moment and I’m hoping
that’ll change at some point in my lifetime but basically my immune system
destroyed the beta islet cells that are in my pancreas that secrete insulin and
insulin is needed by the cells in your body to take up glucose in carbs so
without insulin the glucose just kind of pulls up in your blood and you have
really high blood sugar and even though you have all this glucose floating
around in your body your cells in your body can’t take it up and then you end
up excreting all that extra glucose in your urine and having that all that
extra glucose in there makes you really thirsty and because your body’s trying
to flush out all this extra glucose because that high glucose can do damage
to your body so the day that I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes my blood
sugar was 27 millimoles per liter for anyone out there who knows what like
normal physiological blood sugar should be it’s usually between like 4 & 7 so my
blood sugar was very high and that’s why I was just feeling so tired and
lethargic and just generally terrible is because my blood sugar was high my body
was going through ketosis it was breaking down like the protein and fat
in my body that’s why I was losing so much weight because I was eating
carbohydrates and my body just couldn’t store them so it was like eating nothing
essentially my a 1c when I was diagnosed was 13.1% and usually in a person
without diabetes that would be under 5.5 percent so you’re a 1 C tells you what
your average blood sugar was like for the last 3 months so I think my a 1 C
was around 13 so that meant my average blood sugar for
the three months leading up to my diagnosis
it would have been 18 millimoles per liter which is very high
I loved the endocrinologist office with the stack of prescriptions so I had one
for rapid-acting insulin I had another from my long-acting insulin I had
another for the pen needles so I could inject my insulin another for test
strips another for a glucometer another for like a lancing device and then
another for a continuous glucose monitor so after the endocrinologist I drove
over to the pharmacy and waited for all my prescriptions to get filled and at
that point I texted my family be like you know what it’s true I do have type 1
diabetes you know canal just confirmed it
but I think that day I had a meeting at work and I told them all not to call me
because I was about to go to a meeting and looking back it was absolutely
ridiculous that I decided to go to this meeting like I should have just gone
home to try and process what was happening to me but in my mind I was
like you know what I’m strong and I can do this like I’m going to work today you
know an hour after I find out that I have type 1 diabetes which was a
terrible idea because I was a mess and at the end of the day I went through
and called my family and they had called me just to see how I was and what did
this mean for my life and like on that day I really didn’t know what that meant
for my life and all the other things I was gonna have to do and it was a really
scary time and a really sad time the way to manage type 1 diabetes is what
injected insulin so I take a rapid-acting insulin for meals and then
a long-acting insulin that keeps my blood sugar study for the rest of the
day I think the hardest thing about being diagnosed was learning how to give
myself injections in that first day that I had to come home and get myself one I
just couldn’t I had I think a panic attack I was crying I was hysteric
I couldn’t bring myself to get myself that injection and I think in my mind
giving myself that injection meant that I really did have diabetes if I didn’t
have to give myself an injection I can and this wasn’t happening to me so my
boyfriend is such a wonderful person and he gave me all my injections for the
first day because I just were struggling so much I couldn’t bring myself to do it
and then eventually I became more comfortable with it and nowadays like I
don’t even think twice about it it’s such an easy thing to do but that was
those first few weeks it took me so long to work up the courage to do the
injections so week after I was diagnosed and I was started on insulin I started
to feel so much better I would had energy I was gaining weight back I felt
like my brain fog that I’ve been living with for the last few months was finally
going away and I could like think clearly again around the same time my
vision started getting really blurry and I guess it’s a pretty common side
effect of starting insulin when your blood sugar has been really high but
when you have high blood sugar your body’s just trying to get water from any
source in your body and one of those sources is your eye so when you have
really high blood sugar it actually causes the water in your eye to decrease
so the shape of your eye changes in the shape of the lens in your eye can change
which leads to this really blurry vision so there was about two weeks where I
essentially couldn’t see everything was so blurry I ended up having to go to the
drugstore and I bought like cheater glasses just so I could read the text on
my phone my vision was so bad I couldn’t read I couldn’t watch TV because I I
couldn’t see the picture it was just one big blurry blob and like I I couldn’t do
anything I couldn’t do work and I’m doing my PhD right now so that was just
it was frustrating as that just felt like so much waste of time like I just
spent the last three months feeling terrible I’m on this drug that’s
supposed to make me feel better and now I can’t really see so it’s frustrating
so there was two weeks of that blurry vision and then eventually the blurry
vision went away and I just felt fantastic like I felt like myself again
which was the first time and honestly at that point a really long time that I’d
felt good and it was just phenomenal to see how much my life had changed by
being on insulin it was great it was really scary when I was first
diagnosed I just had no idea what my life was
gonna be like I had to do all these injections
you know exercising became a little bit more difficult because I had to keep a
really close eye on my blood sugar and just eating in general became difficult
like I take a lot of time to calculate the number of carbs in a meal so I can
take the right amount of insulin and eating out or eating with friends or
family can be hard if you didn’t prepare that meal yourself and you’re just not
really sure what’s in it and I also have to check my blood sugar at multiple
times a day just to make sure it’s in range I’m not too high or I’m not too
low so I actually wear a continuous glucose monitor I use the freestyle
Libre system which I think is incredible and it just makes my life so much easier
to know what my blood sugar is because I can just use my phone I um have a sensor
on my arm right now but you can’t see it but I just use my phone I scan my arm
and then I know exactly what my blood sugar is and it’s so handy to have
throughout this whole experience I’ve been so appreciative and happy for all
my family and my boyfriend’s and friends that have just been so supportive they
are just the people who got me through this everything’s still pretty new to me
it’s still been less than a year since I’ve been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes
and I’ve learned so much and I’ve done a lot of my own research but I know but
there’s things I can’t really learn whether experience and time so I’m
constantly learning new ways to to manage my illness and overcome it and
just do all the things that I enjoy to do without thinking about type 1
diabetes and it takes a lot of work and there’s a lot of trial and error I think
for me it’s been a really big benefit that I’m a scientist because I’m used to
doing experiments and I can you know systematically go through a checklist of
things and just kind of like tweak things slightly until I figure out what
works for me and it’s good to have that kind of mindset and to be completely
honest and dealing with my diabetes diagnosis was kind of like going through
all the stages of grief where you’re in denial and you’re angry you’re sad but
eventually those acceptance but it took me a really long time
to accept that this was my life now so with that I just want to say thank you
for listening this was a really difficult time in my life and it’s taken
me a while to want to talk about it if you have any questions about my
diagnosis or type 1 diabetes feel free to leave them down below and I’ll do my
best to try and answer them you’re interested in seeing more videos about
diabetes let me know as well because I’d be interested in making some more and
with that we’ll see you next time bye you