National Diabetes Day; A Cause Close To My Pancreas0
Get your fancy party hats on because today is World Diabetes Day!! One thing that I have never talked about here is the fact that I am an insulin taking type 1 diabetic. Needles and pokes are just a normal part of my day and have been that way since I was about 19 years old.
The story goes like this; when I was a nursing student I was hitting the pathophysiology books pretty hard and the topic of the day was diabetes. I was sitting in the classroom and listening to the instructor talk all about the signs and symptoms that diabetes can have. I can vividly recall sitting in the plastic blue chair and thinking, ‘that is so weird.. I feel ALL those things right now’. Never one to jump to conclusions I continued to down the cartons of chocolate milk to relieve my strangely dry mouth.
When I eventually did get to the doctors office I was pretty sure I just had the ol’ standard bladder infection and was a little shocked to hear, ‘Andrea you have diabetes. You might need to go to the hospital’. I went and did a bunch of lab work and learned that I was walking around with a blood sugar of 23. My (s-l-o-w) doctor put me on metformin and sent me home. He never once thought that a 19 year old could just become an insulin dependant diabetic.
It wasn’t until a week later that I went over to visit with the diabetes nurse educator and she started me on insulin right after taking a look at me. My body craved that first dose of insulin and I couldn’t believe how much energy I had all of a sudden. Those high blood sugars can make a person tired!
The constant need to nap, the crazy cotton mouth, the frequent trips to the ladies room all cleared up. I am only alive right now because of the insulin that I take through out the day. I am only alive today because I check my blood sugar levels many times each day and make sure I am between reading between 4 and 7 mmol. I was only able to have a healthy baby because of the advances and education behind pregnancy and diabetes and the desire and need to maintain excellent tight blood sugar control through out the entire pregnancy.
High uncontrolled blood sugar in pregnancy is no different than taking alcohol or drugs in pregnancy. They are all toxic to a growing fetus and that was my motto while I gestated. There was no binge eating of pregnancy cravings. Instead there was up to 10 insulin injections a day and at least 10 finger pokes each day to check my blood sugar before and after eating and sometimes just because.
Today, I am celebrating National Diabetes Day and for every person that comments from now until midnight tonight (my time!) I will donate $1.00 to the Canadian Diabetes Association.