Never Stop Learning

Never Stop Learning

In the early 80s, soon after leaving home,  I was an uninsured Type 1 diabetic with little knowledge of  what diabetes meant other than “limits on everything”,  from foods, to activities,  to extended times away from my apartment where my supplies were being refrigerated.  I had no idea what my sugars were running mainly due to having no knowledge of blood glucose monitors, I was still using the urine test strips, which I could barely afford.  I figured as long as I didn’t eat “sugar”  I would be fine.

I was working in the food and beverage industry in the Florida Keys when low and behold,  I learned my bosses wife was also diabetic, a well informed and insured diabetic who knew enough to help me make some better choices and taught me just enough to make me want to know more.  We talked often, however, it was evident she did not do as she preached.   Shortly thereafter,  I gained employment in a hospital setting where I was able to get group insurance, find a doctor and get my first blood glucose monitor.   One of the  main things I did learn the hard way,  was to inform the  people  I spent most of  my time with,  about my condition, as you will soon read why.

Now armed with my blood monitor, and a desire to lose weight and slay the world,  I continued working 2 jobs, little time to eat, which fit right into my plan of weight loss.  I soon came to learn what a  low blood sugar felt like, only I didn’t know that that is what I was feeling.   One afternoon, when I was suppose to be getting up to work across the street,  third double shift  in a row,  I woke but could not move, could not talk, my mouth was filled with blood.  I tried to roll out of bed, landing face down on the floor, not being able to rise.  Holy Crap!  Had I had a stroke, I sounded like it.  I drug myself across the floor, on my belly,  to the phone which, unfortunately was hanging on the wall over the kitchen table.  Pulling up on the chair to stand didn’t work, my legs were like putty.  I reached for the phone, dialed work and heard myself talk for the first time,  Oh my god!!  I must have had a stroke, next thing I know, I was tipping over backward, pulling the phone out of the wall and landing on the floor again, fortunately it was by the door.  I reached up and turned the knob just enough to unlock it, just in case someone would come,  then I just laid back down  as I had no energy for anything else.  Luckily, everyone at work new I was never late,  some knew I had diabetes, and somehow figured out that garbled message on the phone was  me.  Off to the hospital we went, again armed with  new knowledge for future reference, of what a low blood sugar felt like.  Scary!!!

Sure, I have had many since then, many, many, many, as it turns out I have  good sensitivity to insulin.  My symptoms evolved and sometimes they  even scared and confused me,  however, being told I should keep my glucose as controlled as someone without diabetes, was probably the worse thing my endocrinologist  at that time, could have told me.   It was  only just recently,  my new endo  informed  me now that I’m older,  I will not tolerate such severe or frequent  lows.  As glucose is a major source of food for our brain, it turns out I have killed off the “federal  deficits” worth over the years.   I make light of it with others, however, knowing in the back of my mind,  I need to be more vigilant,  and compliant when my husband tells me, “you need juice.”  He is usually right, even if I don’t realize it yet.

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2 Responses to “Never Stop Learning”

  1. That was quite an experience, Debbie. My sister also had type 1 diabetes which contributed to her death. She also had many close calls, which were self induced. She would eat anything she wanted then adjust her insulin to what she thought would stabilize her sugar. I am the only sibling in my family that doesn”t have diabetes, although I’m told I’m borderline. I try to watch my diet. I know I should excercise more, but I try. Your articles are very informative. Thank you, Deb.

    • dmchugh says:

      Sorry to hear that Bev, was that Dianne? I do believe, as my other post says, that borderline, pre, and high-normal all mean the same. It does seem like you’ve taken care of yourself all these years and I’m sure you will continue. OMG, if I could’ve prevented this with diet and exercise…… I’ve got some pretty wild stories of my “foibles” with diabetes, luckily the worst ones were caught by my husband Pat..what an angel!! Thats another story. Thanks.

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