I Could Have Died From My Undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes
Literally. By the time someone finally listened to me and tested me for diabetes (my OBGYN of all people), my blood sugars were in the 700s, my heart was pounding, I was breathless, weak, scrawny and falling asleep sitting up. Knowing what I know now about Type 1 diabetes, why didn’t any of my doctors figure out that I had it? Or at least consider it after I kept telling them my symptoms? Some friends had encouraged me to go to a book store (this was pre-Internet) and look up my symptoms, and it was at that point that I began asking over and over to be tested. Finally, after a bit of harassing from me, I was tested.
It all started the first time I asked my MD to test me for diabetes and after finding an elevated fasting blood glucose, he said, “Oh you probably just drank some orange juice.” But I hadn’t, I responded. Another doctor told me that I “looked good thin,” just probably dieting too much. But I wasn’t on a diet, I protested. In fact, I was eating everything in sight. “Just drink more water,” they said, “you’re probably dehydrated.” But I was drinking what seemed like gallons of water that simply wouldn’t quench my ravishing thirst. “Get more sleep! Stop partying!” they proclaimed. But I was sleeping all the time, in between going to the bathroom, I might add. Nobody listened to me and at the time, I was too timid to protest. (My how things have changed.) The doctors I saw were condescending and dismissive. Here I was with every single classic symptom of Type 1 diabetes, except for one; I wasn’t a child, I was a 32-year-old adult. Huh Continue reading