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Monday, February 15, 2010

My New Normal

Things have been a bit crazy around our house since Thursday. I’ll try to re-cap, short-version style.

I haven’t felt well in several months. The first time I actually remember thinking, “Something is wrong with me,” was back in early November. I just generally felt bad. Extremely tired. Nauseous on and off. Just bad. But it was very easy for me to attribute it to other things, and so I tried to ignore. Then a month or so ago, I stepped on the scales and noticed I had lost around ten pounds that I had done nothing to lose. In fact, I felt like I was eating and drinking more than I ever had. I was a little freaked out, but let’s be honest… a little psyched, too.

But then there was that almost always present ‘bad’ feeling. The only way I can describe it is that I would get up in the morning and think, ‘How in the world am I going to tackle this day?’ I felt like I could sleep all day everyday and could fall asleep in any situation throughout the day… driving, reading, talking with someone. It was irritating. And then one day I picked up a tube of moisturizer and couldn’t read the writing on the back. I put on my glasses and still couldn’t read it. And then I realized almost everything was a little blurry. Still, I tried to ignore.

In the back of my mind, I thought maybe my blood sugars were off. For anyone who might not know, I had gestational diabetes with Jeb, and it was very difficult to control. My endocrinologist said I had none of the risk factors that would make me a likely candidate, so when we had such a hard time managing it (and we had a VERY hard time), it was frustrating to everyone.

In my defense, I had no test strips left from my pregnancy, and they are extremely expensive to buy. So, I told Matt I should probably run up to the school and have the school nurse test me 'real quick'. But I never went. Two months passed.

I happened to be at Shiloh on Thursday. I had felt pretty bad all day, but honestly, after so many months, it had already become my new normal. L, the nurse, was in the hall, and I asked Matt to ask her if she could test my sugars. She is so sweet, and told him ‘of course’. I can’t remember the exact number since I’ve tested so many times since then, but my number was around 400. For random testing, normal numbers should fall between 70-125. A reading of 400 is not just bad, but really, really, really bad. L also tested me for ketones, and I tested positive—also bad. Ketones make your body too acidic and completely mess up the body’s chemical balance. Ketones are what make things scary.

L had Matt call my endocrinologist while we were still in her office. I don't think she would have let us leave otherwise. And wouldn’t you know it? No appointments were available till June. Luckily, Matt still had his contact info in his phone. He emailed him and explained what had just happened. Within the hour, the dr. emailed back and said ‘Come right now.’

And so we went.

We were there past office hours. Everyone was so gracious and kind. A nurse did a blood test and determined that for the past 3 months, my levels have averaged around 400. The dr.’s words to Matt were, ‘If she hadn’t come in today, no doubt in my mind by the weekend or early next week, she would have been in ICU.” Awesome, right?

Bottom line, I have Type 1 diabetes. It was once known as Juvenile Diabetes but can develop at any age. Basically, my pancreas has decided to stop producing the insulin I need, and it never will again. Unlike Type 2 diabetics, the foods I eat make no difference. Type 1 diabetics are insulin dependent.

I left the endocrinologist’s office with a mountain of supplies and instructions to give myself a shot every two hours until my levels dropped from the ‘dangerous’ status and I tested negative for ketones. After 3 ½ days on that plan, he gave me the go-ahead to stop with all the shots and begin my new plan--which is testing levels before meals followed by a shot and a shot at night. That's just 4 shots a day. Much better. The actual giving of the shots are not as daunting to me as having to figure out how many carbs I’m about to eat and dialing up the shots accordingly. It’s a pain. And I don’t do math, so it kills me much more than giving myself shots all day. The good news (if you can look at it that way) is that my dr. said we will look at an insulin pump in the future so I won’t have to do any figuring on my own. At first the thought of something being stuck to and in me was too much to even consider, but now, I think I would greatly prefer it.

Right now, my numbers are still high, but I'm hoping the current plan will bring them down quickly. The good news is--no ketones.

So sorry for the extremely long post, but this is for me to remember, too. I know it may sound weird, but as much as this all really really sucks and completely affects the rest of my life, I’m ok with it. I already feel a little better, and again, God has shown me SO much over the past several months. This is just part of what He is revealing to me, and I’m rolling with it. Because I trust Him, and I can do this. I'm ok with a new normal.





14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Angela,

I am SO glad to hear that you are now under a doctor's care and so thankful for God's protection while you were SO busy taking care of everyone else.

Your attitude is good. You are such a precious person.

Love you and pls take care!!

Tammy Moore

Erica said...

Wow. PTL you caught it just in time. What an inspiration you are, to not complain about it but to fully trust God in the midst of something so hard.
Thank you for sharing. I'll be praying for you.

Superchikk said...

Angela,
I'm so glad Matt was able to contact your specialist and you were able to go directly to him! I'll be praying for you. Please let me know if you want me to pray for anything specific.

Leanne said...

Oh, Angela! Bless your heart! As always, you are an inspiration to everyone who reads your words. The way you handle things is amazing. I know how very scary sugar problems can be after dealing with it myself & with Emma, & I will be praying for you.

Nel said...

Girl, I am so glad you had this checked and am glad you are feeling better. You have a wonderful attitude about it and God will be with you thru it. He never will put more on us than we can handle. Praying for you!

until next time... nel

Aimee Bryan said...

Oh my heavens! You've been through A LOT this week! That's a big deal, but I know you can handle it! Praise Jesus for his hand in this. Bless Matt, the school nurse, the doctors, and of course your family!

The Jordon Family said...

Angela! I am so glad you got some serious help.. that is so scary..
You will start feeling better soon.. Wow.. God really had his hand on you :)

Chris said...

My dear friend, I am so thankful you had this checked! those school nurses are special. We have students with Type I diabetes at school and regularly keep them checked. I can tell when they come in and do not feel well. So I understand you not feeling well! Just so thankful that you found out why you were not feeling well. I will keep you in my prayers! Kiss your doctor for taking you in ASAP! He is special! AND your hubbie for keeping the email info!

Josh, Lori and Reid said...

I agree with Chris...gotta give that hubby of yours some props for taking care of his love! Glad you are getting things under control. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. Your RusVegas peeps are thinking about you...

Cindy said...

Praying for you friend. Another friend was recently diagnosed also. The new normal for her also comes with mixed blessings. God is good and He will direct your steps. Yes, it changes you life, yet at least there are choices for treatment.

Believing God will use this for HIS glory as you move forward:)

Blessings to you,
Cindy

April said...

Hey there friend! I just read your blog and heard about this, what a change for you. Health concerns impact every area of our lives and are never easy to conquer. But, remember that our faith and hope is not in medicine, doctors or technology, but the Lord alone - Jehovah Rophe. He has already given you peace, which shows me your faith is strong and you know He will see you through. Wish I was there in person to help, but I can pray. Take care of yourself and I will pray for your sugars, your management of care and your future. You are so strong, I know you will handle this! Sending lots of love your way!

Liz said...

OH Angie! How scary. So glad that it was caught in time. Good luck as you figure out how to juggle everything!!

Boni said...

ANGELA! I saw this and my stomach was hurting for your through the whole post!

I am so glad you are are taking care of yourself and under a doctor's care.

Your attitude about it all is amazing!

Emily said...

Isn't diabetes fun!? Glad you are managing it so well!