Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bring on the needles!

I feel like I've traded lives with someone, like everything that I've experienced since yesterday afternoon isn't actually happening to me. It's weird and sureal and I can hardly believe things can change so fast.

I went into the Student Health Center at UVSC yesterday thinking I had a bladder infection. I've been peeing all the time and I thought it was just a super persistent infection. I started having bladder problems in December and I thought it was finally time to just get some medicine and get rid of it. So I told the Nurse Practitioner what I thought my problem was and she had me pee in a cup.

But I didn't have an infection. My urine was all full of sugar and ketones. (I don't know if that's how you spell ketones...) It was in such ridulous quantities that it could only mean one thing. A quick prick of the finger revealed dangerously high blood sugar levels, proving without a doubt that I have diabetes.

And so I was diagnosed and referred to a Diabetes Clinic, which I went to today. I was there for over four hours. I talked with Dr. Robert Day and had more tests done. Then I saw a man who taught me about the mechanics of the disease and how to test my blood sugar and give myself insulin shots. Then I saw a nutritionist who taught me all about how I should eat and exercise. I was put on two medications and will be back to see the doctor twice next week. In the meantime, I have to give myself insulin shots four times a day.

It's hard to say which type of diabetes I have at this point. It really could be either one. I'm very young for the typical case of Type 2-- mostly it's a 45 and older thing that's more common in minorities than white people. But I'm also a little old for the typical case of Type 1, which usually manifests in childhood and is more common in whites. The doctor will be able to tell which type I am depending on how I respond to the medications-- they'd only be effective for a Type 2. If I respond well and am Type 2, then I won't take insulin anymore after the first week and will be able to tackle this thing on oral medications alone. If I don't respond to the medication, then I'm a Type 1 and I'll have to take insulin for the rest of my life.

So it wasn't just a bladder infection or any of the other things I thought were wrong with me. See, I have been feeling sick for quite some time now, but it was hard to define what was wrong. Sometimes I would just feel so tired and of course I would feel horrible if I didn't eat. Last summer, I started to have problems with my eyes. It felt like my eyes were rejecting my contacts-- things would be blurry and it was sometimes difficult to read. I saw an eye doctor who insisted that there was nothing wrong with them, but the problems have persisted and now I know why. And all my exhaustion and sleeping in late all the time-- I know why about those things now too. I was starting to wonder if I was a hypochondriac, always thinking I was sick when I wasn't.

But I was sick! Dr. Day is fairly certain that I've had diabetes for at least two years. And now that I know, I can actually get better! Yay! I mean, I can't get completely better, but I can do a lot to improve my health. I think once my treatment is figured out and my cells are actually getting the nutrients they need, I should be feeling better than I have in years! And that gives me such a sense of relief! And one of my medications causes weight loss. It's kind of ironic that I get to lose the weight I wanted afterall.

Bring on the needles!