Tuesday, July 12

The Diagnosis

July 12, 2005

Picking up from where I left off...WHAT??????????? Needless to say, 'We think you might have Diabetes' was the last thing I expected to hear. I was blown away and immedietly thought the Norwegian health care system was seriously flawed. My mind was running 10,000 miles a minute! 'There is NO way I could be diabetic! Doesn't this only happen to overweight, old people??' Then, to make matters worse, I suddenly remembered playing in my Grandmother's carport when I was little. I remember finding a box and in the box was this crazy pair of glasses that belonged to my Grandfather. I remember putting them on and almost falling over they made me so dizzy. Special Diabetic glasses to help him see better. I remembered hearing about special socks Diabetics wore. I called my husband in an absolute panic. I just screamed 'I DON'T WANT TO WEAR WEIRD GLASSES AND DIABETIC SOCKS!!!!!!!!'
As soon as I got home, I attacked the internet. Keywords: 'Symptoms of Diabetes'. The first thing I saw was 'Fatigue'. I had a sinking feeling. That had been the biggest symptom for me. I had been EXHAUSTED for over a year. 'Extreme Thirst'. Well, I drink water like a camel. But I thought it was just because I love the water here in Norway! It comes out of the tap ICE cold and is sooo PURE. It tastes so good. In Houston, you only drink the tap water on a dare. When ice cubes melt there are things floating in your glass. I AM NOT KIDDING! (sidenote: If you go to Houston, do not drink the tap water! I am not exaggerating on this point!) Ok, so I was tired and thirsty. That didn't sound too unique to me. 'Weight Loss'. HA!!! I had GAINED weight since I moved here! In my married bliss I had become a gourmet chef and Mexican was my speciality! At least 15 pounds! So, I had one up on Diabetes.
Diabetes 2- me 1. Ok...'Frequent Urination'. Well of course I pee a lot! I am drinking TONS of water!--duh...'Increased Hunger'- Well I was hungry alot, but I thought it was due to all the 'fresh air' and needing more fuel in the dark winter time. 'Blurry Vision'--WEll I thought my contacts were dried out. As you can see, I had an excuse for everything. I still couldn't believe it though. There was just NO WAY I could have diabetes. I DIDN'T FIT THE TYPE!!!
So, the next morning I went back to my doctor to have my fasting glucose tested. 120! 'That is LOW' I thought. (my first blood result was 180). My doctor agreed. 'You are probably just PRE-Diabetic, but tommorow you will go and have an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test'. Hmmm, I thought I was off the hook! Next morning I went to the hospital. Fasting glucose about 135. Nothing to be too concerned over. Then they mixed this HORRIBLE sugar water drink. It was sooo thick. Now, I am not a vomiter, but it was all I could do to swallow that mess. I finished the glass, relieved, and was shocked to find I had 3 more to go! The nurse saw my distress and graciously offered me 'lemon flavoring'. Yes please. That wasn't so bad! It now tasted like any glass of lemonade or sweet tea you could get in Atlanta. So down they went and off I went to the waiting room. 'I'll show them' I thought. '2 hours?? No problem!' After an hour, I suddenly felt very sick and weak. My hands and feet started tingling. I got the nurse and asked her 'Excuse me, is it normal to feel like I am vibrating? and I also feel very cold. And I feel sick. Is this normal? Is it?' The poor nurse. Stuck in a room with an American in panicky denial who seemed like she was about to go into Diabetic Shock or something. They monitered me closely for the next hour. Then came the final test. They took what seemed like a GALLON of blood. I begged them to give me the 'prick' test! 'Ok, they said, as long as you don't expect us to diagnose you! The only test that is used for diagnosing is when they run your blood through the lab.' 'Fine, I just am curious to see what my Blood Glucose is.' I was sure it would be back down under 120. So she pricked me. 7-6-5-4-3-2-1-BEEP BEEP BEEP 230. 230. 230.
You could have heard a pin drop in that place. I was absolutly STUNNED. No way I thought. And with that, the nurse looked at me, with a lot of sympathy and said, 'Well, you must try to have a good weekend anyway! Be brave!'


Jay said...

Everytime I hear a story about how someone deals with getting diagnosed, I get a little sad. Not only for that person, but I think of what I felt when I went through it. It is really a rough ride. To answer your question about how I got switched to a diagnosis of Type I, I just finished posting my diagnosis story on my blog. email me or comment if you have more questions.


SpaceyMom said...

"Welcome to the club nobody wants to join" is what a lot of people said to me when I first found out I was diabetic (type 2). It seems lame but sometimes it's hard to know what else to say. It fits, though.

I highly suggest a book that helped me through my first six months (I was diagnosed in October, 2004). The First Year Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed

SaintMartha said...

I think we are going to be okay, mind you I don't want to have this any more than you do. I have done so much research these past few weeks and some of the things I find are terrifying, however, many of the really scary things are for people who either don't try to get it under control or who have yet to get proper treatment.
I forgot to ask...are you taking medications?
The past few days I am running in the 90's for my fasting test in the morning and for some reason it is bothering me. I was in the 80's and now seem to be running a tad bit higher.
I don't take any medications and when I was first diagnosed my results came back at a whopping 240. Within three days I was down to the normal ranges simply by diet and exercise. But it's an eery feeling isn't it? Having something that is ruled by a little meter--!