I'm new to the board and wanted to introduce myself and share my story. It's quite long and I've been through some ups and downs (mostly downs) but after ten years I finally received the correct diagnosis after struggling to control my diabetes throughout.
I was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic when I was 13 years old (on my birthday
). I tried to be pretty good, as good as a 13 yr old can be, and took my shots and watched my diet and I stayed pretty active. But it was so frustrating because I would go up and down, never staying in the middle. I was either too low or too high. I gave up after accouple years.
I stayed off insulin for three years. I didn't check my blood sugars and I didn't watch what I ate. I completely ignored my diabetes. I would go to amusement parks and eat a huge thing of cotton candy. I remember wondering afterwards why I didn't pass out or anything after some of my sugar fests. I knew something wasn't right but was too afraid to go see a doctor and admit that I was ignoring my diabetes.
Age changed that. about three years ago, I went to see an endocrinologist, determined to get myself on the right track again. I felt pretty good other than the thirst and frequent urination but I knew I was damaging my body. I confessed to the endo what I had (hadn't) been doing for all those years. He flat out told me I should be dead. He said there is no way I went all that time without insulin and I would be standing in front of him, let alone be healthy. But like I said, I felt completely normal other than the dehydration. He told me I was probably not a Type 1, that I was more likely a Type 2. He ordered a c-peptide which came back inconclusive but he said he would still bet money on me being a Type 2. I asked if I could try oral meds. He said if I couldn't control my blood sugars with insulin shots, oral meds wouldn't help. I believed him. He's the doctor, right? And an expert as well.
I started taking shots again and watched my diet and all that. But eventually I fell off the wagon again. The insulin made me crave food and the more I ate, the more insulin I took to fight high blood sugars. It just spun out of control. I gained weight and was like 20 lbs overweight. I went back to my former, unhealthy lifestyle of doing and eating whatever I wanted. Stopped the shots again. When I went out, I would order the most sugary drinks like daquiries and sex on the beach.
I finally went to see a physician assistant at my family doctor's clinic this recent April. I told her the whole story and she ordered a c-peptide which again was inconclusive. She ran another test, which I can't remember the name of (insulin antibody maybe?) which did indeed confirm I was a type 2 beyond a doubt! I remember getting the phone call and being so ecstatically happy, jumping up and down. I had HOPE again!
I immediately started on Byetta (5 mcg/2x a day) and Metformin (500 mg/1x a day). My blood sugars hovered around the lower 300's. The Metformin was increased to 500 mg twice a day. Still no change. Maybe slightly to the upper 200's. My side effects were minimal. The Metformin I was warned could cause diarrhea but for me it just made me more regular since I was always backed up. It was like clockwork.
I also lost 15 pounds in two months! I was sooo happy. My weight for the last ten years has been a yo-yo and was mostly on the upper end of the spectrum of normal. (5'6", 164 lbs when last checked down to 147 lbs accouple weeks ago)
Then the Byetta was increased to 10 mcg twice a day. My blood sugars instantly, that same day I started, went down to 120. During that week, my range stayed from 120-150, no jumping around! And I could eat, really eat, not starve myself, and I still didn't climb. But that's when the side effects really started. The Byetta really slowed down my digestive system so I was constipated. The nausea was the worst part. I threw up an hour after my breakfest three days in a row. I couldn't take it anymore and called the doc. They brought the morning dose back down to 5 mcg and left the PM dose at 10 mcg. Now my blood sugars are back up to the low to mid 200's. Tomorrow we're doubling my morning dose of Metformin to see if that helps.
I've been sooo happy to finally figure out why I couldn't control my diabetes before. I feel like I can finally start taking care of myself. It feels so good and I am in such debt of gratitude to the physician assistant who helped me.
I'm also extremely irate. How could the endo not help but the physician assistant could? Isn't he the expert? I'm also mad at all the doctors that made me feel like such a failure when I was on insulin. Made me feel like I was just being lazy or stupid. I'm mad that the hospital just assumed I was type 1 because I was 13, even though they knew my great aunt was also diagnosed at 13 as a type 2. Mostly I'm angry because to think I've done sooo much damage to my body all this time. I had also struggled with thinking I had an overeating disorder. But the whole time it was from the insulin.
I have so many questions. How much damage have I done to myself after the last ten years? Is it a wonder my pancreas is still functioning? Why did the endo say that oral meds wouldn't work?
I'm so glad there are forums like this out there. Thank you for getting through this whole post! I look forward to chatting with you all. And don't forget, the right doctor is EVERYTHING! If you don't like the one you have, get another!