So, it appears that I am a diabetic – again.
If you remember the last time I went to the hospital, I was diagnosed as a diabetic then as well, but I didn’t take the matter too seriously. I did limit the amount of sugar in my diet, but I didn’t test myself or shoot insulin. If you’re wondering why I failed to heed the advice of the medical professionals, consider the steps used to diagnose and treat my diabetes the last time:
- Went to ER. Was found to have an infection not related to diabetes. Blood sugar was high (over 300), although the doc confirmed the infection was driving it up. “We need to watch that,” he said.
- Between first and second surgeries, “we need to watch that” changed to “you have a life-threatening case of diabetes and you will die without four shots of insulin per day.” Note – blood sugar dropped about 100 points before insulin began.
- A steady stream of diabetes experts (far more than the number of doctors treating my actual illness) flooded my room and tried to sell various diabetes-related products. Diet was briefly mentioned (I received a pamphlet) once; exercise not at all.
- Put on the diabetic menu, which included fruit juices, sugar for my coffee and cereal, and desserts like sugar cookies and cake. More insulin given to lower my blood sugar.
- Upon release, was told to check blood sugar “constantly” – any time day or night. Told readings should always be between 100 and 125 regardless of illness or meals. Below 100 – take a glucose tab or drink a sugary soda. Over 125 – shoot insulin.
- During the next month of outpatient treatment, blood sugar level continued to drop (last reading = 145). Med techs insisted I needed to shoot more insulin, unaware I wasn’t doing any. Note - these were the same people who insisted that antibiotics cannot upset one’s stomach.
- Final note – a lot of insulin and blood testing are required to survive. If blood glucose drops due to diet and exercise, don’t change your insulin regimen. That’s fixed for life.
I planned to get retested once I got well, but instead I had compounding illnesses which kept me mostly bedridden for the next several months. I developed open wounds on my heels, then one leg got infected. I went to a different hospital (try to guess why) and experienced:
- Went to ER. Was found to have an infection directly related to the wounds caused by high blood sugar. Glucose monitored again.
- Blood sugar did not drop after treatment. Insulin slowly introduced as a remedy while doctors continued to monitor.
- Two diabetes experts spoke about my condition and future treatment options. Recommended we start slow and increase until diabetes is under control. Diet and exercise stressed. No attempt to hawk products made.
- Put on the diabetic menu, which did not include sugary treats. Insulin used sparingly to regulate continued high blood sugar.
- Upon release, was told to check blood sugar “regularly” and given specific times. Readings should be between 70 and 140, although illness and meals could affect it. Insulin not needed unless blood sugar exceeds 170.
- Final notes – continuing to monitor. Adjustments made to medications and diet based on personal needs.
- Also – was warned antibiotics could upset stomach. Sugar-free yogurt recommended.
And so that’s where I am now – blowing out my intestines with antibiotics and sticking needles into myself in an attempt to not die. W00t! Further fun-filled bulletins as events warrant.