Women's Health Matters

Text Size
Jump to body content

Diabetes — How Did It Happen?

By Amy

They say everyone gets 15 minutes of fame some time in their life. I never dreamed mine might come as the self-appointed poster child for adult late onset diabetes (LADA). How did we get here, any of us?

A lot of people are sharing their stories with me these days, so I thought it was time to come clean with mine. I was diagnosed May 21, 2003. First, there were about three weeks of running myself into the ground as I got up four to five times a night to care for my sick baby.

Naturally I was exhausted and dehydrated, but just assumed this came with the territory -- possibly exacerbated by the allergy pills I was gulping down to thwart my own runny nose.

The thirst became stronger and stronger until it reached ‘Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-Curse’ proportions, where drinks just seem to pour right through me with no effect at all.

I lost weight faster and faster, until bones were poking out everywhere. Here I started to get scared. I didn't dare consult a doctor for fear of what I might find out. But my husband wasn't having any of it, and sent me in.

Omitting the gory details, I was at 540 BG (blood glucose) for my original test, and landed in the hospital the very same night with 738 BG (!) -– apparently close to ketoacidosis and diabetic coma, although I didn’t feel that sick. They kept me in the hospital for five days, an eternity with my then 5-month-old baby along with a three-year-old and five-year-old at home. Nasty!

The first few months were a blur of doctor's appointments, new medications, and eating to gain weight (talk about your lifestyle changes!) Turned out I had thyroid disease as well.

And then the hives hit… For six months, I was covered with itchy red splotches that turned out -– after much of my blood was shed in test vials -- to be gluten intolerance.

But things have gotten BETTER.  I now take good care of me. The kids just have to wait sometimes, which is good for them, too, I think. 

Now, every time I work out I think of myself lying there in that hospital bed totally depleted and wondering if I'll make it to 50 -– and I’m so glad I can exert myself. I work out a lot now; I've got the kind of motivation you don't get from vanity alone.

In case you’re wondering, they put me on Novolog (Novo Nordisk pen) and Lantus at night. My control has been pretty good so far, but they say I’m still in the diabetic honeymoon -– which of course means the body is still producing some trace amounts of insulin on its own.

For two years now, I’ve been plugging along, half the time trying not too get too obsessed with the diabetes, and half the time ravenous for information and tips to better my control.

And now I’m a diabetes blogger. How about that?

Reprinted with permission from Amy Tenderich of www.diabetesmine.com.

Jump to top page

share and learn

Join the discussion

Share knowledge and talk about your health-related experiences with other women.

Discussion forums

  • A publication of:
  • Women's College Hospital