Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Diabetes Story

By Ryan Raz

It was a hot summer in 1999 with the office air conditioning not working, I was working long hours on a project and drinking plenty of non diet pop to quench my thirst. My weight was going down so I thought nothing about the sugar and the heat masked the other symptoms until my urine showed symptoms of Ketosis plus I was very tired so I visited the doctor. When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I was misdiagnosed with type II, such was the hurried state of the Ontario medical system that they didn't do the simple test that would have determined if I had late onset type I rather than the much more common type II. So at first it looked like diet and exercise kept it well under control. At the beginning I was on the drug metformin but of course it didn’t do anything so they took me off it. Both types are chronic diseases that start out with a honeymoon period where they seem to be easily controlled. It wasn't until almost 2 years later my blood sugars had gotten out of control and I was showing some damage so I went to a specialist in Vermont. He suggested that the first diagnosis was incorrect and that the type II medicines wouldn't work. He confirmed after some simple blood testing that I was actually late onset Type 1 or LADA. (See the link on the right)

At first diagnosis even with good advice from the medical support group I was in denial, felt alone out in the cold. Why me I was only a few pounds over optimal weight, no signs of diabetes in my family history.

I was told not to eat these foods and to eat these other foods. Shown all the terrible long term consequences of disobeying. Even though at first I was religious about changing my diet. exercise and lifestyle I really couldn't see any cause and effect of eating the occasional heap of french fries or giving into the craving for that sweet chocolate bar. Logically I knew I should be doing this and that but I was emotionally unprepared. It took me years to get rid of my sweet tooth. Still hard to keep my salt levels down as we are told we have to protect the heart and vascular system. I’m still addicted to fresh breads even though I know they are the worst of fast carbs.

Now I once a day I inject 30 units of long lasting insulin and a daily total of from 28 to 34 units (depending on the meal) of rapid acting insulin injected. I test my sugar levels from 1 to 6 times a day depending on how stable the level are which depend on a large variety of factors, easily thrown off my current health. I still can’t figure out why sometimes I get lows late at night even when my bedtime levels look good. Even on a good day the timing of my after meal peak is impossible to predict.

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