From Michigan, USA:
I have had type 1 since I was ten. I'm 27 now (closer to 28). When I was first diagnosed I was admitted to the hospital for a little while, just long enough to learn how to give injections, and do urine testing (home blood tests weren't done then). When I was about thirteen, my pediatrician suggested a trip to the University of Michigan hospital. They admitted me, not for any specific reason, just because it had been a few years since I'd had any diabetes education. This is where I learned to do the blood tests, and finally to mix my own insulin (the pediatrician had done at his office for us till then). Once I entered my teen years, I did typical teen things and caused my parents what I am now sure was a lot of undeserved stress and worry. I skipped meals, used water pills, diet pills, even ipecac syrup in my attempts to lose weight (I'm still overweight, in fact I've reached obese), and at times skipped my insulin, I thought if I wasn't eating I didn't need it. Of course all of these behaviors resulted in numerous trips to the emergency room and a lot of hospital stays.
Well, here I am now as an adult who really wants to start understanding and caring for herself, and I really don't know what my first step should even be. You frequently mention a diabetes team. Is this course of action more for children than adults? I have an HMO medical plan so I'm not really sure how far I can even get. I do know though that it's time for some more diabetes education. I've really done well for someone who has basically had no control for many years, but now I want to ensure my doing well, what ever it takes. My husband and I hope to start a family soon, and I want to make sure I'm here when my child/children need me. Thank you so much for this site, it's actually taught me a lot already: like the treatment has come so far. I just wish my doctors would've shared that with me a while ago.
It is wonderful and important that you are working on ways to improve your health! Insist on a referral to an endocrinologist who works with a diabetes nurse educator, nutritionist experienced in diabetes care, and hopefully a mental health provider. No, the team approach is not just for children. Talk to the team about your plans to start a family, and work on your diabetes control before you get pregnant. (See information on pregnancy and diabetes.) Try not to be too hard on yourself about your past self-care, as you can't do anything now about it. However, what you do today and in the future does matter.
Original posting 20 Apr 1998
Posted to Daily Care
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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