Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Knowing is Half the Battle


My Mom always taught us growing up that doctors are people too and they can be wrong. This lesson was courtesy of her Father, a doctor. I grew up respecting doctors but always maintained that healthy skepticism. It isn't that I don't trust my doctors, but I make sure I double check their work.

In September of 2005, my doctors were wrong, or maybe more accurately, they were mistaken. I was diagnosed as a Type II Diabetic. I presented all of the classic symptoms and I was massively overweight. I was prescribed Metformin and went along my merry way. I cut out the carbs and managed my blood sugar like I was getting paid for it. Everything was going great until about a year ago when my blood sugar started to creep up with no explanation.

I had great control of my blood sugar. At one point I pulled off an HBA1C of 5.7 (pretty spectacular considering I started at 10+). Fast forward a little more than 4 years and my HBA1C had crept back up to 6.3 and my fasting blood sugar numbers were far higher than I or my Doctor would prefer (140 range). After some in depth research I discovered that it isn't just children that can be newly diagnosed as Type 1 diabetics. I discovered the world of Late Onset Type 1 Diabetes and its dozens of other names.

Newly informed, I made my way to my Endocrinologist's office and we talked about what I had found. It was an easy conversation as he had come to the same conclusion; It was time to run some tests. Specifically, he ordered up a GAD antibody test and C-Peptide screening. Our suspicions were confirmed. I was never a Type 2 diabetic but rather a slow onset Type 1.

The story has a happy ending. I'm now utilizing insulin and controlling my blood sugar better than I have in years. I'll be switching from injections to the Omnipod insulin pump system in the next month and I couldn't be happier with my results with insulin. I'm lucky that I have an amazing Doctor and that we were able to work together but I've read a lot of horror stories about diabetics having to demand tests to determine the correct diagnosis. My story and the others like me show just how important it is to work with your Doctor and to always double check their work. Everyone can make mistakes.

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