Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Captain Autoimmune

Perhaps this should be my new title. Or maybe I can just tell people, "Autoimmune is my middle name."

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes today. For the last few weeks I have had some symptoms that I was sure were not related to my multiple sclerosis. I have lost a lot of weight (20 lbs or so), had constant thirst, frequent urination including a few times a night (my daughter, Erica, asked me if I had an enlarged prostate because she had seen a commercial about it), extra fatigue (to the point I was literally shuffling around at work by lunch time), and a sharp increase in blurry vision. I researched the symptoms myself and was pretty sure it was diabetes.

Sure enough, when I went to see my doctor today, he said it was diabetes. He wanted to admit me to the hospital since my blood sugar is so high, but I was disinclined to acquiesce to his request. I talked him into giving me some small doses of insulin until I get in to see the diabetes specialist on Friday. He also wants me to come in every day to get my sugar checked and make sure I don't collapse and go into a diabetic coma or something.

The doctor told me that having one autoimmune disease such as MS makes me more likely to get another. I have two now, so maybe I should start planning for which one I would like to get next. Perhaps I can get one that won't require shooting up. As excited as I get about injecting myself with drugs, I think two diseases requiring it is enough. The next one can have meds in a pill form and I'll be cool with that.

Now that I've been through this twice, I think I can easily say what the absolute best part of being diagnosed with a disease is. It's not when the doctor comes in and tells you what's wrong with you. No, it's when he leaves the room and you're left sitting there alone. You are all alone struggling to grasp what you have just heard. Everything around you seems to fade away. Neither of the diseases I have are life-threatening, but they do change your life on a certain level. That time spent sitting alone in the room after you've heard the diagnosis, but before you can leave, is the worst part of the whole trip. It's so easy for your brain to run wild and start coming up with horrible scenarios.

I admit to being somewhat depressed today after hearing the news. I'm sure it will continue off and on over the next few weeks as I come to grips with this new disease. It's natural, but I know that I will come through. I believe that everyone is tested in their own way and I think this will be one of mine.

I'm up to the challenge.

1 comment:

Sharie said...


My heart breaks for you, not because I know that you can't handle this, but because you don't need another one on top of your MS. That is difficult enough. I know that these are not life threatening, because I do know about diabetes and MS but because of how it has and will continue to change your life. You are a good person and I hate to think of all the needle pokes that you are forced to give yourself. I want you to sincerly know that I will always be available to talk or to vent or anything else you can possibly need. I know that we don't talk very often and that it might be hard to talk to me because I am not the person that you vent your frustrations to. I will be there though for whatever you feel you need!! I promise. I love you and I hate to hear of you going through this. I wish I could take it for you because I would. Please take care and let me know what I can do for you or your girls for that matter. All my love to you. Sharie and girls