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Practice makes near perfect at bedtime

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October 21, 2016
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Back to Diagnosis

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Turbo Squid
It has been three years, seven months, and fourteen days since I was first sitting on that powder keg in the emergency room. I sat with my parents as my blood sugar was checked for the first time and the diagnosis was made. As plain as day, the doctor said the string of words I had never known before that time, type-1 diabetes.
The official result of my first blood test was in- 967 mg/dL, and insulin was quickly administered. That first delivery of intravenous insulin sent my body into a riled state of being. I lay flat backed on a bed, writhing in pain from horrific cramps all throughout my legs. It was later explained that I was under the influence of too much potassium in the body (hyperkalemia) and as soon as that large dose of insulin hit the bloodstream, so did the potassium get moving.
The next few days I spent in the hospital were compiled of heavy rest and re-nourishment mixed with some periodic education and boredom. That night was also the first night I experienced hypoglycemia for the first time. I woke up from sleep- sweaty, queasy, and scared. I sat up in bed confused and trying to understand this feeling. The attentive nurse came in minutes later, either by chance or by my movement, I don't know. She took my finger for a blood test and after quick process came back with a snack. I have never felt so beholden for such a rewarding and fulfilling snack in my life. To this day, I remember the unwelcomed urgency in my mind, and susceptible state of mind.
The passing months were all about self-education and practice. It takes work to have diabetes. I learned how to successfully inject insulin and through trial and error, the select spots on my body that wouldn't send nerve endings into as big of a fit. I became a titled master of my glucose meter and of about how it feels to use a dull lancet. All the while, returning to a physically demanding job and normal life as I knew it.
Diagnosis is undoubtedly a rough time for anyone who is newly diabetic. The keys that got me through it were: abundant self-education, finding balance between management and daily life, and coming to terms with the fact that this was not going away and I needed to deal with it to stay happy and healthy. All my family and friends were always there too, learning with me and offering support in any way.
My best goes out to anyone who is newly diagnosed. You are not alone out there.

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