Hey everyone…I'm new to this site and so far I'm truly enjoying reading all the discussions that have been posted. I've gotten some great tools to use so far!
I just wanted to share my story and see if anyone has had anything similar happen to them.
In March of 2004, I gave birth to my second child. Overall, the pregnancy was somewhat normal. I had some high blood pressure, was on bed rest and my son was born a month early (it was planned, due to my 1st child being born early).
When my son was 8 weeks old, I started having awful pains in my lower back that radiated into my left side. I was doubled over in pain on my bathroom floor and couldn't get up. I was taken to the ER and the doctors there weren't really sure what was going on. I was quickly transferred to the ICU and had a million tests done. Within 32 hours, I was in critical condition.
I found out that I had gall stones that were blocking the bile duct in the pancreas. The bile had backed up so severely that it was eating away at my pancreas.
To make a long story short, I had surgery to remove my gall bladder and the majority (90%) of my pancreas. I was hospitalized for 3 months and it took me 6 months to recover at home.
During my hospitalization, I was on a constant insulin drip. My sugars were all over the place. Now mind you, I had no history of diabetes prior to this. I was 21 at the time and I'm 27 now.
After I got home and got rehab'd (I had thrown a blood clot in the hospital, so I had to learn how to walk again), I was told that I would always be a diabetic. I went 3 years with NO MEDS, my body had apparently adjusted to me not having all of my pancreas. Then one day, I passed out at work.
My doctor claimed it was Type 2 diabetes and put me on Metformin and Januvia. Wow, what a waste that was. The meds didn't work…why?…because I wasn't a Type 2 diabetic.
I found a new specialist and he put me on the Humalog Insulin pens. I also discovered that my Vitamins D and A were dangerously low and that my C-Peptide level (the panel that determines how much insulin your pancreas produces) was at a 0.02%. The normal readings on this is 0.5-1.0%.
But only after 4 months did the pens stop working. My blood sugars were anywhere between 200 and 450. My specialist didn't believe in insulin pumps (he is very old fashioned) and refused to recommend me for getting one.
So, I found another specialist that would. It took 3 months just for my insurance company to approve the pump medically necessary.
The pump is working ok so far. It has it's ups and downs. I'm on the Medtronic MiniMed 723 (I believe it's the newest one out). It's extremely hard for me some days to account for my carbs. Some days, I count the exact number of carbs and I'm still crashing with a blood sugar of 52 or 48. I tried using the dual wave and square wave bolus options, but my blood sugars are not where they should be. My A1C has gone from 10.5 to 8 in a matter of 3 months, so my doctor is happy, but I'm not.
There are some days where I have a low-fat, no carb meal and my blood sugar is 250. It's beyond frustration. I've checked into getting a pancreas transplant but I'm not a candidate for the surgery because my A1C is too high. They told me to get on the pump and get my sugars controlled, then they could help me.
But the whole transplant issue is a huge, huge debate. There are so many pros and cons, that I can't wrap my mind around it.
My biggest fear and concern is this…I'm 27 years old. I'm married and we have a 6 yr old and a 7 yr old. How do I face the fact that I will be attached to an insulin pump the rest of my life, dealing with blood sugars going up and down? How do I deal with the fact that I'm already having complications with my circulatory system (My legs swell if I'm on my feet for more than 2 hours)?
If I have the transplant, there's no guarantee that I will be able to get off the insulin. The transplant only lasts 4-7 years. How do I deal with the fact that my kidneys will most likely fail?
I don't want my children to grow up without their mom. I am so afraid that diabetes is going to take my life before I'm ready to go.
How does one person deal with all this?
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