Diabetes Awareness Month: My Story

My diabetes has been uncontrollable all night. I'm writing this with tears hot on my cheek, frustrated and nauseous because my pancreas is just not working, and I don't know what to do.

I've struggled with blood sugar issues for years, but they were always thought to be a side effect of the prednisone I took for my vicious course of lupus (which became unrelenting after my cancer diagnosis.) It wasn't until 2013 that I became insulin-dependent. And it was much to my surprise that stopping prednisone had no effect on stabilizing my blood sugars. It was a temporary sice effect, now known to be permanent.

Two weeks ago, when I was in the hospital, the doctors got a good look at what I deal with on a daily basis. My body, at this time, is responding oddly to the correct dosages of insulin. I am dutiful about taking my long and short acting insulin, but instead of stabilizing me, I'm up and down all day. Because my body is behaving this way, I'm classified as a brittle diabetic, and it's possible I have Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, instead of the more common and less dangerous Type 2.

My ideal blood sugar is between 75-100. When it's over 400 or under 70, a doctor should be called immediately. When it's low, I run the risk of lapsing into a diabetic coma.

Tonight, for example, my sugars have run from 400 to 360 to 199 to 60 to 44. My hands, feet and my head shake when it's low. My vision blurs.

When it's high, I get headaches, mood swings. When it's high or low, my heart slaps against my ribs with anxiety and fear. When it's low, I must immediately ingest sugar.

My body is on a suicide mission, an internal war fought by unwilling cells. I cannot pretend it doesn't threaten my joy, my work, my ability to live and lead. 

I take my blood thee times a day and I give myself countless burning injections. I scream from pain and cry from frustration. I feel impossibly frail and I fear I will fall asleep and not wake up one night. I am relying on my parents more and more.

I am 27. And this is my life with diabetes.

Donations for the fight against diabetes can be found HERE: donations.diabetes.org.