When I was diagnosed with T1 I had been showing symptoms for a few months prior, but came up with explanations from “I’ve been trying to drink more water, now I’m used to it, that’s why I’m thirsty.” to even “God is trying to teach me something”. Unlike most of my childhood though, I had had bloodwork done as close as maybe 4 months before diagnosis. Wouldn’t that have shown if there was something wrong? Regardless of that though, I was HORRIBLY ill the couple weeks up to August 4, 2004. So sick I could hardly walk or stand or even sleep and I STILL didn’t go to the doctor. The only reason I even went to the hospital was because I was unconscious!
Now that I have another diagnosis on my hands, Crohn’s Disease, I feel like it’s the same thing. I went to the hospital August 5/6 because I was terrified. My sugars were below 50, I couldn’t get them to come up, I was absolutely exhausted (worried I was too tired to be able to babysit any longer), anything I ate either came up or out almost immediately and I just didn’t know what to do. Had I been in CA when this had happened, I’m not sure I would have taken the trip to the hospital. Being that I lived so far from any type of medical care I thought it was best to head in, after I spoke with the ER nurse over the phone. I was afraid of some diabetic hell occurring NOT that I had some other medical problem. They’re the ones who asked for a stool sample and then told me there was something wrong with it. It was news to me. Yeah, I had had some gas/discomfort/nausea/getting sick/visiting the hospital/going in between constipation and diarrhea for maybe the last year. Nothing too big or irritating. And I came up with explanations for all of it. Over the weekend my mother asked me if I’d had symptoms before going to Idaho. I said that I supposed so, she countered with “Then why did you go?”
Honestly, I didn’t think there was a problem. I was functioning. As I’ve said before, I have a habit of blaming Diabetes. I’m fatigued, oh must be D. Stomach cramps, my sugars are high. Constipation/diarrhea, all my meds from everything going on.
And really, to look back to my start in Idaho…I went out there with a sore throat. Just over 24 hours later I went to the ER because my sugars were inexplicably high. (I had called my doctor back in CA to ask for advice and she told me it would be in my best interest to go to the hospital) I walked…2 miles to the ER. They gave me morphine at least twice for the HORRIBLE stomach pain I was experiencing. I threw up at least once. And it turned out I had sever tonsillitis. Yeah, I’d had a cold off and on from St. Patrick’s Day, but it wasn’t like I wasn’t okay. I was walking around. Tired I guess, but functioning enough to get by. I had NO idea it was that bad.
Then that led to the tonsil infection NOT leaving and the nausea continuing. Which in turn meant I got a tonsillectomy. Then THAT got infected, which explained the nausea and fatigue. And then I was getting better. A minor concern with my thyroid and blood in my urine, but secondary labwork cleared all of that and it looked like I was on my way to recovery. Just over a week later I was in the hospital with some inexplicable white blood cells in my stool, vomitting, now skyrocketing bloodsugars, a massive headache and looking like hell. The ER doc wanted to admit me…fine by me. The initial assumptions were maybe the flu or giardia or food poisoning. No, no and no. I needed a colonoscopy and they thought maybe a form of Colitis or perhaps Crohn’s or maybe even Celiac Disease.
How did I end up there? Would I have just gone on not knowing or understanding what I was feeling was valid? I think as a diabetic we’re conditioned to overlook a lot. Yes, we are WAY in tune with our bodies, hypersensitive to its changes. Because of that I think we become persevere-ers. Sugars can seriously mess with your ability to feel “normal”. But, you don’t have the option of not living life, so you move on. Creating diabetes related explanations for issues that may or may not be at all connected to diabetes. From what I hear, T1 and Crohn’s are not a common combination. They are both autoimmune, and everyone knows once you have one, you’re at a higher risk of accumulating more. It’s just not usually Crohn’s and T1, obviously it’s not impossible.
They say there are no stupid questions. I disagree. It’s is stupid to ask WHAT IF questions. There’s no reason for them, but they happen. So, I’m asking them. Would I have known sooner and felt better had I not created all these Diabetic excuses for my problems? If I had known, would I have even gone to Idaho?
I’m not really sure where this leaves me. But, I guess I wanted to throw it out there…do you think as diabetics and really any chronic condition sufferer we try so hard to persevere that we overlook symptoms others maybe wouldn’t? Not even with body problems…but with life too. I feel like sometimes I get so focused on trying to be normal and healthy and have it all together that reality be damned, I will get through this that or the other thing.
So maybe I am weird and am the only one crazy enough to process things this way. Or maybe the reality is, I’m normal?