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My first week being diabetic

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by BongoSam, Feb 24, 2022.

  1. BongoSam

    BongoSam · Member

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    Hi all! I'm new to this forum, and wanted to introduce myself, but also just share my story and get some much needed advice!
    (I'll apologise right now for the length that this will inevitably be - I like writing!)

    This time last week I was 4 days into feeling pretty ******. I had caught a cold on Saturday and since then my distance vision had declined very quickly, and I was drinking about 10L of water a day (and peeing it out very quickly after!) to stay hydrated.

    I mentioned this to some colleagues and the verdict was I had diabetes..."pahaha yeah right! As if - I'm perfectly healthy!"
    However, it shook me, so I contacted my GP who asked me to come in straight away - which I did.
    She did a blood and urine test and told me to go to hospital immediately. Like, go home, pack a night bag, and get your butt to A&E right now!

    So I did, and after more tests it turned out my blood sugars were at 36 and ketones at 3.

    I then spent the night in hospital being asked by each nurse "what type of diabetes are you?" - bare in mind I hadn't actually been told by anyone yet that I had diabetes - then introduce the constant finger pricking and tests throughout the night - it was a very scary time.
    Next day I was given horrendous fish & chips for lunch (I asked if I should be eating something different but they said no).
    My sugars were then at 19.1 and I was sent home with a folder of info, a couple of blood testing kits, and 2 pens of insulin.
    I was told to test my blood sugars 4 times a day, and inject 6mg of insulin twice a day (although this amount has grown nearly everyday and is now at 12mg).

    I've been keeping a diary of my sugar levels and they've slowly been coming down; 12.2 the next day, then 13.3, 10.9, 8.8 - then yesterday it was at 5 and my brain did a backflip - "this whole time I've been working to get my blood sugars down, and they're now getting too low!"
    So naturally I started worrying and had my first bit of chocolate in 6 days and bam - 14.8 last night!
    I'm now in a limbo of being constantly paranoid about what I eat and trying to keep my levels steady.

    One thing I'm worried about is if my blood sugars drop suddenly overnight - are there any warnings?
    I currently have to check my levels manually, so won't be alerted by any highs or lows, and am almost more comfortable being a bit higher than necessary (just did a test and it's at 12.3 before having lunch).

    Speaking of - food.
    I'm pescetarian (veggie but with fish added) and have been doing Slimming World on and off for 3 years, which is making everything frustrating.
    For those who don't know, Slimming World is bascially "don't eat sugary, fatty foods - but feel free to each unlimited pasta, rice & potatoes!" - and I now can't, so the 80% of our meals that are mostly just pasta with a sauce are all off the menu!
    That limits my lunch & dinner quite badly as I used to have left over pasta nearly everyday - so, does anyone have any websites for good low-carb recipes?

    On top of all that, I'm still hanging in the balance waiting for the blood work to come back to see if I'm actually type 1 or 2 (I'm suspecting type 1 from what I've read, and have come to terms with the fact that I'll forever live with this annoying inconvenience lingering over everything I do, and just want to get to the point where I can get a glucose monitor to make it all that bit easier!)

    Right - I'm going to stop myself now - thanks for reading my essay.
    You're awesome <3
     
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  2. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Without a diagnosis it's hard to advise but lowering carb intake will certainly be very useful if T2 and will also mean less insulin requirements (and fewer chances of hypo) if T1. So carry on with that.

    Ignore slimming world and eat single ingredient whole food.
    Lots of green veg, fish, salad, berries with cream, ditch the stodge (pasta, bread, starchy veg and obvious sugary stuff)

    Once you get a diagnosis then we can maybe be more help.
    I hope they are doing c-peptide or fasting insulin tests.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    Good luck and welcome.

    Edit to add fats without carbs should help to keep you full.
     
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  3. Ronancastled

    Ronancastled Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Greetings.
    I was Slimming Worlds slimmer of the year pre-covid, earned my 5st award in less than 6 months.
    Never once followed their carb laden plan, nearly got rumbled once when I mentioned that I snacked on nuts, you could hear the room gasp in horror.
    I never went full Keto, it just raised the portions of meat/fish/eggs/cheese then halved the portions of pasta/rice/bread/potatoes.
     
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  4. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    Hi @BongoSam , welcome to the forum.

    Looks like for now they're assuming T1, and treating you like it, but are keeping their optiosn open. Sound like the right way to go for now.
    The trick with insulin is finding the right doses, which will take time. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and you won't get it right all at once, give yourself this time!
    You're on fixed doses now, did you get the low reading after taking your prescribed dose and then having a meal with very little carbs?
    In the end (still assuming you'll turn out to be T1) you'll learn to adjust your doses to the amount of carbs you'll eat. Some of us find this easier when choosing lower carb foods (I do, it's more predictable for me that way), others prefer higher carb meals and less fats because that is more predictable for them (@In Response is a member who prefers that way of eating).
    Personal preference plays a role as well of course!

    For now I think you'd be best off not to focus too much on what you should eat, but on learning how the carbs you eat and your insulin affect eachother.
    If you suddenly lower your carbs on fixed doses of insulin you'll go hypo!

    What insulin are you prescribed?
    This sounds like you are either on a basal insulin only, or on a mixed insulin. If you turn out to be T1, this will be changed to a basal/bolus regime: the basal a long acting insulin to give you a base level of insulin to keep you steady without food, the bolus a quicker acting insulin to cover your meals and correct high blood glucose.
    Insulin is measured in units, not mg, so your on 12 units twice a day at the moment.

    I think the most important thing for now is to ALWAYS keep your meter and something sweet on hand in case you need to treat a low.
     
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  5. BongoSam

    BongoSam · Member

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    Thanks for the welcome!
    Yeah I've been mostly ignoring SW for this week, as my diet has been pretty inline with what they suggest, just without as many carbs!
    They haven't done any fasting tests as of yet, and I haven't been told to do one, but I'll mention it next time I speak to my GP. :)
     
  6. BongoSam

    BongoSam · Member

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    Haha yeah, I lost 8lb last week due to it not being diagnosed for a few days - I felt like the most hated man in the group, and then the most loved when I mentioned the reason! :hilarious:
     
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  7. BongoSam

    BongoSam · Member

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    Yeah they're treating me as T1 just to be safe, but I'm fully expecting that to be the result.
    I'm currently on a fixed dose of Humulin M3 (mixed 30 fast/70 slow) insulin - 12 before breakfast & 12 before dinner (will make a note that it's in units and not mg!)
    I don't currently know which option works best for me, as it seems a bit all over the place, but as a lover of carbs I'll probably go down the 'avoid them when possible' road!
    I'm trying to eat pretty much the same each day at the moment and stick within my carb limit, but am struggling to get into a flow with it - I'm assuming that comes with time and will be easier when I have control over my insulin intake.
    I always make sure to have a meter and sweets with me although I haven't experienced a proper low yet...
     
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  8. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the club @BongoSam
    You have got some great advice from @Antje77 . I agree with here that you sound very much more T1 than t2 especially with the sudden weight loss and sudden thirst.
    Once you get the appropriate diagnosis, things will become clearer but you won't necessarily need a c-peptide or GAD test to get a T1 diagnosis. I would recommend pushing if they quickly classify you as t2 based on your age but there are some of us who were diagnosed with T1 as adults without the need for further blood tests because it was so obvious.
    Once you have more certainty, you can start managing your diabetes. There are two important parts to that sentence
    - you will manage not control diabetes. There are so many things which can affect our blood sugars that we should not expect to get it right all the time.
    - you will manage your diabetes. We can read website after website, book after book, forum after forum, research paper after research paper but you are not managing the average person's diabetes. We are all different and very few of us are average. We weight more or less, we exercise more or less, we have more or less stressful jobs and lives, we may have other conditions to manage, we have different bodies, lifestyles and minds.

    This is why some of us with Type 1 find a lower carb diet easier and some of us find the lowr carb diet more challenging. it is not always "personal preference". It is what our mind and body needs.

    I could ramble on for pages but you will have enough to read so I will finish with the advice not to expect to learn everything on day one ... or ever. Scientists are continuously learning more about diabetes and engineers are continuously designing new tools to help with the management.
     
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  9. becca59

    becca59 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Just to point out @BongoSam the mixed insulin regime is an old fashioned one. If you are diagnosed with Type 1 eventually insist on a basal bolus regime with up to date insulins. It will make living with this condition so much easier.
     
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  10. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I debated whether to respond to this or not as I do not want to derail this thread.
    But as someone with Type 1 who has tried low carb, I plead with you to stop this rhetoric.
    I wish managing Type 1 was as simple but the mental hardship associated with managing Type 1 cannot be reduced to something this banal.
    Yes, there are less hypos with less insulin but more highs and, especially for someone newly diagnosed with a need for low insulin doses, you can only reduce doses so much as the smallest dose from an insulin pen in 0.5 units. Insulin dosing is much much much more complex than an insulin to carb ratio - there is insulin dosing to consider, correction doses to consider, exercise impact to consider, stress impact to consider, insulin to protein ratios (which vary according to the type of protein). and more.
    Sure, some people with Type 1 manage their diabetes with a low carb diet but they know (and express) that we are all different and it does not suit everyone.
    Please leave the discussion of insulin management to someone who has experience rather than theory gained from reading research papers and listening to podcasts.
     
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    #10 In Response, Feb 24, 2022 at 4:34 PM
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2022
  11. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    I agree.

    And [puts mod hat on] this thread is not a place for further discussion on the subject.
     
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  12. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi @BongoSam ,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Pretty good T1 advice forthcoming. Early days for you so far. Certainly follow your diabetic teams advice untill (it may happen.) you figure out what's not quite working for you..

    I got to ask you this. Your username.? Is it inspired by a certain Jap import??

    On the subject of if you drive, insulin & DVLA. They will need to be informed..

    Take your time. Peruse the forum & don't hesitate to ask any questions.. :)
     
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  13. BongoSam

    BongoSam · Member

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    Certainly early days but already a lot of great advice - thanks all!
    My username - nope. I'm a percussionist! So I don't drive a Bongo (maybe one day!), but play them instead ^_^
    Have alerted the DVLA, will I need to get back in touch with them when I know which type I am?
     
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  14. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    I've no doubt the DVLA will be sending you some forms, at some point.

    Great to have another "muso" on the forum. :D Strangely, i've found my BGs more stable when gigging?
    Hypos if they occur.. I keep something drinkable to hand. don't wanna be choking on a sweet as a "singist.." :banghead:
     
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    #14 Jaylee, Feb 24, 2022 at 7:19 PM
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2022
  15. Mrs HJG

    Mrs HJG LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @BongoSam much of your initial treatment came from the same NHS checklist as mine; I had a urine dip test as part of a whole load of investigative tests and was asked by the nurse what type of diabetic I was, um... but I'm not diabetic... oh!:banghead:

    I did not have particularly high ketones and was initially thought to be T1, the hospital team a few days later thought otherwise and swapped the Levemir (basal? and Novarapid which I never got the chance to take), for Humulin M3 5units x twice a day. When my BG was dipping into the 4s and I was eating the Christmas Quality Street to stop me freaking out, they lowered the dose to 3 units x twice a day and then stopped it completely and left everything to the Metformin, diet and exercise. I am not following the Eatwell plate and have cut the carbs and got out walking each day to get to 'normal' blood sugar levels. The peeing/thirst did disappear pretty much overnight though.

    Good luck with the DVLA - I was keen to tell them I was on insulin, and when I stopped 3 weeks later they hadn't processed my claim and were just going to send my old licence back. They still sent a medical 3 year instead, and it has taken over a month to get back through to them as the lines have been busy/unmanned and now my licence has gone back to be reissued again - so much for trying to do the right thing!

    Also if your eyesight gets worse as your BG falls, don't panic, I was like Inspector Clouseau all Christmas and New Year with my mega-magnifying glass for even watching the TV, as my vision deteriorated so badly, but it did start coming back a couple of weeks later and normal about a month after that; my BG was coming down from a much higher level, but forewarned is forearmed.
     
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  16. RoughcutAU

    RoughcutAU · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the club! Sounds like a similar story to mine (and I’m sure many of us). Just 6 months ago for me. This forum though I dont participate alot has been incredibly helpfull to me. While I have great respect for my “healthcare team” who do an amazing job ... real world examples with those of us actually personally managing the condition help alot!

    Side note - I am one of those T1Ds who loved carbs too much to give them up and lucky enough to be able to keep my BGLs in target(mainly) with appropriate insulin use. Though I eat much healthier and cut out alot of ****/sugary items. Definitely no saint. :)
     
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    #16 RoughcutAU, Feb 24, 2022 at 9:05 PM
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2022
  17. Mrs T 123

    Mrs T 123 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Hello & Welcome :)
     
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  18. Outlier

    Outlier · Well-Known Member

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    You probably already have told your vehicle insurance company, but in case this helps - it must be done, as well as telling DVLA which you have..
     
  19. JMK1954

    JMK1954 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    You must be shell-shocked with all that has changed for you in the past few days. I think you owe your colleagues serious amounts of thanks. Some people end up in a state of collapse before being diagnosed. You were lucky - if anybody diagnosed with diabetes can be described in this way.

    You mentioned your sugar/glucose levels dropping during the night. I would suggest you keep your 'fast-acting carbs for fixing hypos' somewhere easily grab-able from your bed, so you can find it easily if you have a hypo during the night.
    I use 'Lift' (previously called 'Glucotabs') to correct hypos. I used to use Lucozade until they cut the carb content. Everyone has their own favourite. Also keep your blood-testing stuff easy to reach during the night. It is very easy to correct too much when you hit a hypo, thus ending up with levels sky-high.

    Good luck. I've had this extremely annoying and upredictable condition for 58 years so far. Hope this is helpful.
     
  20. samuelhill

    samuelhill Prefer not to say · Newbie

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    Hey mate,

    you good to have a conversation at some point? In a similar position where I have been told I have diabetes but waiting for results on which type. Suppose I just need reassurance that I’m doing ok and you’re a couple weeks more along the process than I am.

    Thanks,
    Sam
     
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