I started this blog with the intention of being a home decor or possibly a DIY blogger of some sort. I like alliteration, and I was quite pleased with myself on my blog title: Flawed yet Functional. “Good one, Emily! Repeating “F” words, short yet meaningful, easy to remember (at least for me it is!), useful in many applications houses (no house is perfect), furniture (same), decor (always somewhat flawed, I’m not a professional!), my health (my AVM story), etc. Yes, this is a good title with a variety of uses and applications in blogging.” Little did I know just how useful it would be with another health hurtle around the corner: Type 1 Diabetes.
While I still love decorating and renovating our house, my family has taken precedent the last few years. The desire to write, share my story, and encourage others still exists. My most recent physical struggle brings this blog to the forefront of my mind again. What if my story (and it’s continuation…) can encourage/guide/warn others? What if by writing out my story, I not only help myself process but others as well? In that vein, I no longer write for the hope of being internet famous or even making money on this ole blog, I feel the need to share. God is working something out in my life. I don’t know what yet, but I think writing here may help me figure that out.
So what’s happened?
Symptoms of Diabetes
Last week was Spring Break here in West Michigan. My husband and I intended to spend it quietly at home for the most part. We had two weekend trips planned, but those were going to be small and low key. The first weekend trip had us staying in a hotel, and my husband knew to purchase a couple gallons of bottled water knowing that hotel water doesn’t taste wonderful. Friday I was drinking it fine. I thought it tasted a little odd, but I was thirsty (and the hotel water truly was yucky) so I just kept refilling my water bottle.
Friday – In the evening, it occurs to me that I’ve filled my water bottle a lot, several times since arriving that afternoon. Just how many times, I’m not sure, but it is starting to occur to me that it might be more than normal.
As it happens when you drink a lot of water, you must urinate often. We had a hotel room with a separate bedroom, and of course, the bathroom is in the bedroom. We had put the kids down in the bedroom so they could have the quieter, darker room. The things we parents do for a good night’s sleep! I had to sneak into the bedroom several times that night. Hmm, that’s odd. I still thought I just drank too much water.
Saturday – I notice how thirsty I am and decide to keep track. I drank 75 ounces before lunch. Yikes! That’s a lot! Now I’m wondering what the cause is. I immediately think it’s the bottled water.
There must be something in that water!
I mention my issues and concern to Dan, and we both think it’s odd but likely the bottled water. My body must not be used to it…or something.
Sunday – I think my thirst returns to almost normal. It’s still high, but not 75-ounces-before-lunch high.
Monday – I’m driving my kiddos to a petting zoo in the morning, and I notice my far-sight is blurry. I couldn’t focus further down the road. In fact the more I tried, the blurrier it got and the more my eyes watered. By the time we returned from the petting zoo, it had returned to normal. Weird, but I didn’t really give it too much thought. I talk it over with Dan. “Diabetes?” I mention “Probably, not but I’m seeing my brother’s family tomorrow. I can test my glucose level there.”
Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis
Tuesday – I’m heading to my brother’s house, and my vision is blurred again. I’m aggravated/nervous. It’s looking like diabetes to me, but I feel fine. Absolutely fine. I test my glucose level as soon as I arrive. I’m chatting it up with my sister-in-law and niece, not really paying attention to the glucose meter.
“Aunt Emily!!!” My niece exclaims.
I look down at the meter, 522 it reads. “Is that finished counting down? Like, is that the number?” I ask.
“Yes! That’s your blood sugar!” My sweet adolescent niece exclaims. Shock and awe are all over her face.
“You need to see someone right now!” My sister-in-law informs me.
Sigh. It looks like I have diabetes. Tuesday began an adventure to get back into my endocrinologist to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes and determine type 1 or type 2.
By Friday, I had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a 33 year old. In exactly 1 weeks time, I went from a healthy adult to an adult with a lifelong autoimmune disease. From someone who rarely goes to the doctor to one who will be seeing 1, 2 or even more on a regular basis. I went from someone who spend very little on healthcare to one who will be maxing out her health plan every year. Once I was a healthy eater yet didn’t consider what or how much I’m eating to someone who needs to know every morsel she ingests.
It’s a touch overwhelming. I’m still at the beginning, but that’s where I am today: a human being with a hole in her brain and a pancreas that doesn’t work anymore. Flawed? Yes. Still functional? Absolutely. Type 1 Diabetes will not defeat me. I will live a flourishing, fulfilled life in spite of my health.
To continue with my story, check out these posts:
Insulin-Free Type 1 Diabetes | Why I Became Gluten-Free
Insulin-Free Type 1 Diabetes | Eat More Vegetables