Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Disease? Diabetes Part II

Okay, so I know this happened such a long time ago. But I still can't believe sometimes that I have this.

You know my mother always told me that when I was younger, I had lots and lots of fevers. So bad, we were in the emergency room at least 20 times a year! I remember the school nurses would always call her in, because on Friday's I'd start with a fever, and no one could figure out was wrong with me. I didn't have the best health care growing up. My dad was a salesman, and was in a car crash that almost killed him when we were younger. He couldn't work for years, and even when he was better, still couldn't get around much. My mom who had been a stay at home mom, suddenly had to start working to pay the bills. She knew little english and took whatever odd jobs she could. So no health insurance other than county hospitals and clinics. ANYWAY. I once asked my doctor about this. He told me there was no proof that this could have caused it, but explained to me the process.

Mostly, I was confused with type 2 and type 1, and why my parents, family and friends insisted that if only I lost weight and exercised, it would go away.

The doctor explained, that my type 1 diabetes is basically an autoimmune disease. My body somehow thought my pancreas was an invader and attacked it, until it was gone. My pancreas is dead, I don't produce any insulin. So to me, it makes sense that I was always mysteriously sick as a child, if my body was fighting against itself. Doesn't it? Who knows.

So the fact that I don't produce insulin, means that no amount of weight loss or exercise will ever make me stop my injections. Never. It will however, help my body process the insulin I inject in myself, which is currently alot. I am overweight and I don't exercise. If I do those things, it will only help my body process the injected insulin better. Plus I can lower my dose of insulin (which is a fat hormone, meaning the more insulin you have in your body, the more the food you eat turns into fat) So if I can lower my dose, that alone will help me lose weight.

It aggravates me to no end when my MIL asks me how I am doing, and if I'm still injecting. She swears that there are vitamins and other products that will completely take away my diabetes! Bless her for trying to help, but I give up on explaining. I just say, yeah?

So what does this all mean. Before I got pregnant with Mateo, I though pregnancy would be a death sentence. I had 1 miscarriage before, and the doctor told me, what are you thinking trying to get pregnant. You shouldn't ever get pregnant, because it will decrease your life span, that is if you don't injure your body tremendously with the pregnancy. So when I found out I was pregnant in 2003. I cried and cried and cried. I had done alot of research the months before, and was finally in good control of my levels. I also read all the research, that said alot of people with Type 1 have a 35% rate of survival past 45. That was depressing. PLUS, pregnancy decreased those rates. So when I got the news I was pregnat. I was devastated.

But a funny thing happened. I was a stellar pregnant diabetic. My levels were at optimum. I was lucky I had such a good team of doctors protecting my little one. I had many many doctor appointments. I went every 2 weeks from the moment I found out I was pregnant. Towards the end of the pregnancy, probably the last month. I went into the doctor 3 times a week. All the bad things I was expecting to happen to me didn't happen. It was a perfect pregnancy. My little boy showed up 2 weeks early and was perfect! I attribute my healthy eating and careful monitoring to my precious boy. He truly is my miracle baby. I know at times I get frustrated with everything, but then I think to what a miracle he is, and it makes it all better.

I think that may be it for my Diabetes saga. For a while anyway. Thanks for reading if you got that far.


Jovi said...

sounds like you handle MIL well :) auto immune diseases can be difficult for some people to understand! i didn't realize type 1's tended to have such short life spans...let's hope you defy the odds, as you did w/mateo! *hugs*

Stacie said...

I agree with Jovi...sometimes you just have to let others talk and act like they know what is best for you.

*hugs* take care of you sweetie!