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1st Dr. visit
2 years ago  ::  Dec 11, 2012 - 5:49AM #8
Posts: 720

Hey Tim, 

An unfortunate welcome to the club. 

like Jenna said, it takes your body a while to get used to lower blood sugars. This can make you feel everything from achey, to depressed, to just plain iritated all the way to shakey, confused or hungry! It does end, your body will get used to the new baseline. Like she said keep an eye on your meter and go with it as best you can, but if you really feel like you cant function dont force a round peg into a square hole. 

those books are AMAZING they really can help you take the reins on your health. 

the hardest things about diabetes are first that it's not like taking an antibiotic or other meds. Where there's an approved dosage range and it works for everyone. my diabetes, your diabetes, Jenna's and Sally's are all VASTLY different. for us to compare numbers is meaningless. Which is why the hospital sends you home with very sketchy very generic information that isnt terribly helpful. 

At first you get really frustrated because it seems like you're constantly contacting doctors and constantly changing doses and insulin types and oral meds and.... ARG you just want to get a routine!!!

hang in there, it takes time.. but eventually you'll figure out what works for you, your diet and your lifestyle.Eventually you'll make your own adjustments and your doctor will just need an ocasional update. and when I say it takes time, I mean i wasnt comfortable enough to tweek my own meds without guidance for atlesat 6 months or more. 

secondly as you can tell, you're running a marathon, not a sprint. So keep your endurance up. the psychological and emotional race is as tiring as the shots and the math. 

I recommend taking one step at a time

First get safe. this means getting used to lots of testing and basic dosages to keep yourself from dangerously high or low blood sugar levels. This can be done with your primary doctor

next step is priority setting: figure out your goal blood sugar levels (not necesarily the same for everyone) and what you are willing to change and what you're not. For example ,are you an athlete? Is beer or wine part of your culture? what foods are you just NOT gonna give up no matter what? Are you a shift worker? student? parent etc. These things will all effect your blood sugar and need to be tailored into your treatment plan. There's no such thing as a "good diabetic" someone who does everything as prescribed. There are just healthy people, and unhealthy people, and perfect blood sugar levels with a miserable unfulfilling life is NOT healthy!

Part of that is the next step, specialists. Specificly an endocinologist(this specialist keeps an eye on your hormones since diabetics are prone to other endocrine issues, and can hopefully help you get tighter control, some are better than others, feel free to Dr hop til you find a good fit for you) and a nutritionist or registered dietician. For diabetics food is medication, this person can work WONDERS to help you get insight into how what you're eating effects your body. Monst insurance companies cover these services entirely.  te other specialist you NEED is the eye doctor! A major side effect of diabetes is vision problems and changes. an annual dialated retinal check is MANDATORY for diabetics!!! even if you've never worn glasses in your life you need an eye doctor visit annually and tell them you're diabetic!

like I said ONE STEP AT A TIME. dont try to fix it all at once, you'll go BONKERS! 

You've found a great resource. 

2 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2012 - 12:46PM #7
Posts: 1,283


Sorry you're going through all this.  With diabetes things are always changing, you just learn to have decent numbers most of the time and avoid extreme highs and lows. 

Like you've learned, when your body is used to high blood sugars it takes a few weeks to get used to a lower normal.  Trust your meter and if you feel low, but your blood sugar is okay, eat a string cheese or something low carb and try to push through it. 

Cora recommended good books.  I'm also a fan of "50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life; And the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It" by Riva Greenberg.

Managing diabetes each day brings up a lot of different emotions and it's normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes.  People with diabetes, especially when blood sugars are high, are more prone to depression.  Overall diabetes reminds me of marriage or parenting where you have good and bad days and just try to do your best and have a sense of humor.  Over time you'll figure out how to make diabetes fit into your life.  I was diagnosed as a kid and still sometimes hate having to test or feel frustrated.  Then other days it's no big deal. 

I did shots for the first 25 years and have used a pump for the last decade.  I like the pump a lot better because it's more flexible.  You might also check out the forums at  There are a lot of type 1s out there who are knowledgable and cool. 

Take care.  -Jenna


2 years ago  ::  Dec 09, 2012 - 3:47PM #6
Posts: 12

Sally- your prob ably right. iI have always been super motived at everythign I do. But it almost feels like that ever since I take the insulin I feel worse at times. Dr. said that is due to the body having to get used to not living with a BG of 400+ which m A1C showed I did for almost a year. I ll keep my head up and take it one day at a time. :)

2 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2012 - 10:13PM #5
Posts: 871

I am curious about how you lack of motivation is.  Has it to do with your diabetes or is it life in general right now?  I know you have been through a lot and I do think that after your experience and the process of getting stabilized can definitely take it out of you for a while.  But with time, and more knowledge things will probably even out.  In the future you probably will feel better than you did before you were diagnosed.  I know there are a lot of success stories that come through dLife.  I think you are going to do just fine and I am glad your going to see an expert.


2 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2012 - 2:17PM #4
Posts: 12

Thanks for all the information, I will look into both those books. 

The Dr. visit went well, I guess, first one so nothing to compare it to. Dr. was honest with me and told me that she has a good understanding of type 1 but is not an expert, then referred me to one.

She really just told me that after some adjusting it will be come second nature. All sounds great but I guess I am just at the beginning so it seems like a long road ahead. 

Looking forward to meet with the expert Dr. my BG levels are still a roller coaster, not as much anymore but still out of control it seems like. 

Another thing I have noticed is that motivation to do anything is lacking. Anybody have thoughts on that?

2 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2012 - 1:56PM #3
Posts: 51

Depending on your doc, you may or may not get good advice. Some are still very old fashioned and expect you to eat the same thing at the same time every day and eat according to your insulin dose they prescribe.

Newer thinking docs and teams will teach you about things like your insulin to carb ration This is the amount of carb you can eat for a unit of insulin. Most people are started at a ratio of 15:1. From there you test a lot and figure out if you need more or less insulin (if you are high at the 2 hour mark you need a bit more, low means you need less). You will also need to work out (again, by testing a lot) your insulin sensitivity factor. This is the number of points that one unit of insulin will bring you down. This too varies from person to person. To test to see if your basal rate (lantus) is correct, you will skip a meal and then test a lot to see if your sugar goes up or down. You should remain stable without food if your long acting insulin is at the right amount.

As you can tell, working all this out takes a lot of testing on your part. Most long term type 1s adjust their own insulin because it varies a lot (also, it's not rocket science - you will get to know your own body).

An excellent book to buy is "Think Like a Pancreas". It will teach you a lot about insulin use and how a pancreas works. Another good book is "Using Insulin". It's considered a "bible".

Feel free to ask lots of questions. Things will get less confusing for you with time and will become easier. Best of luck.


T1 since 1966
Kidney transplant 2002
Pancreas transplant 2008
2 years ago  ::  Dec 06, 2012 - 5:56PM #2
Posts: 871

Your starting in a good place.  I know it is very stressful when you are first diagnosed with diabetes.  I know that it can be confusing and scary too.  It must have been very scary to end up in the ICU!  I hope you will share with us how the conversation went with your doctor.  There is so much to learn and you can't learn it all at one time.  I hope that you will be given a good meal plan to begin with.  I think there are a lot of variables that your personal doctor can work through with you.  I know that my doctor has given me a lot of responsibility on figuring out how much fast acting insulin I should take.  But I have been a diabetic for almost 10 years now.  I am sure that the doctor gave you great advice and maybe even referred you to a diabetic endocrinologist.  But then again maybe your doctor knows all that you need to know.  Please check in?


2 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2012 - 5:40PM #1
Posts: 12
I was diagnosed 6 days ago because I blacked out and woke up in the ER. I have my first appointment with my regular Dr. tomorrow. What should the topic of conversation be? Will the doctor know what to ask?? All I know about it is what I have been reading and what the doctors in the ICU told me, which was not a lot.

How do you determine your insulin scale? The hospital gave me a generic one but sometimes it seems to much and sometimes not enough.

Anybody know why I feel like crab when my BG is 99, which I thought was in the "normal" range? So many questions and no clue where to start.  
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