Just Wondering… Why Me?

Heads up that I’ll be whining here a bit. I’m feeling a little sorry for myself. A lot frustrated. Even more angry.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I haven’t been feeling well, I’ve been exhausted, etc… I didn’t go deep into detail because I didn’t really know what was going on and brushed off many symptoms as related to known issues.

Last weekend while people were enjoying a beautiful Saturday, I was lying in emerge. Fun times. I was seriously scared I was having a heart attack and once triaged, was put into a room immediately. When it comes to emergency medicine, I’m pretty sure you want to be the patient asked to sit in the waiting room because it’s not serious.

A number of tests were ordered including ECGs, blood panels, etc. The attending E.R. doctor came in eventually and said, “The good news is your heart is fine. The bad news is your thyroid isn’t working properly.” She then called in an internist who gave me a very (brief) overview and a prescription for beta blockers that stopped the heart palpitations (yes!), but didn’t address the thyroid issues.

This week I’ve been a mess. The “not feeling well” has gone beyond not feeling well… and I still didn’t know what was going on. I booked an appointment with my endocrinologist that oversees the Type 1 treatment. She’s thorough and autoimmune disorders are her specialty. Unfortunately they couldn’t see me until today.

Yesterday I crashed my GPs office in tears. When I say I was a mess, I mean that he concurred. Emotional, pained, exhausted, worried, hot, nauseous, stubborn high blood sugar, head aches, etc. He provided a calm listening ear, reassured me that I’ve done nothing wrong, and offered encouragement saying that things will get better.

At my endo appointment, she discussed things further. Ordered additional tests to confirm or determine the cause (suspected Graves disease.) Sent me for more bloodwork and prescribed additional meds. Pretty much told me I’m unfortunately vulnerable to the very thing that’s supposed to keep me healthy.

So I’m mad. Why has MY immune system gone rogue? Why do I have to deal with not one, but two, serious autoimmune disorders? Why do they have to complicate each other? Why can’t I just make it through a week without needing naps and Tylenol and gravol and multiple medications? I’m trying to stay positive… but honestly, I’m also heart sore at the moment.

Anyone have tips for better living and eating to protect your thyroid? Please forgive my complaints – I know that there are others dealing with far worse complaints… But honestly, at the moment, I just want to feel like me again – happy, productive me. I’m indulging a little bit of wondering… why me???

Type 1, TrialNet, and Toronto…

Three out of four of us are currently tucked into a hotel in downtown Toronto. (The fourth got to enjoy a dinner date with Oma followed by a sleepover before she packs him off to school in the morning.) This country girl loves coming down to the city, but finds it so bright and noisy at night.

We are headed to SickKids tomorrow for our oldest to participate in a follow up study with TrialNet. Once you get through traffic – the DVP always makes me nauseous… three accidents tonight and just a sea of red taillights – it’s a fun little trip until the actual appointment. We come down the night before, enjoy dinner, walk around, use the pool, tuck into bed, wake up, and skip breakfast to begin a morning of blood work. No sleeping in…

Oral glucose tolerance test… lots of labs… and then he’s sent home with a gift card for his services. Wait six months. Repeat.

Why do we put him through this? Because he didn’t “pass” the initial screening, he’s a candidate to help in research towards prevention and treatment of Type 1 diabetes… and hopefully, one day, a cure. If our little efforts can assist so that another family doesn’t have to live with pokes and needles and expensive life-saving medicines, it’s all worth it. (Plus, they’re watching his health at the same time.)

I have been Type 1 for 30+ years and we’ve come a long way, baby! The strides that have been taken since the days of Banting & Best ensure this isn’t a death sentence in most developed countries. However, the disease is time-consuming, expensive, and can have devastating consequences. Even with improved technology, there are days that look like a roller coaster when it comes to blood glucose management.

Case in point: today I woke up in target, had a device issue half way through the morning, corrected with an injection, watched my blood sugar stubbornly sit high for most of the afternoon, (and resisted the rage bolus) only to crash before dinner and then again on the drive down.

Thankfully, after dinner out (Fran’s is delicious!) and a walk downtown (plus two marshmallow bananas), we’re exactly where we should be pre-bedtime. However, I’ll be waking up at least twice through the night to check things again.

This is just one small portion of the thought and planning that goes into anything. Under 5? Can’t drive. Late for work. Drop too low? Migraine for a day. Creeping high? Sore eyes and uncomfortable thirst. Sustained highs? Kidney damage, blindness, and nerve issues.

So if WE can help figure this thing out in a global collaboration with an overnight trip and day off of school? Count us in.

Here’s a poster from Test 1 Drop that you should save. T1D is not to be messed with. Tragedy can be averted if treatment is started early enough. Know the signs and symptoms. Any time your instinct says something is not right, or it’s more than just the flu, ask for a quick finger poke.

Type 1 diabetes IS NOT caused by diet or exercise and is considered an autoimmune disorder. It is different from Type 2, Gestational, and other “diabetes.” While commonly referred to as juvenile diabetes, you can be diagnosed at any age.

I am our why. Our son is our why. My friends are our why. Strangers across the globe are our why. Every family that has lost a loved one to this disease is our why. As the JDRF says… let’s turn Type 1 into type none.