NOTE: I am really glad Sheri agreed to share her story here. I’ve written about it before but my doctor told me I was pre-diabetic when I was 25 years old. The word “diabetes” scared me into doing something about my life and my health. I really feel like I dodged a bullet by losing 100+ pounds. I’m glad I can share Sheri’s story and I hope it helps some readers! -Lisa
I met Lisa through another blogger and I was amazed with her story. I want to thank her for giving me this opportunity to be a guest writer!
My story began a long time ago, I can’t tell you an exact date because the doctors never knew I was a Type 1 Diabetic until it was too late.
In 1999 I was weighing in at 255 pounds standing at 6’3 people said they didn’t notice it that much. I most certainly did and when I look back on my pictures wowaah how could you not notice?!
I was always fighting with my weight all my life. I still remember being on those goofy diets with my Mom losing 7 pounds here and there and then gaining more than I lost. I kept getting heavier and heavier, once I got married to my wonderful husband I ballooned out to my highest weight of 255. I was sick a lot our first 10 years of marriage. The doctor would take blood work, but not the right one. I was diagnosed with IBS one year, excema the next. I was thirsty all the time and he just never figured out why I was so fatigued everyday.
During my lunch hour after eating fast food for lunch, I’d be so exhausted and sick I’d have to take a nap in my car in the park down the street from where I worked. I was so foggy and unable to function, I came home one day telling my husband I feel like I had poison running through my veins. What I didn’t know was I did, it is called Diabetes.
My husband started running and I thought it would be a good idea to do it with him. However, my feet hurt so bad it was unbearable. I started noticing strange things like if I rubbed a certain area of my left foot it vibrated. Then it started vibrating on its own with extreme heat and cold temperatures that fluctuated sporadically. I couldn’t sleep with anything including sheets around my feet it hurt so bad. I had to stop running, needless to say, I ended up in a wheel chair and crutches most of the time.
My medical doctor sent me to a Podiatrist, he couldn’t figure it out then he sent me to a Orthopedic surgeon and he put me in a cast! He x-rayed my foot and did an MRI and did not find anything, but went ahead and put a cast on my foot for good measure. Oh my goodness that was so uncomfortable!!! My foot was vibrating and electric shots shooting through it and they put a cast on it!
After he couldn’t figure it out, he sent me to a Neurologist. While I was waiting for the day of my appointment to come, I kept researching my pain. What kept showing up was Peripheral Neuropathy and Diabetes showed up with it. Finally, I called my doctor and said “test me for diabetes”, so he did and lo and behold I had Type 1. My A1C was a 10 and a normal A1C for a diabetic should be below 6.2. My blood sugar was on average 275 a normal blood sugar in a normal person is usually 80 – 90.
This chart came from Diabetes Well Being
Now I knew why I felt and was so sick!! I went to my Neurologist and the first thing out of his mouth was “do you have Diabetes?” He was the first one out of all of them to ask me that or even considered diabetes.
He sent me to the hospital for a EMG test, which involves testing the electrical activity of muscles. For more information on EMG please visit eMedicineHealth. This test showed I had Diabetic Neuropathy because my blood sugar was so high for so long, it started destroying the nerves in my feet. Over time it moved up to my digestive tract that is called Autonomic Neuropathy.
My Neurologist gave me nerve blocks for pain and that was a very uncomfortable procedure! It was only temporary relief and so wasn’t worth the painful process. He started me on Neurontin, which is a seizure medicine to help calm my neuropathy down. It sure did help!
I went to a Nutritionist and she taught me how to read labels and count my carbohydrates. I lost on my own 25 pounds and I got my A1C below a 7. As life went on I started gaining my weight and although I “tried” to watch what I ate I was unable to lose weight. I was getting so depressed and I knew it was a matter of time before my eyes became affected by the neuropathy. I wanted to fight I refused to stand down and let this destroy me.
I was no longer able to go grocery shopping because I couldn’t stand for no longer than 10 minutes at a time. My husband did everything! When I wanted to go shopping at the Mall, my Mom would push me in the wheel chair. I didn’t exercise, I did try to ride the stationary bike though since it didn’t affect my feet.
On 22nd of July 2008, I talked to my husband about joining Nutrisystem, and he supported me 100%. I lost my 60 pounds in 6 months and have been maintaining every since! My A1C was 6.2 at my last checkup and I no longer take 40 units of insulin a day! On average I use about 5 – 12 units daily. This has been a life changing event to lose weight, I can say it has saved my life!
I am now in the process of learning how to jog and walked my first 5K in October of 2010. If you have diabetes or your doctor said you are borderline, do something now before its too late!
Please drop by my blog and visit me you can see my slide show of pictures in the About Me section.
Thank you Sheri for sharing your story!