If you read my “About Me” section, you would know that I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when I was 22 years old. I was home on boot leave and was hit with a 706 blood sugar at the doctor. You think you feel pretty crappy when it gets in the 200-300 range? Yeah, I’m honestly lucky I’m here typing this today! Please remember, this blog is basically to share life experiences of being a diabetic and how to overcome and live a normal life. What works for me might not for you, but if you can pull anything away from this site then it’s worth it. Even a laugh or a smile sometimes is enough! Ok, now let’s skip ahead about 5-6 weeks….
If you are new to diabetes or a rockin’ veteran like myself, I’m sure you remember trying to get used to the whole insulin thing. It sucked, let’s be honest. To this day, depending on what I am training for or how my diet is, I still have to change up my eating and insulin habits probably more than I should. Anywho, so there I was– 22 and basically away from everything I know trying to learn how to be a diabetic in California. I am close to 2 months in now, and starting to think that I can control this stuff pretty easily. Oh yes, I had a few lows here and there but nothing too bad…. Boy was I in for a shocker!
It was a Saturday night and a few of us were headed in to San Diego for a fun night off of the base. We had been having quite a few drinks, I won’t lie, and near the end of the night I was feeling pretty darn good. We had lined up a ride back to the base, but when she started getting a little annoyed with us (like rounding up a bunch of lil kids), I figured to hell with her, I will just walk back. Now little did I know, I was MAAAAANY miles from my destination. I was in pretty good shape, but even THAT was too far for me. So here I am, walking towards base by myself, 1 o’clock in the morning. The thing that wasn’t entering my brain was the fact that I am exercising…
Pretty obvious, right? Like I said – cocktails…. As I am walking my ass off, my sugar is dropping. Fast. The alcohol that I had been consuming like water that night had not allowed me to realize that my sugar was dangerously low at this point and here I am by myself with no food. I was close to a gas station off of the highway so I decided to go over and phone my mom.
Now, my mother is an extremely caring and sensitive person, and I still feel horrible when I think of how she felt after this call. I had woken her up, and back home in Fargo it is 2 hours later than in Cali, so any call that time of night usually isn’t a good one. I had a short conversation with her basically telling her that I was in Moorhead (city that butts up to Fargo) and was going to follow the interstate home. My mom has a long history dealing with diabetes. My dad has had it since he was 14 and has been through hell and back with it. Surgeries, transplants, and even death and brought back. You name it, that guy has beat it.
So before I hang up and begin to head to what I thought was Fargo, my mom told me to go find a police officer and ask for directions. Now pardon my French, but after that conversation, shit went downhill immediately. Honestly I don’t even remember hanging up the phone. The next thing I know, I open my eyes and it’s light out. I am laying in a ditch on the side of the road, for God only knows how long, covered in dirt and grass stains. I had passed out due to my blood sugar being extremely low, and by some miracle my body recovered enough to wake me up. I vaguely remember the prior night but know that I am NOT where I should be. After hours of waiting for a few different bus rides, I return to base only to check in a few hours after I was supposed to be back. Instead of the ass chewing I thought I would get for being late, I get an ass chewing because my mom had called the base after my phone call and explained the whole thing to them. Here they had been calling all of the hospitals around the area to see if I was brought in. Talk about scary shit! I couldn’t imagine what my parents were going through until I made the call saying that I was safe and back on base.
Moral of the story? New or a veteran, anything can happen with this pain in the ass of a disease at ANY time. Please don’t leave home alone without your glucometer and some food. You don’t want to learn the hard way, or even worse to become a statistic. I can say that I was one of the lucky ones, but there are many that aren’t so lucky. Please feel free to share if you have any close call stories. We can all relate in some way or another!