Every superhero has an origin story right? Why can’t I be any different? This story starts over a year before the fun really begins, so to put my diagnosis in proper context we’ll need to take a ride in the Way-Back Machine ((cue the angelic harp sound effect)).
Senior Year of High School, I get accepted (early) into Virginia Tech while I’m simultaneously burning out on all of the AP courses I’m taking. I decide to drop out of AP Spanish and opt for weight training for the second half of the year. Over the next couple of months, I gain a little muscle and continue to lift on and off throughout the summer leading up to my move to Blacksburg. My weight probably peaked somewhere between 135-140. Before freshman orientation, I participated in a 3 week “starter” program called ASPIRE, a program for incoming minority engineering students to get accustomed to life will be like at college and build a small network of friends and associates to help the real transition. Personally, I find the whole theory of achieving diversity by sticking together rather counter-intuitive, but that’s a separate discussion. My theory is that sometime during this 3 week session, the first dominoes fell.
Cut to College, Fall 2002. Over the course of the next 2 months, I eventually dropped 10-15 pounds. A combination of being rather stubborn about my health, NOT working out to start the semester and adjusting to life as a college freshman, I generally shrugged my shoulders and kept about my business.
Late September, Parents’ Weekend. “You don’t look well.” Of course a statement like that from your mom after you’ve been away for two months seems like a motherly thing you’d expect to hear, again: do the shoulder shrug. Looking back, I remember barely being able to stay awake while we were walking through the Wal-Mart for groceries. I think I was about 20 pounds lighter by the time they came down. None of my pants would fit even if they were tightened to the smallest size. I was going through Gatorade powder mix like a fiend. And I would wake up at least twice a night to go to the bathroom. Say it with me: shoulder shrug.
October 18. High School Homecoming was delayed two weeks due to a little sniper incident in the area. A bunch of us pile up in a car for the 4-hour ride back. I make us stop at least 3 times to go to the bathroom, we never stopped once for food/drink, but that apparently didn’t matter. Again, looking back…classic symptom. I believe I had dropped up to 25 pounds from when I first arrived in Hokie-ville. If I had the energy to shoulder shrug, I probably still would have. Thankfully my parents made me go to our doctor the next day.
I’m sure you can guess how that went.
October 19, 2002. The first day of the rest of my life. My initial B/G was 844 when I was admitted. So I spent 2.5 days in the hospital getting all cozy with test strips, needles, and carb counting and some pretty crappy hospital food trying to make sense of what was happening. The jury is still out on whether or not I have made any sense of all of this, but I’d like to think I’m off to a decent start.
So I’ve settled into a pretty comfortable routine 6 years later. Most people make sure they have their cell phone, wallet, car keys etc before they leave the house. Add insulin related goodies and I’m no different. Obviously it isn’t that simple, but I like to think it is. It keeps me sane.