Almost anything can be explained away if you try hard enough.
I always joked with my girlfriend in the months leading up to my diagnosis that I had T1D. So when I told her I had it, she didn’t believe me. My cousin, also a type 1, had told me about some of the symptoms he had prior to his diagnosis – most notably, frequent urination, which I was experiencing especially in the middle of the night. But there had to be another reason… right?
In the months leading up to my diagnosis, I was deeply entrenched in rigorous studying for the CFA level II exam. At some point during my studies (around February of 2017), I started to become fatigued, and that fatigue grew as each day passed. I attributed the fatigue to burning out from studying (due to the fact that I started studying in September 2016 and that burn out is a common occurrence for those studying for this particular exam). BUT… I needed the energy to study.
In comes my newfound addiction: coffee. To combat my tiredness, every day after work at around 6:30, I would grab a large Cumberland Farms iced coffee to try and muster up the energy to hit the books. And what does coffee do? Well, it makes you pee and dehydrates you. Sound familiar? Can you guess what I attributed to getting up four to five times every night to urinate? Can you guess what I attributed to being unquenchably thirsty even after refilling my glass of water on my way back from waking up to go to the bathroom? And how could I forget – I also attributed losing 40 pounds to the coffee as well.
I was exhausted. I had an inkling that I had T1D due to what my cousin had told what me his symptoms were. I finally called my doctor and just described to him that I was exhausted because I was getting up four to five times during the night to go to the bathroom. The nurse, also a T1D, left me a message and said that I needed to come in immediately.
My A1C was around 13.5 and blood sugar was 323. I really wasn’t all that surprised, but obviously, I had questions. Could I still drink beer? Could I still eat bread? Would I have to give up Oreos? I really had no idea about the disease and, like many others, had many misconceptions. Right then and there, I learned how to shoot up insulin and finger prick. The endless learning process had officially begun.
The point is that I kept attributing my symptoms to something other than T1D. Coffee – the main scapegoat for my symptoms, seemed like a logical explanation at the time. So, if you notice weight loss, frequent urination, and sugar cravings, don’t try and explain it away.