Spring of 2011, I was in my second semester of nursing school. The year began ok. January, I was studying very hard and getting the required good grades just like I did the past semester.
Before long, I realized that something was wrong. The professor would ask questions in class that I knew, and I would raise my hand, but when the professor called on me, I went blank, as though I didn’t even know what question had been asked. I soon realized that my 8 hour study nights were not paying off at all. When I went to take the exams, I knew the information, but was unable to put the words down on paper. It wasn’t like I forgot, but I couldn’t get the information out of my head. Eventually, as weeks passed, things got so bad that I could not even communicate with my classmates. I knew what I wanted to say, but could not speak the words. I would mumble and slur some off the wall stuff, and would get so frustrated, I would end up in tears. This was all not constant, but becoming more and more regular in my life.
2 of my classmates, whom were amazingly supportive and very loving through this downward spiral of mine would often take me by my hands and lead me outside, and to their car where I would sit and cry, trying to communicate with them, but unable to get the words out. They were so patient with me. I tried to text to them at times when I would get lost in the parking lot, but as they would show me at a later time, the words I texted were unreadable, even though I knew exactly what I was texting to them.
I eventually thought I was coming down with Alzheimer’s disease, since I couldn’t remember test materials, but also simple things, such as how to spell Halloween, when making out invitations for my children’s party. I then got very scared one night when I couldn’t remember how to cut and paste a phrase on a computer. So I went to see a psychiatrist to find out what might be going on in my mind.
She definitely noted a serious deficit in my mind, a ”mind to mouth disconnect” I believe she called it, meaning I had the ability to think, but could not write it down, and sometimes couldn’t speak it, but would try with stuttering. She believed it wasn’t Alzheimers, so that alleviated some of my fears, however, I was still left with ”what was it, then?!” thoughts.
My classmate once asked me about testing, and asked me if I had my sugar checked due to the sweating and shaking, weakness and paleness that would seemingly occur at the same times as these attacks would hit. I told her I didn’t have sugar problems, that my last test (in late 2010) was fasting at 97. I began having lots and lots of tests. From sleep studies, to blood, urine, and many checks on my thyroid levels, to make sure that was in check (had it completely out in 2006). All tests kept coming back normal.
When I drove home one afternoon with my children in the car, and I FORGOT HOW TO STOP THE CAR, I gave in and said, something has GOT to be done… I can’t hurt my children, or anyone else, due to whatever this is destroying my body. I withdrew from college in late February, after my grades plummeted and I was on a downward spiral. I drove to Chicago to get some serious testing. The next step was to go to a memory clinic.
However, in September 2011, just before my memory clinic appointment, my endocrinologist tested my sugar, fasting, just to be sure, and it was at 222.
On Sept 19, 2011, he diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes and told me that I need to get started on a treatment immediately.
Within 1 month of making lifestyle changes, and being on Metforman, as well as monitoring my blood sugar (where I bottomed out in the grocery store with an attack once, and also once in my doctors office), I began to correlate my ”attacks” from high sugar levels (ie 175-196 and up) to ”bottoming out” around 56.
Since this time, I have lowered my A1C to 5.8, and have only had very minimal ”forget me nots” as I call them, where I forget simple things such as my child’s best friends name or something silly like that. But they are becoming more rare day by day. I just have to keep on this thing, and fight like a girl, and never give up making lifestyle changes, and living according to the numbers and always staying on top of the latest diabetic-friendly tips and tricks.
Through a free screening, I recently found out I am in the osteopenia stage due to not having a thyroid and my calcium/vitamin d deficiency. So when I go to my endocrinologist next month, he will now have something else to help me with (bet he loves seeing me walk through the door – lol).
I must say, if you think something is wrong, DON’T STOP until you find an answer! You never know what it might be. I also highly recommend free screenings of any kind, if they come through your town.
I had no idea I had thyroid cancer (another story in itself) and wouldn’t have even gone to the doctor if I hadn’t gained so much weight and wondered why when I was such a healthy person. I had no idea I had diabetes, until something started affecting my mind, and the people around me and I had to find out what (even though it did take 9 months of testing to find out!). I would have had no idea I was on a fast track to osteoporosis had it not been for a free screening given at our local gym one day.
I may not have cancer anymore (thyroid) but I am dealing daily with lifestyle hypothyroidism, type 2 diabetes, and now osteopenia… even though one doctor said “don’t you ever think you will be thin and completely healthy again”.
I will NEVER give up. I will continue to fight and live life to the fullest.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.