Being brave is being afraid
. . . but doing it anyway.

. Katherine Marple

Published Articles

The Fall Guy

Posted on January 29, 2015 at 11:00 AM

January 29, 2015 | Katherine Marple

 

Originally Published on http://www.diabeteshealth.com/

 

 

Two summers ago, I was in a brutal car accident caused by losing consciousness behind the wheel. Luckily, there were no fatalities. But, I’m left wondering what caused me to black out when I felt otherwise healthy just moments before.

 

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For the following month, I recounted my story of that day to as many doctors who would listen to me. I am extremely careful about monitoring my blood sugars before operating a vehicle. I replayed the glucose check before I drove my car, the pit stop for slow acting carbohydrates on the way home, and the fact that I was five months pregnant.

 

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Even though this event took place just ten minutes after beginning my drive, the moment the policeman discovered I was diabetic and insulin dependent, the cause of my unconsciousness was pinned on plummeting blood sugar. The case was assumed closed.

 

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None of the doctors seemed confused by my blood sugar being relatively stable that day and they continued to write off the accident as diabetes-related, despite this knowledge. When I get into any kind of medical trouble, diabetes seems to be blamed. In my heart, I don’t believe that’s the case this time.

 

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For example, I had severe pre eclampsia with both pregnancies, meaning my blood pressure was extremely volatile. My own mother had issues with plummeting blood pressure when she was pregnant with all her children, causing her to get dizzy and see spots. In the case of the car accident, since I was five months pregnant, couldn’t a sudden plummet of pressure cause me to lose consciousness?

 

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Diabetes gives me a lot of grief, but I don’t believe it is the only reason why I have so many issues managing on a day to day basis. When it comes to the human body, there are so many intricacies that it would be hard to locate the source of the many problems that I’m dealing with. Isn’t this why I have so many doctors on my healthcare team, so they can help me figure everything out?

 

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The car accident was not the first time diabetes was pinned as the culprit of a medical mishap. Nor will it be the last time it happens. Sure, diabetes is hard to manage sometimes and things can easily turn awful over the course of a few hours. But, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be checked for any other problems which could cause my ailments.

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I’m not a hypochondriac, I’m just careful. I’ve caught health issues on my own- such as pre eclampsia and insulin resistance - before the doctors could figure it out. I don’t have the medical information at my fingertips like doctors do, but I have my instincts on how my body is functioning. I don’t want to be dismissed.

 

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Because of type 1 diabetes, as well as insulin resistance and absorption issues, I admit that my diabetes control can be temperamental. I don’t have all the answers. I’m just wondering if there is something else happening with my health, from time to time, that could explain these sporadic medical events more clearly than an assumed glucose change.

 

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Should diabetes be the Fall Guy for every medical issue I encounter? I don’t believe so, but there are many doctors who seem satisfied with that answer.

 

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Next patient, please.

 

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Katherine Marple was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14 in 1998. She is the mother of two small children, has battled insulin resistance, Pre Eclampsia, and pump failures, leading to insulin therapy via MDI using Levemir, Apidra & VictozA, Metformin & CGM. She is the author of two diabetes related novels: "Wretched (this is my sorry)" and "Deathly Sweet." She can be found at: www.KatherineMarple.com and www.facebook.com/KatherineMarple

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