This was actually something I thought about writing about a couple months ago then got sidetracked. I just read something else this week that reminded me of this subject and thought I would write about it now. As you can guess from the “Part 1,” this is a multiple part story!
For those of you that read the TuDiabetes message board, you probably read about Missy. Reading Missy’s story is what originally gave me the idea to write about this – it has happened to me and I am sure many others. Missy was in the hospital for brain surgery. Missy is Type 1 and uses a pump. Besides being diabetic, she is also deaf. The doctor managing her medical care decided that she was a Type 2 and stopped her insulin and put her on Metforim. Apparently, you are not supposed to have an MRI while on Metforim. Guess what, Missy had an MRI.
When I was admitted to the hospital for my foot in September, 2005, my insulin was withheld from me. My blood sugar was high and I think I did nothing but complain to the nurses that I needed insulin. It was almost lunch time until I had any insulin at all and I had gone to the ER about dinner time the day before. After being in the hospital for 2 or 3 days, they had an endo come in to talk to me. After we were talking for a little bit, he said, “I think you are Type 1.” I said I have been Type 1 since 1984 and there was no question about it. He then informed me that it was all thru the charts that I was Type 2. I guess because I had gained some weight from being off my foot that it was OK to “assume” that I was Type 2.
The following February, I was taken by ambulance to a different hospital, but part of the same hospital system. I had been really sick and my blood sugar was up. I took some Humalog insulin before the EMTs came because I was planning on trying to get my BS down and then eating. Several hours later, I had a low in the ER. It was not even that low, it was in the 60s. I was admitted to the hospital that night and taken up to a room about midnight. I normally took my Lantus before going to bed. I was informed that because my BS had been low in the ER, the doctor did not want me to have Lantus. Any “idiot” should know that Lantus is a basal insulin and you need to take your basal insulin no matter what your blood sugar is. By morning, my blood sugar was extremely high. The doctor that withheld my insulin came strolling into my room and acted like it was my fault my blood sugar was high! I let him know that my blood sugar was high because he withheld my insulin.
After going thru my foot ordeal, I have learned a lot and I will be demanding to be transferred to another hospital immediately if anyone ever decides to withhold my insulin again! One of my “plus” reasons for a pump was because it is sometimes easier to be allowed to control your own diabetes in a hospital when you are a pump user. I know that there is no guarantee that I will be allowed to continue to use it, but I do intend to fight for that right. Whether I am using a pump or go back to MDI, I will never walk into a hospital again with having insulin with me.
Prior to being admitted that September, I never thought that there would be a question as to what type of diabetic I am. Now when I see a new doctor and fill out their forms, if they have a box that says “diabetic,” I make sure I write Type 1 next to that. I also carry a medical history form with me and that also states Type 1. I am thinking that I need to put a copy of my C-peptide test with that form as proof that I really am Type 1 in case some bozo decides to question that!