How is this possible? Being Diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes at 20

  1. Ok so for the yast few months, I was feeling kinda crappy. Light headed, dizzy, But I just thought it was because of lack of sleep, and stress from school. I know I should have known better being a second year BSN. I explained the thirstyness as a dry enviroment, and the urinating from drinking lots because of the dry enviroment. you would think I would know better and see a doctor, or at least told someone.

    Well I get up nice and early for clinical (but kinda late) So to be ontime I decide to stip breaky, the day gets kinda hecktic so I decide to stip my break. As the day continued I started to feel crappy, but I didn't have time for a headache, i thought the sweating was because I was working hard, amd week=too tired.

    I guess I through myself into hypoglycemia. I was talking to a pt and relised I had to leave, by the time I got to the nurses station I had no idea what was going on. I'm glad The amazing nurses saw me. I proceeded to pass out on the hospital floor (i barely like my shoes on that floor). Not much idea what happened from there to downstairs in the ER where I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

    I though that that was the kinda thing you find out when you are a kid...NOT 20.

    I'm learning how to manage this, not that I needed another thing to add to teh stress of school and being so far from home. I think I'm well on my way to managing this. And I start back in clinical tomorrow, SO i better be managed, because kissing the hospital floor once is too many.

    Thanx for letting me rant
  2. Visit Still Riding profile page

    About Still Riding

    Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 213; Likes: 8


  3. by   traumaRUs
    Nowadays you can be diagnosed with type I diabetes up until approx age 30! Please take care of yourself...
  4. by   purplemania
    I too was drinking a lot (but it was a hot Texas summer, so I justified it), voiding a lot (but I was drinking water all the time) and eating a lot (normal routine for me at that time). My parents and most siblings are diabetic. And I am a nurse. At the time I worked on an endocrine floor of a pedi hospital. SURPRISE. I did a random finger stick and my BS was 520. What a wake up call. Four years later I am 20 lbs lighter and on oral meds. I felt stupid for not realizing the signs sooner.
  5. by   cabbage patch rn
    It's not unheard of. My brother was diagnosed at age 24 with Type 1 while serving in the military.
  6. by   RedSox33RN
    I was dx'd with Type 1 at age 29. Nothing makes you feel young like being dx'd with Juvenile Diabetes at that age!! LOL (I know they don't call it that anymore though )

    Truly, it can happen at any age. It's an auto-immune disorder. While it generally happens in childhood, it can happen at any age due to a bad case of the flu or extreme illness, or any other extreme stress on the body. I'm not sure what caused mine, but I believe it's because I was a "late" DES baby (my mother took DES, which went "out" in the early 60's, but unfortunately not with her doc, and she took it in the late 60's). DES has been found to cause many problems, with girls as well as boys of the moms that took it (although it is generally thought of to affect mostly the girls), one of which was auto-immune disorders in the children. Many have come down with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as Type 1 diabetes.

    Anyway, I'm sorry you're going through this now. It sucks, no matter what age you get it at. Please find a great endocrinologist/dietican and CDE - it's a "team" disease, with YOU as the leader. I had to learn that early on. My dietician was fantastic - if you like tomatoes and melon and stuff like that. I don't, so I had to be assertive and let her know what I would eat, so she could help me plan meals around my favorite foods. Same with the CDE - if you let them know what YOUR schedule is, then they can help you plan when to eat/take your insulin/how much to take, etc.

    It's hard at clinicals. I'm on an insulin pump now, which I love, and that has made it easier to control my B.S.'s. You know how crazy it is with meal times, and with the pump, there is a lot of flexibility in eating. It may be something to look into further down the road.

    Please take care!
  7. by   Still Riding
    Thanx Everyone for the encouragement, I really need it. My first day back at clinical went great, my instructor was slightly overprotective though. She asked me several times if I had eaten, or checked my BS, and made sure I had a few breaks, but I know where she is coming from, as a nursing instructor, I'm sure her job is stressful enough with eight students on the floor then add my nice little moment I'm sure had her stress through the roof.

    MY Diabetes team seems very good, they allow my diet to have more than the "tomatoes and melon", but i don't think they appreciate my love af all things candy. jube-jubes, sour patch kids, fuzzy peaches... and the list goes on to all things gummy and sugary...I'll have to work on that love because I miss my candy.

    So thanx again, and I'd luve to hear little tricks (you know the ones the team doesn't tell you), like how to plan with clinicals, long shifts, and a busy day that flys by without realising the time. and I'm going to look into the insulin pump, as an idea for the future.
  8. by   Tizwit
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Nowadays you can be diagnosed with type I diabetes up until approx age 30! Please take care of yourself...

    Sorry for the major Delay in the message but I had to respond to this. You can get Type 1 diabetes at ANY age. you can be 2 weeks old or you can be 62 years old. There are no age cut offs.

  9. by   lifesaverwv
    Hi, Don't be too hard on yourself. We've all been diagnosed with various problems & when the doc says what we have we slap ourselves in the forehead & wonder why we didn't think of that! We don't want people to think of us as hypochondriacs & c/o every little thing so sometimes things sneak up on us when we are under stress. Good luck to you & I'm glad that you are getting treatment.
  10. by   Antikigirl
    I work with geriatric patients who are constantly dx with diabetes type one at their late age...guess it was always missed before?
  11. by   abundantjoy07
    Age 30 is generally where the usual cut off for type I is.
    Oh and yes you really should think about getting a pump!
    They are ggggrrrreat!!!:roll
    The other thing I wanted to say is that type I diabetes is not that bad...maybe I feel that way because I've had it for so long...but if I had to pick a disease it would be type I diabetes. Good Management and tight control will keep you well.
    You know there's this lady in my class that did a finger stick on herself (the day we were in lab). Her blood sugar was really high. So she went across the street to the hospital after the instructor urged her to and she was diagnosed with Type II. It seems like nursing school is the place for finding out our own problems and issues.
    Last edit by abundantjoy07 on Mar 28, '05
  12. by   Stephanie in FL
    Quote from TriageRN_34
    I work with geriatric patients who are constantly dx with diabetes type one at their late age...guess it was always missed before?
    I am a CDE and RN. These geriatric patients may have Type 2 diabetes (not Type 1). Some people think that everyone on insulin has Type 1. That is not true. People with Type 2 diabetes may be on insulin from date of diagnosis if their BG readings are very high. Also, Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. This means that most people with Type 2 diabetes will need insulin eventually to control their BG readings.

    Yes, you can be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at any age. That is one reason why it is called Type 1 diabetes now and not juvenile diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the correct term (not Type II or adult onset diabetes) because:

    a) it can be diagnosed in teenagers now
    b) Some people thought it was Type "eleven" instead of Type "two"

    Stephanie RN CDE
  13. by   NurseCard
    My father was diagnosed at age 32 with Type 1 diabetes. Rather unusual indeed. But no, I don't believe it is all that unusual to be diagnosed with it in the early 20's. My college roommate was also diagnosed with it at 20; though she also had Friedrich's Ataxia (a form of Muscular Dystrophy), and Type 1 diabetes is somehow believed to be linked to this disease, meaning persons with FA also end up with Type 1 DM.
  14. by   NurseCard
    Young children are even being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes nowadays.

Must Read Topics