Feeling bad about not knowing my dx date


(Doug D) #1

Ok, this is kind of a tough one for me and I am somewhat embarrassed.  It seems like everyone on here knows the exact day (and some people time) they were diagnosed.  I do not.  I do know it was in September but I'm trying to find out the date.  This September will be my 30th year with T1 diabetes so I wanted to find out - or so I thought.

I called my mom to see 1. If she remembers and 2. If she doesn't, can she pull up the medical record as she kept everything about my childhood medical history.  During that conversation she said, "Doug, you were in Mrs. Whinery's class at the time - remember they sent you all the cards and we were trying to figure out what you could eat at BurgerKing when she took the group of kids with the most points to lunch?"  It all came flooding back to me and she was right!  Here I was thinking this is a big year - my 30th and soon after that my 40th b-day and no major complications.

I never defined myself as a diabetic.  In my mind, I was other things, a student, a soccer player, a baseball player, a friend, a brother, a kid - never a diabetic.  Back then, everyone wanted to treat me with kid gloves and I didn't want that so I kept it to myself and learned how to manage it myself.  My dx day was never a day to remember or reflect on. Maybe I just didn't want to remember it.

I am currently waiting to hear back from my mom - but if memory serves me right and she is right, this will be my 31st year with diabetes not 30th.  I all of a sudden feel like a bad diabetic!  This site has given me the opportunity to reach out to others as I have not had much contact with other type 1's in the past.  It has allowed me to give advice and get advice.  I have met some great people here who are caring, funny, humble, introspective and grounded. I am very glad I have this outlet to go to and part with some of the knowledge I have gained over the years.

Why is it that a 1 year makes me question myself?  Granted, I was young but geez!    It's very strange to me that something like this would shake my confidence as being knowledgeable when it come to T1.  I'm feeling embarrassed and a bit humiliated about it...is it a bit of an over reaction?  Are there others out there like me who don't know the exact date they were diagnosed? 


(system) #2

Don't feel bad about it..I don't remember and my mom doesn't either! Yesterday at the walk she said "you were in grade 2 right?" and i said "no..it was grade 1 cuz I had that bitch of a teacher" "oh right! my mistake. it was winter right?" "...i donno." haha it's been 15years(we just count from the age I was) and neither myself, my big brother nor my mom remembers even the season!

I'm planning on asking my endo when I go in July if I don't remember to call this week as I'm gonna get the date tattoo'ed at some point! Can you just call your endo's office now? Should be in your file!


(Doug D) #3

Great idea about the tattoo!  Yeah - I looked up my orig endo - he was in my hometown but unfortunately not only is the building gone, he passed away a few years back.  No one seemed to know where the records would be.


(jaco1199) #4

Doug-

I don't have any idea except that I was 3 almost 4.  So that could mean early 1978 or late 1977?  I don't know.  Even the circumstances surrounding my diagnoses is different depending if you ask my mother or father.  My peditrician has been dead a long time now.  So the only records would be at Joslin Clinic.  I've thought to request copies but never took it any further.  But maybe I will?

But my mentality was similar to you.  I never thought of myself as a diabetic and there was never one thought in my mind that I couldn't do something because of my diabetes (except eat sweets). But as far as being humiliated, etc...  I do think you're over reacting.  At this point in your life what difference does it make?  There are recently diagnosed diabetics out there that are more knowledgable of diabetes than 30, 40, year veterans and vice versa.  So for the last 30 years you have cared for yourself enough to avoid serious complications.  That in itself is something to celebrate. 

-Jane


(BrianPQuinn) #5

Well Doug there is a solution to this. First of all you are not a bad diabetic. I had to really think about when I was diagnosed. I know it was January of my Freshman year in High School. Than I had to do the math to figure out what year that was. I know it was just as I came back from Christmas Break. Other than that I am not sure. When asked how long I have been a diabetic I tend to go with about 14 years, but I am not 100% sure. I have randomly chosen Janurary 15th as my date. Am I 100% certain absolutely not! But hey it is close enough.

You are doing the research to find out the date. You know the month and you are close to honing in on the year. So your choices are to forget about it and just know the month you were diagnosed or do what I did and try your best to come as close to the date as possible and pick a day. It does not make you a bad diabetic. Heck, I am 27 years old and I can still never remember if my parents anniversary is August 23rd and my Dad's birthday is August 24th, or if it is the other way around. My solution, I mail the cards on the same day or try to visit them sometime the week of their days and cover both in one shot.


(tombeatson) #6

Interesting thread! Each of you needs to be sure you have something on paper that shows your date of diagnosis. There's one thing you will need it for, and that's when you apply for your Joslin 50-Year Medal. My mother's ONLY shortcoming was that she discarded things that bore bad news. So, my hospital records from when I was diagnosed got discarded many years ago. Along with that there were snapshots taken at Thanksgiving, about two weeks before my dx, and you could tell there was something wrong with me, because there was a strange look on my face in all those pictures. I distinctly remember we had those snapshots, but they're gone.

Many years after dx I started to try and figure out the actual date. I couldn't find anything on paper, but I did remember that the first day I was actually sick, and missed school, was a Monday morning. I got sicker and sicker, and a couple of days later I remember the doctor made a house call, and then he drove me and my mother to the hospital, where I fell into a DKA coma. So the actual date of dx must have been Wednesday or Thursday of that week. I decided that Monday was going to be my date, because, according to the calendar, that was Monday, December 7, 1942, exactly one year after Pearl Harbor.

Tom


(izzyd) #7

don't worry about it doug...it seems like such a big deal when you are a kid i.e"ive had diabetes for 3 years" but now it is not such a big deal...just stick to your routine and go with the flow man!


(system) #8

i've always assumed that your medical records go with you when you switch endos? i'm hoping i dont have to dig for mine..but i do know it wasn't so long ago that the hospital would have destoryed them..


(CJ1230) #9

Doug-

Dont worry doug, Im in the same boat as you I know the yr and month I was dx and I think it was close to the end of the month but im not sure. So Ive just decided that April 27th 1997 was my dx date.

As far as you being a bad diabetic that is crazyness, dont worry about it we are not perfect and like someone had said you have gone this long controlling your diabetes and you dont have any complications and that is something to be VERY proud of. As far as you being embarassed I really wouldnt worry about that one either because on this site we can be very open about who we are, our thoughts and feelings. And for that I am very greatful as well, I havent had the oppurtinuity to know let alone have any other T1 in my life.

And Batts your records dont always follow you like when you move provicenes, and I know here in Nova Scotia everytime you change drs you have to pay for your records moved and if not then your new dr has to start a new file for you.

 

CJ


(Doug D) #10

Thanks for the support guys.  I know it is moronic to think that way.  I believe it was more of a disappointment because in my mind I had some big things planned for the 30th dx and 40th b-day then it kinda took the wind out of my sails for a moment.  Yeah, as far as records go, I didn't take them or have them sent to my new doc after college plus I think they'd need a wing just for all the paper work - guess I haven't done well with my carbon footprint! HA!   And Tom - thanks for the heads up with Joslin - I will keep that in mind and in a file once I have it!


(DDrumminMan) #11

Doug D, don't EVEN sweat it.  No big thang.  I don't remember when mine was either.   I only know it with a week or two after Elvis died.   Close enough for jazz (or diabetes).

Just keep up the good work!


(Monique H) #12

Okay, now I feel kinda' like a dork.  Our son was diagnosed (T1) on May 13th, about one month ago (he'll be eight on Friday).  I actually put "William's Diagnosis" in my Outlook calendar as a recurring annual event, because I intend to celebrate his anniversary every year.  On May 13, 2010, I will celebrate the fact that he is alive, and has been happy, healthy, and thriving for one full year after diagnosis.  But then, I'm a mom, and an incurable optomist :)

On the other hand, I can't remember the dates (or even, sometimes, the year) of significant events such as my parent's divorce (I think I was 10?), when our family was shipped overseas (to Turkey for 2 years), or when my...well...female event began (try explaining that to your gyno).  I'm lucky if I can remember each of my children's birth dates (a pretty significant event in my life, not to mention theirs), which is why I have them all written down.  And, honestly, I hope that William's life does not become so much about diabetes that he can rattle off the exact date, time and location of his diagnosis with complete certainty when he's 40.  I hope the memory of his illness, hospitalization, diagnosis, etc., is vague enough that he can also still remember and joyfully recount all of the good in his life at that time, and all of the times after.

Granted, I am totally new to this.  But maybe, possibly, the exact diagnosis date doesn't have to be that important?  Maybe what really matters is all of the wisdom, knowledge and loving support that you are able to offer because of your long-term experience.  Goodness knows, there's at least one family out here who needs it...  That'd be US :)

Blessings,

Mo

 


(system) #13

I practice "people first." Which sounds like what most people do here. First and foremost, everyone is a person. Diabetes is simply one tiny part of who s/he really is.

I am C. I am a friend, an optimist, a hardworker, a college graduate, a photographer, a writer... and I also happen to have diabetes.


(paulg765) #14

I don't remember the exact date, but the year was 1970.  I DO, however, remember that it was the day before one of the 3-day holiday weekends.   Why do I remember this?...  Because I had two wait THREE DAYS for the lab to return the result of my blood sugar to confirm the Type 1 diagnosis.

Having chosen a book onj Drs. Banting and Best for an elementary school biography book report (ironic huh?), I already knew more about juvenile diabetes than most 17-year-olds.  I literally had walked in my doctor's office and announced "Doctor R.... I'm a diabetic."  He said this had to be confirmed with a blood test in order for me to be treated.  SO..., no insulin for another FOUR days.  I was almost dead by the time THEY found out I had Type 1 and admitted me to a hospital.  (Remember, they didn't have portable blood glucose monitors back in 1970!  Glad to be here.


(ameenk01) #15

I am just like you, I have no clue of when I was dx'd. All i know is I was young, 6 at the time, and it will be 29 years at some point in 2009. I asked my parents if they remembered and they didn't. i now have a 4 year old that is also T1 and I do remember her date because it is a day I will never forget. I seem to think that there was snow on the ground when I was in the hospital for some reason but my parents say there was not. So i jusy say I have had it pretty much all of my life and don't remember life without it.


(Doug D) #16

Hey Monique - don't feel like a 'dork'!  I'm beginning to realized that some people remember it and some people don't which has made me feel much better.  We're all different.  I think now it's just become more important to me, knowing that I keep on going after all these years.  In the past it was more of 'why do I want to remember it'.  Now I'm proud of it and realize that maybe it was the start of a second life.  I know I wouldn't be the person I am today without it.  There are the everyday frustrations but I'm a much more organized, introspective and healthy person because of it.  Thanks for your input - much appreciated.  Sounds like you are doing right by your son. Keep it up!  :)


(poodlebone) #17

I was 19 when I was diagnosed so it wasn't easy to forget.  For many years I couldn't tell you the exact date but I didn't really care.  I am 100% positive that it was the last Monday in April, 1987.  I know it was a Monday because I had finally called to make a doctor appointment the Friday before and that weekend was the worst of my life.  I know it was the last Monday because I was in the hospital for a week (released the following Monday) and my release date was in May.  So I Googled and found out the last Monday in April 1987 was the 27th. 

 

It now annoys me that I don't know what any of my numbers were when I was admitted.  Not knowing a thing about diabetes, anything they told me went in one ear and out the other.  I only know my BG was too high for the ER meter to read.


(system) #18

I was wanting to do the exact same thing with the tattoo, but I couldn't remember the date. I'll have to get in touch with my endo!


(Anonymous) #19

It's not anything to be emberassed about, in my opinion. Plus, I'm sure this is something your doctor can tell you at your next appointment if you ask. They keep the records and I'm sure it's probably not hard to access :)


(AlwaysFighting) #20

why would anyhone wanna get it tattoo'ed on their body the day they were diagnosed. All i can remember of it is June of fifth grade. I remember my DKA dates better