I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April 1995. I was hospitalized (blood sugar = 619 mg/dl) and briefly went into diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in the hospital. But because I was 35 years old, I was diagnosed by the hospital’s endocrinologist as having Type 2 diabetes, despite having zero risk factors, and I was taken off of IV insulin and discharged from the hospital. I was given a prescription for glyburide, a sulfonylurea, which did nothing for me. I was sent to classes for Type 2 diabetes at the local diabetes center. Because I am a scientist, I studied the information provided to me about diabetes and realized that phenotypically I fit the textbook description of Type 1 diabetes, and one week after I was hospitalized I confronted my endocrinologist regarding the “Type 2 diabetes” diagnosis. To his credit, the endo admitted he made a mistake; I was put on exogenous insulin, and given the diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. Shortly after my Type 1 autoimmune diabetes diagnosis, I was diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's Disease), which is rampant in my family.
Because of the horrible treatment I received when first (mis)diagnosed, I have worked ever since to change the perception that Type 1 diabetes is a childhood disease. It is not—it is far more prevalent in adults than children. Since my diagnosis, I have met numerous others with adult-onset Type 1 diabetes who were also misdiagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes.
Since 1998, I have used an insulin pump (now using the Animas Ping). In the spring of 2011 I started using the Dexcom continuous glucose monitor (CGM), and I wonder how I ever managed without it. I follow a lower carbohydrate diet (not very low carb). I am a lifelong athlete, and previously competed on my high school track and field team and my college squash team. Now, I do power walking, hiking, kayaking, and fitness training. I believe that exercise has tremendous physical and mental benefits for those of us with Type 1 diabetes. I have avidly practiced yoga for 24+ years, and also practice meditation, and I believe that my yoga and meditation practices have helped me cope with the 24/7/365 rigorous care that diabetes requires. I love to travel, and had traveled all over the world prior to being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Since my diagnosis, I have happily continued my travels (but take more precautions); my most exotic destination since my T1D diagnosis was Bhutan, in the Himalayas. My latest adventures include seeing the United States National Parks, which are truly treasures.