I wrote in my last post about my addiction to cocaine, my alcohol abuse, and how I wasn’t taking care of myself. My Type 1 Diabetes made all this behavior even more dangerous for my health. It was only a matter of time before something terrible happened, and it did. If anything, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner, but perhaps my body had worked up such a tolerance to being treated poorly that I was able to prolong the inevitable.
It was a weeknight like any other. I was at a nightclub with my work buddies, and we were all high as kites and drunk as skunks. As usual, I had barely eaten that day but wasn’t feeling nearly as bad as I should thank the drugs and alcohol. At some point, I blacked out, and the next thing I knew, I woke up in the hospital.
I’d had an attack of high blood sugar and dehydration, and my heart rate was out of control. I had passed out from the combination in the bathroom of the club, which I don’t even remember. I woke up to doctors peering over me, and a couple of my friends who had come to the hospital with me looking at me with anxious, worried faces. They looked worse for wear too. Under the bright hospital lights, I suddenly noticed their thin frames, their sunken eyes, and their pale, dehydrated skin.
The doctors told me I could have died, and that especially with Type 1 Diabetes, I needed to get sober, or I could lose my life. The doctors referred me to a treatment center, which I checked into immediately after leaving the hospital.
I got clean and sober during my 30-day stay as an in-patient at a rehabilitation facility. I worked with a therapist and a group every day to discuss the roots of my addiction and how I changed my life and behaviors when I left treatment. Detox was terrible, but by the end of my stay my blood sugar levels were normal again, I had gained a few healthy pounds and had gotten my body mostly back together. I still had a ways to go, but I was much better than when I checked in.
I knew I couldn’t go back to my old job if I wanted to recover fully. There were too many bad influences there, and the lifestyle was not suited for my recovery. I started handling the finances of a nonprofit that specialized in drug addiction. It was a huge pay cut, but I liked the feeling of contributing to society and being surrounded by sober people.
Keep reading for facts about diabetes and drug abuse.