Nothing ever slows Dan Hayward, 33, a partner in Novak Strategic Advisors in Harrisburg. Well, almost nothing.
The active, driven Hayward was stopped short when, at age 28, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
Although Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed in children, it can occur at any age — and the symptoms can start quickly and be severe.
“I was working on a Supreme Court race and about a month before the primary I started losing weight and dealing with a dull headache, not enough saliva in my mouth and an unquenchable thirst,” Hayward said. “On top of this, my dog kept licking me.”
Almost skeletal after a 20-pound weight loss, he finally went to his see his doctor who, as Hayward describes, “poked me for over an hour and a half.” A blood test revealed an extremely high blood sugar level.
“It was the scariest day of my life,” Hayward said. “I got in my car, drove home for clothes and went directly to the ER at Hershey Medical Center. After 12 hours in the ER, I was moved to the ICU and finally to a regular room. A total of six days in the hospital.”
“While I was being admitted, an ER nurse guessed I must have diabetes because I smelled so fruity,” he said. “With such a high blood sugar, my body was actually secreting sugar through my skin, which probably explains why my dog had been licking me.”