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Gothic tale of Anne Rice's T1DM

Interview with Anne Rice

Anne Rice's many novels have sold about 100 million copies, making her one of the best-selling authors of all time. in 1999, after a long bout of illness she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Here's how it happened.

The first signs of illness surfaced long before Anne Rice was diagnosed with type diabetes in 1999. They began with digestive problems, which the author tried to ignore.

Chronic indigestion

It started with this chronic indigestion, says Rice, just having cramps after every meal and feeling like something was wrong. Then the really horrifying symptoms appeared. I started to lose weight, and this was nothing short of bizarre, because I had been overweight all my adult life.

In addition to losing weight, Rice lost her ability to focus, write and think creatively. This was shocking because Rice is known as an extremely hard working, productive writer. She feared her career was in grave danger.

Unable to focus

She says, I was sitting at the computer, and trying to write, and the simplest descriptions were impossible for me. I simply couldn't find the words.

A couple of months after a book tour, Rice renewed her wedding vows with her husband, Stan Rice. That was the last event she can recall clearly, before she started behaving strangely, then slipped into coma, which is how the ambulance crew found her.

I don't even remember the next day, she says. Apparently I woke up very, very early in the morning -- maybe 6, which is extremely early for me -- and I called my assistant, Ross, and I never do that. I would never dream of calling him at 6 in the morning.

Odd behavior

Before her assistant arrived at her home, Rice started tearing off her clothes. They decided to call a nurse friend of mine, Cindy Uber, and she went right away to where I was. She tried to get a pulse. She couldn't.

They called 911. Rice was given tests, which showed blood sugar above 800, which is dangerously high.

When Rice awoke from her coma, Stan gave her the news. She had type 1 diabetes.

Today, Rice has full control over her diabetes. She says to others who fear they might have diabetes: If you think you have any chance that you might have diabetes, for God's sake, go get the blood-sugar test. It's a simple test. There's nothing to it. Absolutely nothing.

By David Hay Jones

Thanks to ABC News.

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