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Traumatic Diagnosis at 16 Months!

On New Year’s Eve 1998 my son Andrew was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of only 16 months! It was very traumatic as his primary doctor had previously miss-diagnosed the symptoms as a viral infection, he became extremely ill and lethargic so I rushed him to the emergency room where immediately the medical team jumped into action. They called a code on him and within seconds he was being treated, his poor little body had begun to shut down, the only way they were able to find a vein they could use was by shaving his head. After they had managed to save him and correctly diagnose Type 1 diabetes the doctor told me I was very very lucky that Andrew had survived and that if I had brought him in 15 minutes later the outcome could have been completely different. I will be forever grateful to Dr. Lewis and his medical team for saving Andrew’s life.

16 years later I am so proud of Andrew and all that his has overcome and what he has achieved in his life, he is a great example to any young person who has diabetes. Andrew has never let his condition get in the way of anything that he has wanted to do, he is currently at college taking a course in Public Services and his goal is to become a police officer. The course is physically demanding with a large part of it taking extreme outdoor activities like running miles carry a log, assault courses and playing soccer in the rain.

The thing that inspires me the most about Andrew is he never ever complains about having diabetes, doing endless BM’s, injections or changing his pump. I asked him about this and his reply was “there’s no point in complaining it’s not going to change anything!” I thought this was such an incredible way of thinking.

I couldn't be more proud of Andrew and all that he achieves everyday of his life!

Caroline Hart
Somerset, MA

Second Birthday Party

I was diagnosed with type one Diabetes the day after I turned two. I don't remember it much myself, other than playing in the Children's Hospital playroom while hooked up to an IV, but I've heard the story of what lead to my diagnosis more than a few times. There's even video footage of me on my birthday while my parents sing "happy birthday" and I scream that all I want is pudding (even though my mom made a cake from scratch that year- I'll never be able to make that up to her). For a few weeks before then my parents said I'd been acting strange. I was super cranky and sleepy, thirsty and had to use the bathroom a lot. I also lost a lot of weight over the course of about two weeks. On my birthday, all of that sort of culminated and my parents finally thought maybe it was time to take me to the hospital. I've never really known anything other than being a diabetic.

The best thing I ever did was go to Diabetes Camp. I personally went to Lions Camp Merrick in Nanjemoy Maryland, and it was one of the best experiences I could have ever asked for. I met so many amazing people who were going through or had gone through everything that I was going through. I made so many friends who I still keep in touch with even though I don't go to the camp anymore. I highly recommend Diabetes camp for any kid with type one. It gave me a lot of much needed confidence and support, plus it was so much fun! I still find myself humming the campfire songs around my apartment. Diabetes is a tough thing to live with, but there are ways to make it feel like less of a burden and camp was certainly the biggest thing that helped me.

Shea
Chicago, IL

my life

I developed diabetes at age 12 I am now 21 :) I have had my battles with keeping my sugar where it should be, and continue the battle with it. I also have hydrocephalus a malformation of my brain stem (I only have 3/4 of my brain stem. I have trouble learning and only learn one on one, I also have irritable bowel syndrome, dandywalker syndrome, scoliosis, and a heart murmur. I'm all duct taped together I guess you could say haha. I make the most out of my life, I'm a married army wife and have a puppy named abbie. I can do anything anyone else can do just in a diffrent way. everytime I have friends over they stare and cringe everytime I inject my self, it's more than annoying And really makes me irritated. I kind of tell them to not watch because of that reason, I'm kinda insecure in public when I have to inject.

Angelina
Colorado springs, CO

God never gives you anything you can't handle!

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13. It all started when a few years before I was diagnosed when I was throwing up all the time. I stayed very weak and tired. I was always very under weight as a child. No matter how much I ate I could never gain weight. They finally tested me for type 1 because my grandfather had it, and it came back that I had pre-diabetes. Then about 2 years later my stomach issues got worse. So they referred me to a Gastroenterologist. I got put on steroids due to my stomach being full of ulcers. So, the steroids immediately made me so sick I couldn't get off of the couch. My mom took me to the ER and my blood sugar was over 400. So, today I am a happy thriving type 1! I am praying for a cure! I am so thankful for my friends and family who help me, and take care of me! God never gives you anything you can't handle!

Brittany Williams
Kennedale, TX

TYPE 1 IDDM, it's my life.

DIAGNOSED 1991:

Type One IDDM

Living processes:

Eating well balanced meals...exercise.. checking blood sugars....Dosing up with insulin accordingly.

Daily feelings:

Nausea, head ache..dizziness at times....lightheadedness.....just an over all "yuckiness" .

LONG TERM EFFECTS :

Vision problems...pain...nerve damage....necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum...increasing numbness year after year feet/ hands/ legs...

Basically I've been dying since 1991....but I will not give up!!

Even with uncontrollable blood sugars I have beaten many odds against me. Coupled with the Antibodies for Graves disease and with Coccidioidomycosis in my right lung , I shall continue to fight the fight till I can no longer.

Sarah Dunlop
Mexico, ME

Faith over Fear

May 7, 2008 I was driving and as I approached a stop sign, I began to have what I thought was a "panic attack". I was hot, my heart was beating rapidly and I was losing my breath. I began to praise the Lord. I woke up in an ambulance, strapped to a gurney with 2 paramedics staring at me. The ER doctor says, "you are here because you had a Grand Mal Seizure". Wait......WHAT???!!! August 26th of the same year, I wake up in the middle of the night with a bitten tongue, sore muscles in a pool of my own urine (Grand Mal #2). This time, the doctor claimed I had Epilepsy and put me on seizure medicine. I was tested for EVERYTHING under the sun for the better part of a year with no confirmed diagnosis - only an assumption of epilepsy. I went to the Neurologist in November 2010 and told her that since I was not confirmed to have Epilepsy, I was not taking another pill. I went on a holistic cleanse. I had 1 seizure before the cleanse and one during (that's a total of 4). Two months later, I went to the doctor completely fatigued. I felt like a dehydrated plant: limp, lifeless and dry. After 2 years of tests he decided to prick my finger. My blood sugar was 485! He diagnosed me with Type 2 diabetes. The Grand Mal Seizures were due to low blood sugars. Two years later I've maintained a 50 pound weight loss (jump started by the cleanse in 2010). I was diagnosed with Type 1.5 Diabetes LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes Adult), Hashimotos and a thyroid that acts up on occasion. After many visits with a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) who has Type 1, I have learned how to LIVE with it. Diabetes does not mean a death sentence! It means you have a new job of monitoring blood sugars that you cannot quit. It's not easy but one can LIVE with it and that is exactly what I choose to do! FAITH over FEAR!

Anonymous
Southern, CA

I was pregnant and the doctors dismissed my concern...

I was 18 weeks pregnant and so thirsty, I couldn't get enough. I immediately called my OB/GYN and they didn't even ask me to come in. They told me this was a 'pregnancy craving'. I called every day for a week, I knew something was not right. I expressed my concern for diabetes and they told me that they do not test for gestational diabetes until 28 weeks.

Finally, to calm me down, they decided to do the glucose tolerance test. I went in, had my blood drawn, drank the liquid, went back to work. I went back an hour later to have my blood drawn again and went back to work. That afternoon I received a phone call from the nurse who first and foremost apologized for dismissing my concerns and then told me that my blood sugar was 366. I will never forget that number. I will never forget that call. I cried hysterically.

My sister called the endocrinologist who told her they were booking 8 months out but would see me IMMEDIATELY because I was pregnant. I was put on insulin injections and spent two days at their office learning how to draw up in injections, how and where to inject, how to correct lows, how to test, how to calculate dosages, etc.

My first trip to the grocery store, I cried. I had never realized how much sugar and carbs are in our foods. I felt alone, I felt like I'd never enjoy eating again. I was devastated and so was my husband and our families.

I've given birth to two healthy boys and been through incredible trials. I will never forget the love and support from all of my family and friends over the years. This struggle is NOT easy and is very frustrating but this disease will not define me!

Sarah
Clearwater, FL

Diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes

When i was 10 years old , I was called to an appointment at the local hospital just for a normal checkup as I always used to suffer with bad chest and kidney infections when I was younger . Not like normal Type 1 diabetic I didn't really have any symptoms of it only recurring kidney infections. At the checkup the did blood tests and took urine samples .

A few minutes later the nurse came out and asked me to go straight to pediatrics ward as I would be in hospital for a few weeks .Not knowing was was happening the nurse checked my blood sugar and it was so high the glucose meter could not read it . My family nor me never knew what diabetes was later that night I became very ill .

I was told if I had not went to that clinic that day I would have been in DKA (Diabetic coma ) I was in the right place at the right time .

After that I did not have to go on injections straight away i was put on a strict diet and exercise within 2 months I lost 3 and a half stone .Within a month after that I started to feel very ill e.g vomitting and was sent back to hospital where I started my 4 daily injections a day .

Iam nearly 21 and since then i have learned to control my diabetes with daily insulin injections and strict diet . At first been diagnosed at a young age it was a big shock to me and my family and felt as if my whole world had changed but now there is so much more awareness out there about this disease which is so good to see. Diabetes has just became a big part of my daily routine .

And of course like anything in life I have my good days and I have my bad

But I have the best support from My family ,friends and also the diabetes staff at the local hospital .

Olivia Hunt
Co.Roscommon, Ireland

The saddest day of my life!!

I was 10 years old, in the 3rd grade and on a field trip with my school. that day in the school cafeteria I felt like I was going to pass out and everything seemed like a blur to me.

I came home from school and told my mother how I felt, she kept me home from school the next day to take me to the Dr's ,which I have had made several trips to during that year for what the Dr's said was stomach virus and/or UTI. When I woke up that morning both my eyes were extremely blood shot red. My mother thought maybe I had pink eye. We immediately headed off to an Urgent care , but on the way I asked my mom "How long before we get there?" my mom replied " Why? are you ok?" I said no I feel like I am having a hard time breathing. She immediately drove me to the nearest Emergency Room . That's where it all began. I had people all around me taking blood doing all kinds of test and one nurse pricked my finger with something I have never seen before.

Then the ER Doctor comes in my room and abruptly says to my mom " Your daughter is Diabetic type 1 and will need to be on insulin for the rest of her life" and left the room, no explanation, no nothing, that was it. I broke down in tears, I had no idea what Diabetes was and I thought I was going to die. My mom, in total shock, consoled me that I will be Ok then left the room to cry( because she didn't want to cry in front of me) and to talk to the doctor to get more information. The doctor said my blood sugars were 630 and that I needed to be transferred right away to a Children's Hospital, which I was and there I spent a week in the hospital with my mom learning all about diabetes. I am now 16 and still fighting this battle..

Kristin Allen
Prescott, AZ

I'm a survivor

Diagnosed at age 12, in Puerto Rico, went out a of the hospital without any further instructions about how to deal with type 1 diabetes. My mother did what she could while working night shifts and I atended school like any 9 there kid but the struggle started right away. Being told diabetics can't do this and that made me feel like I was being punished by the heaven itself... Just 2 endocrinologists in the whole island and they were far from us, meaning distance and availability. Received treat mentioned by more than a few generalists who by the time we're merely exploring how to manage patients with diabetes.

Not using the insulin to loose weight be came a huge factor in my next year's as an adolescent having such a poor quality of life that I spent most of it either in bed (once in coma), in the intensive care unit or in a mental instalation. Also due to the uncontrolled diabetes the biggest struggle I came to deal with was the suicidal thoughts. More than 10 or 15 attempts, I can't quite remember or count them exactly, with the blessings of not achieving it.

Still 10 years from being diagnosed I became a nurse, had a child (by the time without treatment!) and met my actal husband. Got married in 2012 and had me move to San Diego close to where his station is located. Got the insulin pump in just 2 months and my A1 lowered from 16.3 to 9 in a few weeks!! Now constantly achieving a 6.5 in the latest results for the past years.

This month of December I celebrate my second year being healthy and my birthday number 30!! No one ever thought I got get to my 20 with the kind of life I was having and look at me now!

I decided to fight and I won, diabetes doesn't control me anymore! !

Dimarie Pérez
San Diego, CA
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