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"Drink this milkshake"

When I was 12, my grandma picked me up from school one day to take me to the doctor. My parents were worried about me because I was extremely tired, lost a lot of weight, always felt dehyrdated and went to the restroom every 5 minutes. On the way to the doctor my grandma insisted I must have been starving and needed to eat. Since it is a grandma's job to have happily fed grandchildren, she associated my weight loss and lack of energy to being hungry. So she ordered me a large milkshake and had me drink the entire thing. Little did we know what was in store for us in the next hour.

"Your daughter has Type 1 Diabetes", that's the only thing I remember from the doctor appointment, even though at the time I had no idea what that even meant. I had a blood glucose reading of over 1,000 (don't worry grandma I don't blame you :)), and was in Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Being only 12, as I laid in the hospital bed staring at the bright lights, connected to all sorts of tubes and wires, being poked and pricked constantly with needles, I was so scared and confused. I didn't understand why I had to learn about needles, how to give myself an insulin shot, and learn about counting carbs.

Here I am, 15 years later, still learning how to control my diabetes and get those perfect glucose readings. Often times, it seems impossible, but I can't give up. Diabetes has taught me self-discipline and determination to do anything I want to do without letting it ruin my life. Completing half marathons while tending to my diabetes has been the most challenging, yet rewarding milestone in my life. Every day is a struggle, but I’m thankful for the advancement in treatment and my ability to live a somewhat normal life.

Sara Nothhelfer
San Diego, CA

"Drink this milkshare"

When I was 12, my grandma picked me up from school one day to take me to the doctor. My parents were worried about me because I was extremely tired, lost a lot of weight, always felt dehyrdated and went to the restroom every 5 minutes. On the way to the doctor my grandma insisted I must have been starving and needed to eat. Since it is a grandma's job to have happily fed grandchildren, she associated my weight loss and lack of energy to being hungry. So she ordered me a large milkshake and had me drink the entire thing. Little did we know what was in store for us in the next hour.

"Your daughter has Type 1 Diabetes", that's the only thing I remember from the doctor appointment, even though at the time I had no idea what that even meant. I had a blood glucose reading of over 1,000 (don't worry grandma I don't blame you :)), and was in Diabetic Ketoacidosis. Being only 12, as I laid in the hospital bed staring at the bright lights, connected to all sorts of tubes and wires, being poked and pricked constantly with needles, I was so scared and confused. I didn't understand why I had to learn about needles, how to give myself an insulin shot, and learn about counting carbs.

Here I am, 15 years later, still learning how to control my diabetes and get those perfect glucose readings. Often times, it seems impossible, but I can't give up. Diabetes has taught me self-discipline and determination to do anything I want to do without letting it ruin my life. Completing half marathons while tending to my diabetes has been the most challenging, yet rewarding milestone in my life. Every day is a struggle, but I’m thankful for the advancement in treatment and my ability to live a somewhat normal life.

Sara Nothhelfer
San Diego, CA

"Drink this milkshake"

When I was 12, my grandma picked me up from school one day to take me to the doctor. I was extremely tired, lost a lot of weight, drank water like an elephant and went to the bathroom every 5 minutes. On the way to the doctor my grandma insisted I must have been starving and needed to eat. Since it is a grandma's job to have happily fed grandchildren, she contributed my weight loss and lack of energy to being hungry. So she ordered me a large milkshake, since the thought of food was so unappetizing to me, and had me drink the entire thing. Little did she know what was in store for us in the next hour.

"Your daughter has Type 1 Diabetes", that's the only thing I remember from the doctor appointment, even though at the time I had no idea what that even meant. I had a blood glucose reading of over 1,000 (don't worry grandma I don't blame you :)), and was in DKA. Being only 12, as I laid in the hospital bed staring at the bright lights, connected to all sorts of tubes and wires, being poked and pricked constantly with needles, I was so scared and confused. I didn't understand why I had to learn how to give myself shots and start learning about sugar intake.

Here I am, 15 years later, still learning how to control my diabetes and get those perfect glucose readings. Often times, it seems impossible, but I can't give up. Diabetes has taught me self-discipline, determination, and courage to do anything I want to do without letting it ruin my life. Completing half marathons while tending to my diabetes has been the most challenging, yet rewarding milestone in my life. Every day is a struggle, but I’m thankful for the advancement in treatment and my ability to live a somewhat normal life.

Sara Nothhelfer
San Diego, AL

"Drink this milkshake"

When I was 12, my grandma picked me up from school one day to take me to the doctor. I was extremely tired, lost a lot of weight, drank water like an elephant and went to the bathroom every 5 minutes. On the way to the doctor my grandma insisted I must have been starving and needed to eat. Since it is a grandma's job to have happily fed grandchildren, she contributed my weight loss and lack of energy to being hungry. So she ordered me a large milkshake, since the thought of food was so unappetizing to me, and had me drink the entire thing. Little did she know what was in store for us in the next hour.

"Your daughter has Type 1 Diabetes", that's the only thing I remember from the doctor appointment, even though at the time I had no idea what that even meant. I had a blood glucose reading of over 1,000 (don't worry grandma I don't blame you :)), and was in DKA. Being only 12, as I laid in the hospital bed staring at the bright lights, connected to all sorts of tubes and wires, being pocked and pricked constantly with needles, I was so scared and confused. I didn't understand why I had to learn how to give myself shots and start learning about sugar intake.

Here I am, 15 years later, still learning how to control my diabetes and get those perfect glucose readings. Often times, it seems impossible, but I can't give up. Diabetes has taught me self-discipline, determination, and courage to do anything I want to do without letting it ruin my life. Completing half marathons while tending to my diabetes has been the most challenging, yet rewarding milestone in my life. Every day is a struggle, but I’m thankful for the advancement in treatment and my ability to live a somewhat normal life.

Sara Nothhelfer
San Diego, CA

Surprise...surprise!

Twenty-six years ago my daily routine was very stressful both at home and work. During one of my frequent business trips I decided I should go to the doctor, since the foot tall airport signs were blurry and I didn't wear glasses. The doctor took the requisite tests and the first thing he said to me was "How long have you been diabetic?" I told him I didn't know what he was talking about. I didn't recognize all the symptoms that I was displaying...frequent urination, loss of weight, blurry vision and a feeling of fatigue on a regular basis. I had always been a rigid diet person so that didn't seem difficult but everything else seemed really overwhelming. After a few weeks on my new regime I again went to the doctor. My blood sugar was now higher than when I went in for the first checkup. After more testing, it was determined I was a Type 1 diabetic! That many years ago there weren't any people in my diabetes classes that found out they were Type 1 at the age of 39. How did this happen to me? Well, I now know more about diabetes than I know about anything else, even though most people I either know or don't know feel free to tell me daily what I should or shouldn't be doing to correct my health problem. I've learned patience and that not eating that snack is okay because I will feel better. I've learned when my mother explains if I eat a certain diet I will be able to stop taking shots, to let it roll off my back. A really good day is feeling normal and I can do what it takes to get that "normal" feeling. Is it easy? No, but I've grown used to appreciating routine and the positive benefits that routine brings me. I find it comforting to see the advances medicine has made in the field of diabetes in the last twenty-six years, and I look forward to living longer than most people with my illness did twenty-six years ago.

Anonymous
Murrieta, CA

Me and my friend, diabetes

I was 12 years old when I started going to the bathroom constantly, having unending thirst, fatigue, and many awful headaches.

We didn't know what was wrong so I was taken to the hospital. I spent three nights and fours day there. When they had checked my glucose levels, it read 728. I was scared because I didn't know what diabetes was. All I knew was that my dad and grandma had type 2.

A year later, I went into diabetic ketoacidosis. I almost died in an ambulance truck on the way to a hospital. And I was uncouncious through it all.

I have been getting better, gradually. I still have some problems with wanting to eat sugar but I have been getting better. I am so excited to get an insulin pump because I have been doing so well (as my doctor says). I will never forget the day I woke up in the hospital with so many faces looking down at me. I call diabetes a friends because it taught me many things about life.

**I'm the one on the right :) **

Annika
Greenleaf, ID

My Mother's Battle

At 21 I did not expect to lose my mother. My mother was 53 years young and full of life. She lived every day for her girls (my sister and I). My mother was 28 when she was diagnosed with diabetes. She was never a good patient. She hated the disease. I remember having to grow up fast at a young age, making sure that my mom ate and tested her blood sugar. I knew how to give her a glucagon shot and bring her blood sugar up. On October 9th, 2015 was the last time I saw my mom healthy. On October 10th, 2015 around 10 a.m., I received a call at work from my sister saying mom was low. I arrived to see my mother passed out and sweaty in bed. Nothing I did was working. Finally, I tested her blood sugar again and it was 200...that's when we called the ambulance. My mom went unresponsive for a month. She lacked glucose for several hours. She eventually awoke, but couldn't walk or talk. She was moved to a nursing home where she seemed to get stronger every day. She was trying to talk and was walking great! I saw my mother slowly wasting away. Her strength was leaving her. At the beginning of the New Year, she was moved to a nursing home closer to home. She battled a cold/flu and was very weak. She barely talked and couldn't walk. On March 13th, 2015, my mother was taken to the hospital for blood clots in her lungs. On March 15th, 2015, I said goodbye to my mother. I never expected to feel so much pain. My mission in life now is to spread awareness on diabetes and how life threatening of a disease it can be.

Morgan Spiering
Danville, IL

College Teaches More than Science

Being a college student, it is very hard trying to balance life. There's classes, work if you have a job, a social life, parties, etc. Add diabetes into the mix, and well, it's not a dream come true in the very least. I refer to the acclimation period of college when you have diabetes a nightmare.

My first semester at my university I took terrible care of myself. I didn't do my insulin all the time and I hardly ever touched my blood sugar monitor. Even though just a few short weeks before moving on campus I found myself in the hospital in DKA, it hadn't really hit me just how important it was I take care of myself.

It hasn't been till recently that it registered in my mind that there is so much on the line. Being in college I only have a couple years before I leave and have a career. In less than 10 I'll be married and starting a family. For me to get the most out of these huge milestones I realized I needed to buckle down and take care of myself. I had to get over the hatred I've had for over 10 years towards this disease. I needed to get my crap in order or else I may lose a foot, lose a kidney, lose my ability to have healthy pregnancies, and may even lose my life.

College does more than teach me the information I need to have a successful career one day. It has taught me that to be my best me, to live to do what I want, I need to become a good diabetic. I hope other young people who have struggled like me will learn this sooner rather than later. I don't think anyone wants to become a statistic.

Anonymous
Indianapolis, IN

Are You Always This Thirsty?

I was 19 years old, a sophomore in college and working full time. Right around Thanksgiving is when I started being so thirsty that I would wake up in the middle of the night and drink from the bathroom sink because I was too weak and too thirsty to make it downstairs. I could eat two meals in a row and still be starving and the headaches; the worst possible ones you could imagine. I was sensitive to light and that made me tired. I spent more time sleeping than awake it felt like. And finally, the big indicator- I had lost 30 pounds in 3 months. I didn't want to believe that there was something wrong with me. It was every teenage girl's dream to eat whatever she wanted and still lose weight. Everyone was worried about me, except for myself. Finally, in late February of 2014 I was at my aunt's house for dinner. She had noticed I drank all the water in her Brita in about an hour. "Are you always this thirsty?" she asked me. I told her lately yes and she immediately said to me that she thinks I have diabetes. It runs in my family on my dad's side. My great-aunt was diagnosed with Type I when she was 29 years old. Three days later I went to the doctors (I had just switched so he knew nothing about me) and told him my symptoms and family history. He told me that he wasn't going to test me for it, but test my blood sugar. Sure enough my blood sugar was 402 and I hadn't eaten in over 8 hours. I gave myself my first dose of insulin in the office and left that day with everything I would need. I was scared, confused, and in denial.

It's been a year now and I still am trying to figure out this disease, but it doesn't define me. I am almost 21 and a teacher and still a full time student. I am proud to say I am a Type I diabetic.

Gianna
Dudley, MA

Even with Diabetes you need to stay strong!

Hello!

My name is Kevin and i am from The Netherlands.

I am 21 years old.

i was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when i was 2 years old, One day before my birthday.

a lot i can´t remember of it cause i was way to young.

My mom told me some stories what happened at that moment, and believe me, that are not the stories that you want to hear.

I grew up with this disease and so on i tried to helped a friend of mine that has diabetes now for 4 years, it makes me happier to help another person that had almost no experience with this disease.

Everyone needs help where is possible and nobody is alone!

I want to share my story because i know it´s not easy to live with it and still you can live like somebody else that doesn't live with this disease.

If you take enough care of yourself, you can come much further in life!

Kevin De Waard
Eindhoven, Netherlands
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