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Battle of Type 2 Diabetes

My name is Missy ( Short for Melissa) . I was in the happy stage of my life. I had recently married for the 3rd time to my soul mate ( 10 1/2 years now). We had moved to S Florida Hubby was offered a great job. A few years later decided to buy our first home . Everything was falling into place and I was happier than I had ever been. I started feeling tired all the time, thirsty and up multiple times a nite to use the restroom. I suffered with yeast infections , tired of using Monistat and it would come back within a week. My husband suggested I see a doctor. Well that time came for my yearly Pap. I didn't have a doctor yet so while my daughter was having a tooth removed we walked around the area. We came up on a Gynecologist which my husband convinced me to make an appoint so I did. A week later I went for my appointment and was told they couldn't do the Pap cause I was dumping alot of sugar in my urine. She gave me meds for 10 days and after 10 days she checked me and it became another 10 days.. It was all through my body, in my lips and ears, I mean all over inside and out. Really made me wonder why I was always itching. Well I went back to the doctor and was told my sugar was in the 500's ( I cant remember the exact). So I was put on Meds (Metphormin) . Im now on insulin ( Nova-log and Nova-lin) and other oral meds, BP meds, Cholesterol . After over 8 years Im finally seeing some readings below 200. I still have those bad days and I suffer with Diabetic Neuropathy in my right leg and foot. My A1C level was 10.4 and my last visit it went to 8.5 so I have made some progress with the new doctor (first time Ive seen an Endocrinologist) but its a battle. Thanks for allowing me to share my story.

Manassas, VA

Diagnosed at 13 with Diabetes

I was in middle school, 2001, when my symptoms first began. Fatigue, extreme thirst, sleepiness/drowsiness, and frequent urination were just a few. At the time, I was overweight, about 230 lbs at 5'7''. One night, my grandfather, a type 2 diabetic, decided to check my blood sugar, and to our surprise, it was 643! I remember being sleepy but my parents forced me to drink water and to ride an exercise bike. The next week, I had an appointment to meet with an endocrinologist. At the Endocrinology Center, blood work revealed a high A1C number, and I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A strict diet and 4 pills a day were prescribed to help me manage my type 2. Three months later at my checkup, I had lost over 75 pounds! My A1C had climbed again, and I was then diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. At the age of 13, I was forced to face a new life with this disease. Blood monitoring, insulin injections, and medications are now a part of my daily life. I am now 21, and I still have my days where I can't get my blood sugar under control. Some days I feel as if I am fighting a losing battle, but fighting this ongoing battle is the only way I can survive! Diabetes affects every aspect of my life.

Thank you for listening to my story!

Rienzi, MS

there is always hope

Hi so i'm Alissa,

I'm 19 almost 20 i have been type 1 diabetic since i was 7 years old i have never had stable control of my diabetes all my hba1c tests were never under 8 then i hit my teenage years i refused to do anything with it i was in hospital at least once a month i went through really bad depression until Jan 2013 i found the love of my life he helped me sort out my life we moved in together and i found out i was pregnant well i tried everything to carry my baby but at 16 weeks i lost him/her i was absolutely devastated i thought i was going to loose everything at that time i had been told i have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and was told that i would never be able to conceive again then went on to my endocrine team for them to tell me that if i did conceive that i wouldnt carry because of my diabetes. after being told that i was wrecked i didnt want to face the world and locked myself away until i found a job again so i start working i was at work and realised i had skipped a period and thought it was to do with diabetes and PCOS missed my second one felt like i was starting to get sick but it was only of a morning so i did a test it came back positive never got my hopes up but complied with my endo gp midwives but still didnt believe i was going to carry this baby but still tried while i was pregnant i got my hba1c down to 6.1 and carried a healthy happy baby girl who came at 38+1 weeks weighing a healthy 8lbs 9oz completely no defects wat so ever like the doctors thought there would be she is almost four months old and is hitting her mile stones earlier then expected so dont give up dont let diabetes run your life you run its life dont let any one tell you no

Alissa Compton
bundaberg west, Australia

Fighter Chick

This is not so much my story on how I was diagnosed but on what I have achieved. As a matter of fact I was diagnosed nearly 15 years ago at the age of 4, I couldn't possibly remember that story.

I am 18, studying, training, and working. Being a type one diabetic as I said above for nearly 15 years hasn't stopped me from anything. I have been doing taekwondo ever since I could walk, I attained my black belt at 14, won many titles within my country and recently come back from the World Champs in Bali last year, and the Oceania Champs in Sydney a couple of weeks ago. Without diabetes I couldn't possibly be where I am today.

Although I can tell you that carb counting has NOT in anyway improved my maths, diabetes has taught me discipline, perseverance, and responsibility. It certainly lead me to grow up faster than many other people my age.

It is definitely NOT easy. The number of times I have had to stop in the middle of training to eat or take insulin I couldn't count on both our hands together, but in the long run it is so worth it. There is no feeling better than being given an opportunity to represent your country and have all your team mates right there beside you. And on the plus side as a diabetic we are encouraged to lead a healthy diet, which is one less thing to worry about as an athlete.

Martial arts is a huge part of my life and I hope to continue to compete for my country and to live a long and healthy life. Next stop is 2015 worlds in Vietnam. Diabetes should never stop you from anything. Especially eating lollies and chocolate. (but in moderation with a lot of insulin!)

If anything it should be a reminder of how strong you are. To be able to live a normal life and still have this huge weight on your shoulders requires an extremely special person and a huge accomplishment - not everyone could do it.

Anonymous, New Zealand

Never Give Up!

When I was 6 years old, my family and I went on a cruise. At the time, we lived in Armenia. During the cruise, I started drinking lots of water, and I stopped eating. I was losing lots of weight, and my parents were worried. When we got back from the cruise, my mom took me to see a doctor. They tested my blood sugar many times, but I didn’t know what was going on. My mom decided to take me to a diabetes doctor. When the doctor told us I had diabetes, my parents were very sad and depressed, my mom even started crying. I lived in Armenia for about one year before I moved to USA. Diabetes is a lot easier and the doctors are so much better in USA. When I first got here, I used a syringe to get insulin. Then I used a pen, and now, I have a pump. Before I got the pump, I met with my idol, Dr. Francine Kaufman. After I met her, I started doing research about her, and saw all of her achievements. She inspires me to be just like her, and that is my life goal. Now, I've had my pump for a little more than one and a half years, and I really like it. It enables me to have a more convenient lifestyle that I enjoy a lot more than when I didn't have the pump. Diabetes has inspired me to be a whole new person. Even though I was very young when I got diagnosed, I still remember the days without diabetes. And even though I had more freedom back then, I'm actually glad to have diabetes, because it opens my eyes to a whole new universe that I didn't know existed. My parents are the reason I have such great control over my diabetes, because they help me in so many ways, and I can't thank them enough. Diabetes has its ups and downs, but at the end of the day, it makes me who I am, and I can't imagine living without it.

Lusin Yengibaryan
Glendale, CA

"I'm not diabetic!"

I was 41 years old and starting a new, part time job. As part of employee health, they ran routine blood work and when I went back to talk to the nurse, she asked me how long I had been diabetic. I told her in no uncertain terms, "I'm not diabetic!" I told her she had the wrong chart...it wasn't me! Turns out she didn't...and I was. My sugar was over 400 and I went to my doctor the next week. On August 3, 2001, I was officially diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic. (I am now a 1.5.)

I lost a lot of weight in the beginning. Was so afraid to eat anything. After a while, I got the hang of things and found my own routine. In the beginning, did pretty good managing with the medicine. After several years, the pills weren't working any more. On July 2, 2011, after much debate, I started insulin shots. The roller coaster of highs and lows was awful. I felt so bad so often so I was willing for the insulin. I felt like such a failure. I had tried so hard to keep it under control and couldn't. I found a fabulous doctor who assured me I wasn't a failure and helped me through. It's all good now and I'm on it everyday! I stick my finger and take my shots diligently. I am never without my meter or my insulin. I am compliant. I have such wonderful support from my children and family and friends. I am so blessed with their understanding and love. I educate anyone who will listen. Others may not can "see" diabetes, but I sure can feel it!

This is a picture of my dog, Dolly, and me as we walked in my local ADA fundraiser walk last year. I made her bandana! We will walk again this year. I'm looking forward to the cure...but until then, I have it for it certainly doesn't have me!

Cindy Fullerton
Spartanburg, SC

Competing for the Crown

I was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic on February 22, 2012, after taking myself to the ER and spending a couple days in ICU with a blood sugar of 710 mg/dl, I was in DKA, with muscle spasms, and a irregular heartbeat. Just a few years before this I was also diagnosed with having Ehlers Danlos, a rare genetic disease that causes hyper mobility in joints and tissues.

This October 2014, I am representing Little Rock (the state's capital) and competing to become the next Miss Arkansas USA for the year of 2015. I realized after my diagnosis that as a Type 1 I can not live without insulin. If this was the year 1920 then February 22, would have been on my death certificate. So, I consider insulin therapy as a chance that allows me to have a second shot at life, and with that life I intend to live it to the fullest and go after all of my dreams & aspirations. I'm engaged to an amazing man, I have 3 semesters left before receiving my bachelors in psychology with pre-med, and a minor in criminal justice. AND this T1D is taking it to the stage in October!

If I could tell the entire D community one thing it would be DO NOT LET anyone tell you there is something you can not do because of this disease. I encourage you to go after all the things you want in this life while managing your diabetes! Do not let your diagnosis of diabetes be your end all; rather, let it be the beginning to a new life.

Little Rock, AR

Addison's Story

When my daughter Addison was 3.5 years old she began to have an insatiable appetite and thirst, was using the bathroom frequently and wetting the bed multiple times a night. We immediately knew something was wrong. We took her to her pediatrician to be checked out knowing she was exhibiting symptoms of Diabetes. Addison was tested and her blood sugar was 685. Immediately we were on our way to Hasbro Children's Hospital! When Addison was admitted she wasn't sick, had no Ketones and was in good spirits. She amazed the Doctor's and Nurses and they kept telling us how lucky we were to have realized something wasn't right so quickly. There is no history of diabetes in our family, this was all new to us. Addison spent one night in the hospital and then we received out patient Diabetes education.

Once we understood the disease we made the choice to move her care to the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, MA. There we have become well educated and cared for. This diagnosis has made a profound impact on our whole family. Learning about diabetes, understanding this disease, meeting other families living with it has changed all of us. I have recently returned to school to earn a nursing degree so I can become a Diabetes Educator to help other diabetics and their families and to always be able to provide the best quality of life for my daughter. Addison overcomes and conquers obstacles each day. She is learning how important taking care of herself, eating well and being active is. Addison began pumping 2 years after diagnosis and is using and Omni Pod pump. Today she is an active, healthy 7 year old who does not let her diabetes get in the way of fulfilling her dreams! Her biggest dream is to one day have a cure for this disease!!!

Jessica Boulris
Cumberland, RI

A Miracle to be Alive

My name is Bonnie, I've had diabetes for 12 years. I was diagnosed December 2004 when I was 8 years old.

I started to feel ill, which turned into a few days, which turned into a week. My mother knew something wasn't right so, she took me to the doctors. The doctors ran test and told us that I had the flu. Once again my mother knew something wasn't right as my condition grew worse as it turned into another week. I became nauseous, lost my appetite completely, was dehydrated, wetting the bed nightly, as I became weaker day by day. I remember my mother coming into my room nightly multiple times to check on me, waking me up holding up her fingers saying, "How many fingers am I holding up?" at this point I was seeing double. Though, my vision was soon lost.

One night, my mother came back into my room and I didn't awake. I woke up after a two week coma in the Children's Hospital. The doctors were surprised I awoke as soon as I did and were surprised I was still alive. Soon, I found my blood sugars were recorded to be over 1,100 and I was Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I was released from the hospital on Christmas Eve. I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas wish.

Months later, I didn't want to accept the fact that I was living with this 'disease', I refused to take my insulin, refused to test, and didn't take care of myself, my blood sugars ranged from 300 too 500 daily going into ketoacidosis twice in one year, with an A1c of 17.5. I was told that I wouldn't live past 14 if I didn't get my act together. When I was 13, I was scared into taking care of myself, after my father lost his leg due to not taking care of his diabetes.

Today, I am 19 and have my diabetes under control. my numbers now range from 130 to 200 with an A1c of 7.5. It's a miracle to be alive today.

Bonnie Jones
Westminster, CO

A story of a survivor.

My name's Jaimi and this is my story.

It was 2 weeks before my 11th birthday in 2009 when I found out I had type 1 diabetes. (Great birthday present, right?) The symptoms had been there for a while, but weren't acknowledged until my diabetic father had decided to check my blood sugar after a long night of talking. With my sugar being unreadable to the meter, we were off to the hospital.

Now at 16, I have learned to take care of myself to the best of my abilities. I have had some slip-ups on the way though. As a newly diabetic, I would make sure to take extra care when giving my injections. At 11, almost 12, I grabbed the wrong insulin one night though, and didn't realize it until my blood sugar dropped to 28. At 13, I decided not to be a diabetic anymore. I had stopped taking my insulin for 2 weeks before I showed all known signs of DKA. (Diabetic Ketoacidosis.) After being rushed to the hospital and surrounded by a million doctors, I was settled in ICU until being transferred to a regular room. Turns out, my blood sugar was 1,032. I was also recorded for nursing training while in ICU at Main Campus Children's. They had said that my blood sugar was the highest they have seen coming into the ICU. If you say that in an excited tone, it sounds awesome! But it was not, and I have not done it again. I've suffered with depression, so I've almost gone into DKA, but I've realized what I was doing, and with the help of my family, I've gotten through everything diabetes has thrown at me. Though diabetes is a part of who I am, I would like to see a cure.

Morrow, OH
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