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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!

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!

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

A long time ago

1963 and I was a tom-boy kinda girl, age 11. Climbing trees, running through woods, pretending my bike was my horse, and I was an Indian. Oh the wonderful good ol' days. I was always starved, and drank enough you could hear it in my tummy slushing around. Lost so much weight, and was not able to go and do the things I always did. Sleep was a good thing. I could fall asleep when you were talking to me. School hated that. Mom, took me to my pediatrician, for a check up. Took them forever to get me to use the bathroom in a cup. What, this is not normal I was thinking. Anyway, finally got it done, and the doctor came in and said, "You are diabetic". Only knew one person that was diabetic, and that story was not good. A cousin, and her life was a mess. I cried, and his words I will remember forever, "Diabetics live to be a good 36 years old this day and time". At 11 that was old and I stopped crying. As I grew up that age bothered me so much, and when it finally came for me to be 36 was horrifying. I am now 62, have 2 children and 10 grandchildren. Thank heavens for all the changes that have come along in the 'diabetes world'. It is not an easy life, so we become strong. School and coaches/teachers were a nightmare. More to this story.

Linda Paul
Tazewell, VA

A Long Silent Walk on a Tightrope

On June 16 ,in Belleville Ontario, a plaque was unveiled to honour the contribution of James B Collip as one of the team members that included Frederick Banting, Charles Best and John Macleod who discovered insulin and saved millions of lives and enabled people to live with Type 1 Diabetes. Having just received the Joslin Gold medal from the Joslin institute at Harvard, for having lived with T1D for 50 years, I was invited to attend the ceremony. Subsequently,the story was profiled in County and Quinte Living, Autumn 2014. Somewhat uneasy concerning the publication of the story, I am now pleased and proud that. it has been told. For my first 15 years of diabetes, I would tell very few people that I was diabetic! However my questions still remain . Am I doing it right? Should I check my blood sugar again for the 15th time today? Was I just lucky that I have made it this far? Do I have some protective gene inside me ? Or does my state of mind and attitude count for far more than we can imagine? Don't have the answers but what I do know is that I do not mind getting up in the morning.. And I truly look forward to each day and doing what I can to keep on going.

William Murtha
Brighton, ON, Canada

Discovering I was a diabetic.

On October 12, 2006, I was at work like any other ordinary day. I am a motorcycle police officer. While riding and doing "routine" patrol, I felt sick to my stomach and decided to head home. Then I really got sick, so I decided to go to the local hospital. As I walked into the ER room, I told the nurse I wasn't feeling well. They immediately put me in a room and hooked me up to various machines. The bottom line was, I was having a heart attack. During all the various blood tests, the doctor asked me if I was a diabetic. I told him I wasn't. He told me my blood glucose number was 356. I had not idea what that meant. I learned immediately, it was 3 times what it should be.

Prior to this, I had noticed I was drinking A LOT of water, really tired and getting up a lot during the night to use the bathroom. I just thought that it was because I was working in the direct sun for many hours at a time and was just replacing the water I was losing. I had no idea that this was an indication I was possibly a diabetic.

As far as I knew, I had no family history of diabetes. It was a complete shock to me!

Fortunately, I found out and started on a diabetes regiment, including a diet and medication.

I just celebrated my 8th year anniversary of surviving a heart attack and diabetes.

Every day I continue the fight to keep my blood glucose in check. As much as I hate to take the medicine and shots, I am a very lucky person to have discovered I was a diabetic before something tragic happened.

Don Cone
Santee, CA

Fighting the good fight

Growing up I always knew that I was going to become diabetic. My mother had Diabetes from a young age, and when she died of complications of her diabetes in 1991, my sister and I were constantly told that we would become diabetic. My fear of diabetes settled as I got older, by the time I was 18 I believed that the risk was over.

I was 19 years old, and still no thought or fear of diabetes in mind. After an argument I began to feel very ill, my sister insisted on checking my BS. To my surprise my blood sugar levels were very high and my sister called 9-1-1. I went to a small town emergency room. They did a blood tests, I will never forget when the nurse came into the room and asked me, “Did you know you have diabetes?” My response was, “I could have told you that.”

I had type 2 diabetes and could control it with diet and exercise. I was not given a glucose monitor, or even given a consultation with a dietitian. Three months go by, I become very ill, and I can’t eat without getting sick, and I could barely make it to the bathroom. In and out of consciousness, not sure what was going on, I wake up thinking it was a dream. I was in a diabetic coma for seven days, kept in the intensive care unit for another seven. Another fourteen days and I was discharged.

I have had diabetes for almost 12 years, I still battle with it. This was only my first battle with DKA and my diabetes the fight continues without understanding. Be thoughtful of those with diabetes, type one is not always type one. I have both type one and two, worst of both worlds, and yet I deal with it the best that I can. Stories are not always those of triumph, some are of constant battles, as long as we continue to fight eventually we will win.

Laura Ebare
Lewis, NY

T1D and Brittany

It's almost 2015 and my twenty fourth birthday falls on the second Wednesday of May. It is an undeniable truth that I have been born but it was not until June 29, 2006 when my life truly began. I was 15 and diagnosed with Type One Diabetes.

When I first opened my eyes that morning, I knew I was going to the hospital but for a different reason. I was scheduled for a long awaited deformation reconstructive surgery that was to change my life for the better and make life a little easier. Once in the pre-op room, a little easier became a diagnosis of a little harder. I had just completed the eighth grade and out of no where was being told that I have a major condition - a chronic illness I had been walking around with for more than seven months not knowing. Blood sugars spiking to 400 and higher, nurses and doctors were puzzled as to how I was even standing and breathing amongst them.

I didn't have my surgery that day. Instead I was wheeled into an ambulance and rushed to a pediatric hospital in Hollywood, Florida. A reality check at fifteen, I learned how to manually do a job of my body in a week. A 24 hour job that most definitely has its inescapable good and bad days - mostly good though (; My A1C is currently 6.4 :)

With my new found responsibilities, knowledge and control, I was able to have my life changing surgery some months after my diagnosis. Two life changing experiences later, I could not be more pleased with life and proud of the person my Type One Diabetes has helped me be. Even with it being an everyday battle, I am happy and blessed to keep on keeping on. I'll always say that every card I have been dealt is an individually strong contribution to one hell of a deck that will not let even the craziest of shuffles shake her. With all the love I have in my life, I could not ask for a better cure.

Brittany Nicole Snyder
West Palm Beach, FL
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