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Sugar? What's that?

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in 2006. I was working two jobs & barely getting much sleep. I was thirsty and tired all the time, I almost fell off to sleep while driving in to work and started getting sick. I stopped being lazy and decided to go visit my GP, first question he asked was if I ever had my sugar checked? To me that was an alien question, I had no idea what he was talking about.

He told me to go get a random sugar check done. I had a random and fasting blood test done. It was confirmed I was diabetic & it no longer was an alien term to me. However I still could not make sense of the illness, what was it? what did it entail? Everyone was worried & I was like what is the big deal, till I did research and found out it's not the best thing to have. I was admitted in hospital and was to stay there for a week till we got the hang of what needed to be done, how to inject myself with insulin, how and when to check my sugar levels. Things were happening inside my body and it was so foreign to me. I was on the wrong insulin for a year. I've forgotten what it's like to get a normal 8 hours of sleep, given that I need to go to the bathroom every hour.

I moved to Australia in 2011 & had my insulin change a few times and dosages go up. The worst part about living with diabetes is it fluctuating from high to low. I had no idea with this comes depression, feelings of anger and irritation. But the good thing is, you can live with diabetes and live a full life as long as everything is in moderation. The most important way to fight this, is change of lifestyle. My hats off to those who deal with in on day to day basis and respect to all their loved ones who fight this illness with them.

Denise Pereira
Melbourne, Australia

From Normal to Type 1 in No time

In 1988 my Asthma and COPD kicked into high gear. I was in and out of the hospital so many times they knew me by sight in the ER. Finally my Dr. ended up in putting me on a year long high dose of Prednisolone. We knew it was a risk as having been adopted in the 50's I had no family medical records to rely on. 1989 my body gave up the ghost and fight and i started running BG's over 600. Finally weaned off the steroids, they still didn't go back to normal. My pancreas had grabbed the Amex and was headed for a lifelong vacation. Pills, combinations of Pills, Pills and Insulin shots, it didn't matter how careful my diet, what I took...they stayed high, as i grew immune to the various pills. They don't tell you that can happen..they just hand you more and more medications that don't work after a couple of months or so.

I fought that battle until 2005, following a strict diet, fighting the depression that hit every time my BG sent me to the hospital. Trying every new thing they came up with including Symlin and Byetta only to find they made me so ill my life was threatened. Finally we tried the pump. I had moved from Type II to Type I. Uncontrolled and brittle, it seemed like I only had to look at a slice of bread to have my BG's soar. Neuropathy affects my balance, my grip, my sight and more.

With the pump I have a life again. Sick days, I can bounce like a yoyo, too high, too low, too whatever, but I have better control now with the pump with only 1 insulin that works for me, Novolog.I also have a diabetic alert dog Shilo who will wake me when my BG goes wacky, and alert anyone nearby. Athena my refill prescription is rapidly learning as well. Without them and the pump, I wouldn't have a life. Bless them all.

Cathryn A Ciszek
Titusville, FL

T1D at 38!

I love my job as a vet and I love my horses and my many hounds... and then in August 2013 at age 38.5 years I was diagnosed with Diabetes. Because of my age I was put on Metformin. Within 2 days I was critically ill but still went to work. I called the Medical Centre and was told it would take time to adjust to the medication... I told them that I "think they will find I am a Type 1 Diabetic".

It's all been up and down hill since then. I am a "brittle diabetic" - high one minute and low the next. In NZ you have to pass all sorts of criteria to get a pump. I am still waiting.

In the meantime I am enjoying my hounds and winning many show prizes, I am about to breed my young Hanovarian mare to a very special stallion. I had established a life I enjoyed before diabetes and I am going to see it through.

I will continue to practice, I will continue to breed, love, show and course my beautiful sighthounds and I will be starting my next home bred dressage horse in 4 years time. And on top of that you will see me compete at Grand Prix in dressage!

Kia Kaha... Diabetes might slow us for a bit but it can't stop us.

Huntly, New Zealand

Meet Katy, Strong and Brave

Shortly after Katy turned 16, we went back east for a visit, we had just moved to Michigan. We noticed that Katy had started drinking a lot and was always thirsty. We figured it was due to traveling and staying in hotels. When we got home we noticed she had lost weight, and was still extremely thirsty. I called the Doctor, but since we had just moved there we had to wait 2 weeks to see anyone due to being a new patient. My friend told me she though she had diabetes, but I didn't think so, since there's no history of it in our family. By the time we got to see the Doctor she had lost 25lbs. The first thing the doc did was draw blood and do a urine test. She walked in the room and said "Katy has Diabetes. You need to go home and pack a bag and go right to the hospital, I'm calling them now, they will be expecting you." We just cried together. I Drove home, told my sons to look after each other, called my husband and we left for the hospital. I had no idea how to deal with diabetes, I knew nothing about it. We spent 3 days in the hospital learning. Katy said, "I will not let this disease control my life, I will not go back into the hospital!" My daughter is the strongest women I know! She hates this disease and all that comes with it, but she doesn't let it get her down. She has been horseback riding since she was eight, she volunteered at a rescue center and earned a horse of her own! She is now 24yrs old, married to wonderful man, working and is about to graduate college! She is so strong willed, nothing slows her down, especially Diabetes! I am very proud of her!

Lisa Butkiewicz
Gregory, MI

Learning Life's Lessons through Diabetes

I have always been an optimistic thinker with a flair for sarcastic and witty comments....and I have found that dealing with a chronic disease is no different. In fact, it has been my saving grace in dealing with Type 1 Diabetes since I was 13 years old.

Now, at 30, I still try to keep my attitude up, even when complications from this horrible disease sometimes set me back. When I was diagnosed, I truly did not realize the severity of type one, nor did I realize how life changing it would be. I was a teenager and naturally thin. I am 5'10 and was already close to that at the time of being diagnosed and dropped down well below 100 pounds. I had no energy to even walk and found simple tasks at home and school to be more than challenging. I was only diagnosed with Strep Throat and it took me collapsing in my living room floor, near death, before we realized this was way more than the common sore throat that my pediatrician had originally diagnosed.

Blood sugars were over 1000 at the hospital and my family quickly realized that I was alive solely by the grace of God. I have had horrible trips to the ICU and days where I feel 100% OVER IT. Thankfully those are few and far between and my positive attitude prevails. I am more than thankful for a mother and father that would do anything for me, support me continually and push me to live outside of what I have been slated to deal with in life. It has taught me that the saying is true: Everyone you meet is fighting a battle. I think about diabetes every minute of my life...and while that is unfortunate, that will also keep me alive.

Lindsay Taylor Combs
Lexington, KY

Daddy can't fix his little girl

May 2003 Kelsey was just 16 months old and teething, or at least we thought so. Not eating, just drinking and peeing a lot. Her symptoms just progressed down hill over the course of the weekend and finally we took her to the pediatrician doctor. He ordered blood work and chest x-ray STAT. He sent us home and said he will call us as soon as he gets the results. We were just walking in the door at home and the Dr. called... He said and I will never forget these words "I called the hospital, they are waiting for Kelsey... get in the car now. Don't call and wait for an ambulance just go". On the way there Kelsey passed out and my wife jumped in the back to keep her awake with no luck. When we got to the Hospital the medical team came from all over to her aid. Entering KDA made for a very long 2 hrs getting an iv in her. Two weeks in ICU, 2 more weeks till she was able to come home after Mom and Dad undergone training to take care of a diabetic. Now 12, Kelsey an insulin pumper and doing great. yes she has her days, wanting to just "fit in" with her friends. Her blood sugar average 6 years ago was about 280. Now its 135!! Kelsey has been very open to voicing her experience with being a diabetic, she recently fundraised for diabetes research and became a Youth Ambassador in the process. Now helping other kids to take care of themselves and educating parents with diabetic kids in school is her mission. Nothing stops Kelsey, bike riding, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, cheerleading to name a few. Daddy so desperately wants a cure... He cant fix his little girl on his own.

Gene P
Hackettstown, NJ

I had trouble believing

I worked untill I was 65 years old had to retire as they was downsizing Social Services, the year before they decided I had high cholestrol so put me on statins then they said I had high blood pressure I was amazed as had never had it before so was given Ramipril.....although i kept getting bladder infections they never checked me for Diabetes and whats worse I never suspected I had it, I have Hypothyroidism also which i have had since my 20's and the Doctor said i was taking too much so wanted to cut the thyroxine down I said look here if i was taking too much((which I have in past years so knwo the symptoms)) I would be losing weight and I am not so somthing is wrong some where...he sent me to a gland specialist who said everything was alright ....whilst there I had a blood test and they said that too was alright....months later I decided to go to the Doctors again as had a terrible thirst which I could not get rid of, they took a blood test again and away i went....few days later the Doctor rang me saying can you get down to the surgery we have your blood test results back and the sugar level is very high.... so off to the Doctors I went again and they told me I had to take some tablets to lower the levels...that was three years ago I have tried Insulin and that gives me a few hypos so asked the Doctor if i could try some new tabs that came out and I am on them now....I have found a good diabetec site on the net who tell you about controlling your carbs and am trying this out also.....I have lost over three years 6 stone through exercising and diet and I would say to all out there do not be dismayed we learn something new every day so Live, Love and be happy...Trisha

Nottingham, United Kingdom

My Story

Hi I'm Brad

I was diagnosed with diabetes Jan 2011.. My story started with me having bronchitis which I was treated for and came home to recover .. I had been feeling sick and run down for months prior to going to the doctor but thought I was just overworking and stress .. As I was home I began getting worse instead of better. The first thing I noticed was I could not get enough to drink all day and all night and finally ending up bed ridden and vomiting ... I had my blood sugar tested and would not even read so off to the ER I went . I was rushed back already being told I was acid ketosis which brings a fruity smell to your breath .. My blood sugar was 948 and I was passing out ( I hardly remember the day) sweating ,shaking .. I was admitted and given a insulin drip along with 3 shots a day for a week ... I was released and the doctors told me I escaped a coma and probably organ damage ( my kidneys are ) if I had waited another day... Then the fun started.. I had to learn to deal with this disease , eating , exercise , attitude

, not feeling like I was different . So I put my mind to it followed what I was told to do and made my own changes for me , everybody's body is different .. You have to learn your body to fix it.. Today I am 95lbs down and insulin free after 5 shots a day. My point is get your mind right and take care of your precious body.. Always remember diabetes never goes away .. It's not a death sentence .. Attitude is everything !! I did it , anybody can ... Improve yourself and improve your life ... And don't think things will change overnight , it took me 1 year to get there ... Set a goal ... YOU CAN DO IT !!! God Bless


Brad Burges
Arlington, TX

Mommy and Daddy's Hero

On July 18 2014 our world changed. Our precious 2 year old daughter was diagnosed as type 1 diabetic. On July 13 2014, I was in the hospital having Taylor's little sister Lizzie. We had noticed Taylor just didn't look right and was drinking a lot. My father in law actually mentioned that he hoped she wasn't diabetic. When he said this, I thought to myself, no not Taylor. She's only 2. Two year old babies don't have diabetes. On July 18 we woke up and Taylor told me she had a headache and started vomiting. I assumed she had a stomach virus . My mother in law came and got her so the virus wouldn't be passed to our newborn. She only became more ill as the day wore on. By the afternoon she was extremely lethargic and very labored breathing. She was brought to our local hospital where they immediately suspected diabetes. They checked her sugar and it was 505. She was sent to the PICU at Vanderbilt Childrens hospital where we learned she was in DKA. Then I had no idea what DKA was and how extremely serious it is. Now that I know it makes me sick to think of that time and how close we came to losing our baby. After several days in the hospital, Taylor was back to her old self. Only now we know she is diabetic. She celebrated her 3rd birthday in August and is doing great! She is so smart! She knows how to check her sugar and knows the differences in her novolog and lantus. She is too young to draw up the insulin or inject herself, but I have full confidence when the day comes she will do excellent. She is the strongest little person I know. My heart is filled with joy every time I look at her. She is her mommy's hero.

Callie Briley
Portland, TN

My Story

My name is Jorie,

September 27th is my 22nd birthday and I have been living with type 1 diabetes since the age of 4. It used to be so easy when I was young but when I turned 13 everything changed. I became inattentive to my diabetic needs and just wanted to be like every other person in the world and not have to count and track and watch. So I ended up in the hospital the same time every year for the next 6 years of my life with.... you guessed it DKA. my levels were well over 600 and my A1C was above 14. I just didn't care, I didn't want every meal planned out for me n having to be dependent on a medication to live. The doctors told me if I didn't start taking care of myself I would start losing my sight, having kidney failure, etc. Finally, in 2012 I met the love of my life and he didn't only give me a purpose he gave me goals and a chance at a normal person's future. After we got together and I started taking better care of myself I found out I had diabetic retinopathy. I was devastated. It was like no matter how hard I tried there my diabetes was to tear me down. I don't have it completely under control I still have old habits but I'm trying to be as healthy as I can so I can have kids and a future without disability or blindness. I have come a long way but I still have so long to go. I just got my pump in the mail and now I have to go and train for using it. I'm so excited and can't wait to see what my future holds.

West Branch, MI
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