In 1982, I was 14 yrs old growing up in Alton Bay, NH and my life was about to forever change. It was Easter Sunday and woke up feeling the worst I'd every felt, even after many months of unrelenting thirst, urination, nausea and weight loss. After the all telling symptom (ketoacidosis) deep gasping breath and hallucinations, my parents still not understanding what was going on drove me to the nearest E.R an hour away. I was diagnosed with type 1 juvenile diabetes and spent the next week in the hospital. I quickly learned about this disease, food, limitations and how to inject myself with insulin by practicing on an orange. My parents were alienated, never really understanding the scope of it all. The day to day care I needed to grow into at just 14. A delicate time in a teenage girls life, hormonal changes occurring and now add diabetes into the mix.
We moved around a lot when I was a kid and soon moved to Florida. New school, friends and all I new was to take my same 3 shots a day and count carbs... whatever that meant. The at home blood sugar testing didn't exist back then and I carried my insulin vials and syringes with me to school. My blood sugars ran higher then, so I not knowingly felt bad but didn't have scary low blood sugar episodes to worry about.
This all sounds like the true life change for me and it was.. but the "real life change" for me was feeling isolated. Diabetes like a lot of chronic diseases weren't talked about much in the 1980's and of course internet and social media wasn't a tool then to get information and support. Fast forward 36 years and I truly believe in Hope in any struggle that god hands us. I'm actually a perfect diabetic candidate, I'm very routine, determined and dedicated to everything I do. Very important qualities after realizing this about myself many years after my diagnosis. We are all very fortunate now to have medical advances, support and as much information as we wanna search for to manage our diabetes. I now know I have type 1 diabetes for a very specific reason, as I can now monitor and keep my blood sugar, energy and health in balance I can offer my experience and wisdom to help others do the same. Support and an understanding ear is priceless. Happy to be here and the opportunity to do what I love.