High & Dry -
1. Tell us about your diagnosis - what were your symptoms, how did you feel, did you know
something was wrong?
I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes when I was 13 years old. I was at a baseball tournament and was peeing way more than I ever had in my life. I was also very thirsty and was drinking a lot of water. I felt very tingly and uncomfortable. It was hard to breathe sometimes too. I was still very young and just assumed that nothing was wrong. However, my dad, who was with me the whole tournament told my mom, who had been going to nursing school at the time about what was going on. So she made an
appointment with my pediatrician.
2. What was your hospital stay like?
At my pediatrician's, my BG was 576 (which is extremely high) and that year was already not the best year for my family, so that was just the cherry on top. I stayed one week in Boston Children’s Hospital where the doctors and nurses taught me about diabetes and how to treat it.
3. What was your reaction when you found out you had diabetes?
I think the exact words out of my mouth when my pediatrician diagnosed me were, “What’s that?” (I think it’s fair to say that I have matured and know exactly what it is now). But I know my mother's reaction was a lot more colorful than mine. It was very scary.
4. How was your transition from the hospital to going home?
It was extremely tough because my whole lifestyle had to change. I have never been prescribed any medications before in my life and now I’m getting prescriptions every month, whether it’s vials of insulin or freestyle testing strips; it was all new to me.
5. How did life change in those first few months?
I began to eat a lot healthier, which brought me to my honeymoon stage of diabetes and experiencing way more lows than highs. I was a lot heavier than most kids my age back then so going through this stage made me lose a lot more weight and I got a lot taller. So as my body was changing, I had to adjust my basal rates and dosages. I think the hardest part was just telling my friends that I got diagnosed. I remember walking through my middle school with my parents and it was in the middle of a school day. All my friends were there and I had just missed a week of school because of this and I was not the most extroverted person.
6. Is there anything you'd like to share?
Don’t be scared to tell people about yourself because it is very important for people around you to do that in case of an emergency.
Stay tuned for next week's installment of our November Spotlight, Damage Control.