I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year, ten days before my 21st birthday. I had been showing symptoms for about six weeks before I ended up at the hospital. I had just about every symptom in the book. I was drinking water constantly, even waking up in the middle of the night to drink. I was peeing all the time (though I never really thought much about it because I was drinking so much water). I was so dehydrated the lenses of my eyes changed shape and I had to get glasses because I could no longer read the white board in class.
I even had black mold growing in my toilet because there was so much sugar in my urine, and it kept coming back no matter how many times I bleached the bowl! I also had a serious yeast infection that spread through my entire body. I was tired all the time and irritable with everyone around me. But the worst symptom by far was the insatiable hunger I felt. I would eat until my stomach felt like it was going to burst and I would still be hungry!
I finally went to the doctor after my mom noticed I had lost weight. I ended up losing 12 pounds in about a week. My primary doctor made my initial diagnosis, but wanted to wait for the blood tests to come back before she gave me insulin. That night I tested my blood sugar and it was 598. I went to the ER and spent the next day in the ICU. It was the first time I had ever been in the hospital. As terrifying as the experience was, it ended up being the best for me. I was sent to the outpatient program where I had a great group of nurses who helped me learn how to carb count, calculate my insulin, and eat healthy. I was also referred to a wonderful endocrinologist has helped me constantly along the way.
As soon as I started insulin things began to go back to normal. I no longer needed glasses and I gained the weight back in less than a week. I still find it impossible to eat without clearing my entire plate, but for the most part my constant hunger has subsided.
While I would love nothing more than to go back to my old life, I am grateful for what this continuing experience has given me. I no longer take my health or my life for granted. I work hard everyday to eat healthy and exercise. I have always had the mindset that my diabetes will not prevent me from doing anything I want. If anything, it is just an extra challenge that makes life all the more important to live to the fullest while I am able still able to.
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