It was December of my senior year in high school. I really don’t know how long it had been going on except I can kind of remember when it started getting severe right at the end of November. I was falling asleep during my classes every day and had teachers making comments about it. I was using the restroom what seemed like every hour. I could barely make it through a basketball practice without feeling like I was going to pass out. I was constantly needing more to drink and for some reason cranberry juice is what I was always craving. I dropped weight like crazy. People were starting to talk about how bad I looked and question if I had an eating disorder. That definitely was not the case, because I was also hungry most of the time. My friends wanted to know how I lost so much weight so fast and it never dawned on me that it could be from how much I was using the restroom, but the only explanation I had was that I was drinking cranberry juice. They all drank cranberry juice that day and until we found out I had Type 1 diabetes, never thinking about how much sugar it actually had in it! Whoops.
A week before I was diagnosed, I had some friends that were in a car wreck and I lost someone very very close to me. I had a really hard time dealing with it, so when my problems started becoming even more noticeable, everyone just said it was from the stress. My mom finally MADE me go to the doctor, believe me I tried to fight her. It was December 14, 2006, my eighteenth birthday, a day I should be celebrating. Instead they put me in the hospital a.s.a.p. and started pumping fluids through me because I was so dehydrated. The journey started there. I was confused, scared, and a little mad. My first thoughts were about how my life was going to change for the worse. I was never going to get to be normal again. I was so wrong.
My life has been pretty much the same as it would have been if I didn’t have diabetes. I still am very active in sports and exercising, I still eat what I want, and I’m still here. The technology for the illness is amazing. I still have to be responsible as far as checking my blood sugar and changing my Omni Pod, but it has allowed me to be living a great life. My family and friends have been an amazing support group for me, I can’t even imagine how much harder it would be dealing with it without them. I don’t wish a chronic illness upon anyone, but having diabetes has only made me stronger.
My diabetes story is not an amazing one, and I’m not anyone special, but I just hope I can let someone struggling know that its not the end of the world. Your life can still be perfectly normal. Just remember, it could always be worse!