It was a typical day for me in early March of this year. We were on our way home from the city and stopped at a gas station to get water. In a very short amount of time I had my 28 oz. bottle of water gone. My mom was surprised, and I told her that I just couldn’t get enough to drink and was getting up to go the the bathroom around 3-4 times a night and many times during the day. After I told her that, she started to wonder if I was diabetic. In that moment so many questions were going through my mind, and I didn’t know how to feel. Questions about my personal life were running through my mind, and I was wondering how much it would effect my everyday life at home and school.
I started researching about what Type 1 diabetes was on our way home that day. I was reading articles about it and looking at the symptoms to see if any of them matched how I was feeling. The only ones that matched my symptoms at the time were excessive thirst and urination. We didn’t think it was true that I would be diabetic, but the next day my mom talked to a nurse practitioner about my symptoms and asked for her advice. She recommended to go see a doctor as soon as we could.
I went to the doctor the next day; we spent almost all day there as they did many tests on me to see if they could figure out what was going on and why. I was drinking so much water and going to the bathroom so much. They were almost positive that I was diabetic because I had sugar in my urine. They sent all of my test results from that day to Children’s Hospital in Omaha because they wanted to get a second opinion on it. We went to Children’s Hospital the next day and had blood drawn and more tests done. Later that afternoon they contacted my mom at work, and I was diagnosed with AutoImmune Type 1 Diabetes.
That day, she came home from work, and she was in tears. I didn’t know what was wrong at first. I went up to her and gave her a hug and asked her what was wrong and if she would be okay. That was when she not only told me that I was diagnosed as a diabetic, but she also found out that my sister was going to have to have surgery on the cyst that she had on her arm. After she had the surgery the cyst could possibly grow back anywhere on her body and be cancerous. That day was not the best for my family. Many tears had been shed, but we all got through it.
The day after I was diagnosed, we went to Children’s Hospital again and talked to a nurse, dietician, and social worker that would help us with everything that we needed to know. That day I learned to check my own blood sugar, but I still wasn’t comfortable with giving myself a shot. I had to take 4 shots a day at the beginning, and the longer I had it the lower my blood sugars were getting. I am now down to only taking one shot a day, and that is before I go to bed. I still have to check my blood sugars before every meal and at bedtime.
After a week or so after being diagnosed, I was used to counting my carbs and knowing how much I needed to be eating, or if I was eating too much of something. I was a little confused, but it was easy to catch on to. During the day for each meal they wanted me eating 70 carbs. We didn’t think that it was very much when they told us. When we counted the carbs for my first meal, we found out it is very hard to even get up to 70 carbohydrates. Most of the time I would not get up to seventy even. I would get less than that. It was very hard to get up to seventy. For each meal I would be taking my insulin. Before I was able to take insulin, I had to divide that by 20 and that would give me the amount of insulin that I was to be taking with that meal. I caught on to doing all the math for it very quickly.
I was very scared to go back to school. I was extremely nervous that I would be judged for something I couldn’t help. I talked to my mom, Mrs. Merkel, Mrs. Peterson, Mrs. Svendsen, and Mrs. Phillips the day I went back to school. They explained to my mom and me that if I was ever made fun of for something like that to contact them. I have only ever been made fun of once for it. It hasn’t happened since that time either.
When I first found out, I thought that I was going to have to change completely and stop doing certain things and eating my favorite foods. I was scared that my friends would treat me different, and that I would get made fun of.
When I went back to school after finding this out, I was very nervous about what people would think of me. If I would be treated differently, or if everything was going to be the same. It took awhile for it to sink in, but I finally realized that if they are true friends, they wouldn’t judge me or treat me differently. I started to realize that it got easier to tell people because they wouldn’t treat me any different than they did before.
I realized after the first few weeks that nobody was going to treat me different and that I wouldn’t be made fun of for something that I had no control over. After I got that through my head, I was happy. It has been less than a year since I was diagnosed, and I am still living very happily.