My story

My name is Hannah Reitsch and I am 13 years old and 12 days ago (November 18th 2011) I was diagnosed with type one diabetes and heres my story… It was the 18th of November, one of my best friends birthday and her mom pretended to have an appointment that day but she was actually setting up a surprise birthday party for my friend. And so we had to pick her up from school and then take me to my doctor appointment then take her home for her birthday party that we were also invited to. So we picked her up and went to the doctor office, my mom told them of how she could smell ketones in my bedroom and of how ive been getting up multiple times a night to go to the bathroom and my stomach aches and shortness of breath and all that good stuff and they gave me a physiological test thinking "its all in her head" and a couple weeks before we came for the same thing and they sent us home saying its all in my head (well obviously now they know it was not). My mom is a retired nurse so by now she knew it was diabetes and she kept insisting that they take my blood sugar and time after time they refused until my mom got really angry and made them have me take a urine test.They let me and i was spilling a massive amount of sugar and the doctor ran in and started franticly talking and apologizing to us and she told us that she already called an ambulance for me to get rushed to Mary bridge children's hospital because my blood sugar was 714!!! My mom was calling my dad and my friend was calling her mom to come pick her up from the doctor office because i was leaving in an ambulance. My mom got to ride with me in the ambulance and my dad and brothers were meeting us at Mary bridge. On the way there was so much traffic that we had to turn on the lights and sirens and speed down the busy road. We arrived there 2 hours before my dad and brothers! I was put in a room in the PICU and had two IVs in at the same time witch hurt a ton after about half an hour of being in the PICU almost my entire family knew what had happend to me and wanted to talk to me and visit me. I knew i wasnt going to die but everyone when they saw me all hooked up in the PICU, they started crying. I was also constantly loosing weight at one point I weighed only 91 pounds! My mom never left my side she slept on the pull out bed next to mine. Every night my sister would come at about 6 and stay till 11. I got many visitors every day and at one time every one got kicked out except for my mom because we had over 20 people in my room :)) After a few days in the PICU i went to the step down floor and that day was very hard because i had to start getting shots instead of an IV but i had to keep them in unhooked witch was very uncomfortable. But what really cheered me up that day is when my entire youth group walked in!!! they brought me books and toys and a bunch of fun stuff and my very best friend, Jennika layed in my bed with me :) they also brought me tons of cards from church and things that were prayed over at a retreat my youth leader went to.But i was really happy to be out of the PICU because i wasnt stuck in a bed any more so my mom and dad and i walked around the hospital everyday! I got lots of visitors out of the PICU too! and my sister brought me a pillow pet and a close family friend brought me a teddy bear that i put a diabetes bracelet on :). At first it wasn't real to me and i wouldn't accept it because i thought i still had a chance of it just going away but after a while in the hospital with my family,friends,nice nurses,mean nurses,nice doctors,and mean doctors, I knew that this was my fate and i had to accept it. And then, it was real and everything was going so fast i cried so much i dont know how i dident run out of tears. I had a talk with my nurses,mom,dad,and doctors about how its moving too fast and i dont know if i could do it. they said that they were so impressed and proud of me and that they will try to not go so fast and after that it really was better and i felt a million times better because i was in the 700s for so long i forget what it was like to be in the normal area and it sure felt great! We had so much to learn and the doctors said it looked like i wasn't going home in time for thanksgiving. What I was worried about was giving myself the insulin I thought i could NOT do it not ever and my grampa bought me a key chain and chatted with me about it because he is a pharmacist and we all prayed together that i could do it and i was almost constantly praying silently to my self and that next day i knew that with God's help i could do it and that day is the day i started giving the shots to my self!! and my mom and dad bought me a sock monkey from the gift shop as a prize I was soo proud of my self and so was everyone else. I got so many visitors here and there everyday and thats how i liked it. And did i mention that on the 18th i had breakfast and thats all i had for the entire time i was in the PICU?? I was STARVING i got to have dinner on the 21rst and i was so happy when i finaly got to eat. We had tons of learning to do so for two days all we did was have educator after educator come in and talk to us and i got a pink panther book on all the diabetes stuff i had to learn. The doctors told us that since i was doing so good we could probly get out the day before thanksgiving and my whole family and I were super happy. But that ment i had to work fast!! We had to talk to a diatition, a nutrition,a psychologist, some more educators, and lots of doctors and nurses. Theres alot of challenges i had to face with my new diabetes but i was VERY well supported by my friends and family and the staff of Mary Bridge. The day before i left, my mom dad and i wanted to do something fun: we "went out" to eat dinner! we went down to the hospital caffatiria and i got to have what ever i wanted but we still had to count carbs and give insulin. Finally, the day I leave but one more thing, im not immunized!! (My big brother had a bad reaction to immunizations when he was little and due to our religious beliefs my mom and dad decided not to get me immunized) this was not good for me since i have diabetes so on that last day i had to get 6 immunizations!!! 3 in each arm, OUCH!. But i was still very happy to go home. Its still a little new but i know i can do it! And thats my story.

Thanks for your story Hannah, I enjoyed reading it, you are articulate and obviously a smart cookie ;)

You sound very grown up and mature for your age, so I am sure you will have the diabetes monster under control in no time!

Just always do you best with it, try and stay positive and it doesn't have to be so bad. I have a feeling you will be fine. There are lots of people on here with more experience and knowledge than me and I am sure we can all support you should you have any questions.

I was exactly your age when I was diagnosed. My mum too was a retired nurse here in the UK, she was also a Type 1 Diabetic, so she picked up on my diabetes within about a week ha! Unfortunately the Dr's didn't agree and thought it was psychological, even though my mum was pricking my fingers and my blood was coming back in the 500s regularly .

Took a month for the doctor to do a simple glucose tolerance test! Then it was an ambulance and straight to hospital. I remember them bringing in my first insulin pen to my bed and just leaving me to inject myself, that was weird!

I remember being quite down for a while, as at that age I really wanted to be an officer in the Army and I knew that wasn't going to happen anymore. I had also seen my mum have bad hypos and I knew how tough diabetes could be.

16 years on, it hasn't been so bad. Never had a really serious hypo, I take good care of myself, my diabetes has made me focus on exercise and eating right and it has also helped mature (I hope ha).

Good luck,not that you will need it ;)

Wow Hannah, what a story! Good for your mother for insisting on what she knew was right. Having so much support from your friends and family is wonderful.

You will have challenges with diabetes, as you said, but none of them that you won't be able to meet head on. Your attitude is wonderful. Please remember that any time you feel down or frustrated, we are all here for you - and so is your new sock monkey :)

I'm so glad you found us. You're obviously very competent with your computer. We have loads of groups - if you click on the groups link at the top of the page you'll find a list. You might want to join the Type 1 Teens group to start.

Wonderful story! I think many of us have very vivid memories of being diagnosed, it will stay with you all your life. Getting diabetes certainly isn't a vacation, but we are very fortunate these days with all the new medical science. We can still be very healthy and live long, healthy happy lives. You can basically do whatever you want, sky diving, being a doctor or even an Olympian. I'm glad you came here to tell your story. Remember, any time you or your family want to ask questions or talk about diabetes, there is always somebody at home here.

My storey would read much the same, but I couldn't have written it so well at your age! I was 12 when diagnosed, I'm now 66 and still in good health and a very active police officer and bodybuilder. Don't let diabetes defeat you or keep you from your destiny, you can do anything you want as long as you care for your diabetes first through good control of your BG.

Hang in there.

That's a good story. I found out i was diabetic in a similar way. I was thirsty all the time, got really bad headaches, and was losing a large amount of weight (80lbs in 3 months!). I went into the DR finally and they tested my sugar. It was so high that the machine could not register the number. That was in 1998. i must say that living with diabetes is no easy task but it is manageable. I probably don't monitor my sugar as often as i should and i certainly don't always watch my carbs like i should. But after all this time, i know my limits. I can feel the changes when m,y sugar is too high or too low. I know what to eat when i get too low that will quickly raise my sugar but not cause it to spike. My experience comes from time and trial/error. Eventually you fill find that happy medium so that you control your own lifestyle and not your disease. Good Luck!

Welcome Hannah. Every day is going to be an adventure but then every day is an adventure for every teenager. It sounds like you have the will, the faith and the community to help you get control of your diabetes and remember if you ever have questions, people here have loads of experience and are very happy to help.

Take care,


LOved reading u story.! Mine is almost the same but not quiet. I was diagnosed with Type 1 back in 73 it wasn't as easy back then as it i now. I didn't have a clue what was wrong with me and like u I lost weight fast, in fact I lost from 110 to 69 pounds in a month. I had to go to a hospital locally for them to draw my blood. After that my mother & g-father went shopping and the dr called back to my house while we were gone shopping telling my dad that I was very sick and as soon as my mom got me back to my house I needed to go to a hospital 50 miles away so they could care for me. Got a new dr then too. They kept me in the hospital for 3 weeks and sent me home and back then it was calories not carbs that needed counting so off on a new life experiance I went. Now they are counting carbs. That was a new one for me after 38 years with d I still catch myself counting calories instead of carbs. LOL!

thanks! wow, our stories are very alike. thankyou very much for the support and nice words :)

Thanks, yeah my mom is a super awesome lady! Im glad i found this too :))

thanks. yep thats totaly true!

thanks! I wont let it defeat me im stronger than diabetes!!!!! :D

thanks! yeah im kinda like that too, i can feel when my BS is high or low.

Thanks! yeah i have tons of supporters!!! :))

thanks! wow thats an amazing story!

Thank you for sharing your story sweetie. Talk about growing up quickly!!!! My heart goes out to your mom as frustrated, frightened and angry she must have been, to not be taken seriously. Thank God she persisted. How are you is your diabetes handled at school. Do you have the freedom to treat yourself accordingly?
Be well Hannah.....
sending you buckets of hugs ♥

I still remember how much better I felt after I got dx'ed and shot full of insulin. It is a *big* motivation for me!

Yeah its great!

Thanks! Yeah my mom was really amazing through the whole thing. She always stayed very calm and supportive.
I'm doing lots better its still pretty new and they are still trying to get my doses right. I actually haven't gone back to school yet I've only been out of the hospital for a week and we have to get the school plan all ready and stuff and i still have appointments almost everyday and the clinic is an hour away but were hoping in monday!! Thankyou again for the support :)

Welcome Hannah ;-)

Great story. I got Diabetes when I was 5 in 1980. You sound like you have a great support, and a very smart girl. Ask us anything that comes to mind. We are all here to help any way we can.