The TuDiabetes Family

I wrote this for school, but it didn't really work for the assignment, but I liked it enough... so here it is, with some changes! :)

When I was 12, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes. It was a shock. Like so many others, I had only heard of type two. I thought there was only one diabetes. I didn’t know any other people- let alone teens!- with diabetes. At my school, there was no other person with diabetes. I was alone, defeated, scared.

When I had to test my blood sugar, I sat in the corner of the office, away from the receptionist who was afraid of blood and needles. There was no nurse at this building in my school- and the temporary school nurse was afraid of needles. For weeks, my mom dutifully arrived at the school at noon and we took over an empty classroom, trying to understand what we were doing. For weeks I came home crying, trying to make my friends understand, trying to convince the math teacher that tests right before lunch weren’t a good idea because I was always low before lunch. Trying to fit in.

Even once we got the hang of it and mom stopped coming at lunch, I was always “the girl with the disease” or “the druggie with the needles”. The weird one. The one who “couldn’t eat sweets.”

I became desperate to find someone who understood. My doctors studied type one, but they didn’t get the emotional stuff. Therapists didn’t know what diabetes was. And none of these were kids. I’d scan the restaurants, just hoping to find a pump, a needle, a meter, anything that was a sign.

Then I found TuDiabetes. Here was this family of people, all who had diabetes, all with their own stories, all with hope and determination. All wanting to find friends to talk to, people to help. Here were these people who lived with diabetes and did amazing things- conquered mountains, go to the Olympics, get on American Idol, the list goes on. Here were people who understood everything Diabetes- the hilariousness in the places where we find test strips, the desperation of trying to get rid of ketones. Here were diabetics all grown up- the people that I want to be. Having kids, getting jobs- living life- even with diabetes.

It was TuDiabetes that opened my eyes to the diabetes world- not a world of hate and despair- but a world of hope, determination, acceptance and love. Everyday each and every one of us fights diabetes and we go on to do amazing things. We push past the difficult things- the blood sugars, the ketones, the misconceptions about diabetes- and we live life.

With TuDiabetes I met my role models, my friends and my family with diabetes. I met the people that I want to be when I’m older, the other teenagers living like I am and people who have different kinds of diabetes- they helped me learn that type two diabetes isn’t all that I thought it was and that there are types like 1.5 that nearly no one knows about.

My family gives me a lot of support, but they’re still learning. They don’t have diabetes, no matter how much they understand about it.

Without TuDiabetes, I would be struggling to find a place right now. My pump probably wouldn’t be on my side (and I have Kristin especially to thank for that!) and I most certainly wouldn’t be scheduling CGM classes. My needles wouldn’t be taken with confidence and my head wouldn’t be held high.

Today when I walk down the street, through the hallway, around the mall, wherever I am, I walk proudly with diabetes- my pump on my side, my meter in my backpack and a little blood stain on my finger. I like who I am, and I’m that person because of the TuDiabetes family and the support they have given me. TuDiabetes has truly taught me that while I have diabetes, I am not a diabetic. It’s amazing what you can do, what you can get past, when you have this support.

Thank you, TuDiabetes.

Sweetheart you are truly an amazing, beautiful and smart young lady. All of us on TuD are very fortunate to have a person like you as part of this community and even more so in this world. What a little treasure you are.

Awesome post Sloane, A 7th grader at my school was just in hospital diagnosed Type 1. I saw him yesterday and told him about Tudiabetes, I will forward your post to his parents and hopefully he will join our site. His name is Jesse. Look for him on the teen site for me . Thanks for your intelligence and kind words. Robin


Super post, Sloane. Thanks for sharing.

Fair Winds,

You made me cry! Thank you for this. It truly means a lot.

Awesome post! I can relate so much to that…i went to a private school with around 450 students and no one had or even knew what diabetes was, and we had no school nurse. Definitely took me back to those beginning years! Thank you for this essay (:

This is a great post. If the assignment was about family, I think this would have fit right in! This is a family, one big D family! Keep learning, laughing and most important, living!


Wow Sloane…

I think you are going to do very well… I bet you will also be one of the ones that gives back more than they got

Sloane this post is awesome!
Definitely keep your head held high, and don’t let anyone tell you any differently! Keep doin’ what you’re doin’, and like Scott said, you’ll be the one that people look to some day for advice, help, a shoulder to lean on. Fantastic story, and an awesome future :slight_smile:

Great post. It is a wonderful thing being able to share in this community where we are all held together with this common thread we call diabetes.

Sloane… once in a blue moon something happens that reminds you WHY. Why you do the things you do, why you put up with the struggles (big or small) there may be to do those things… THIS post, what you have shared with us today is ONE of those things.

Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us and for being such a proud member of the TuDiabetes family!

Now this brought tears to my eyes…beautiful!

Wow, I’m going to save this and when my son is old enough to read and understand, I will pass it onto him. We, too, felt very alone…then I found tudiabetes. I was at our first follow-up appointment and in the group I noticed a couple who looked like I imagine my husband and I looked 4 months ago, I passed on this website to them. Yesterday, the parents send me a message on tudiabetes to say thank you. Thank you tudiabetes and thank you Sloane!

Amazing writing and great insight

Wow Sloane - having a little tear episode here as I type this out (just like Teena) - you worded it sooooo beautifully. Like you, as an 8 year old - no one really understood us - but back in my days - it was just hit and miss - now there is so much more to help us lead better lives - and yes - I hold my head up high - because I think for myself - having diabetes has made me a much better person! I bow to you as the Ambassador of the Free World of All Diabetics United!!!

You reflect many of our own experiences and emotions.Well written!

Thank you so much for writing this. You will never know how much it means to read this. You are an inspiration to all of us.

I was diagnosed when I was six. My parents pulled me out of school and I am now a “Unschooler”, and love it!! I am ten now and find your words very similar to how I felt in the beginning. Thanks Sloan!

Wow! You know its strange how people react to this, I was diagnosed last year, Im 28 and have always gone and did whatever I wanted. Its tough to deal with. And I can relate to the whole resturant thing, I was in the restroom one time, testing myself, and a woman came in just as I pricked my finger, and she treated me as if I had a contagious life threatening disease. And most doctors dont understand, the thing I always get is “well I dont have diabetes” So no on almost every level they cannot even begin to realize the stress emotionally, or physically that we are under every day, The want to be normal again ( or at least in my case) Or the days you wake up and just get depressed. I am very proud of you for the attitude that you have towards it, and this place is a great place for advice from people who know.