June 15, 2010 is a day I will never forget. It was the day I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Four months ago, if you would’ve asked me what a keytone was, I would’ve said “something on a piano”. Like most, I thought diabetes was something that only affected children or overweight people. I was completely oblivious to what this disease was, or what it was like to live with it.
The symptoms were subtle. It’s amazing how easily you adapt to them. I honestly didn’t think drinking 12-14 bottles of water a day was odd. I lost 18 pounds in about a month, nothing wrong with that during bikini season. Waking up several times in the middle of the night to use the bathroom became routine. Being exhausted all the time to me just seemed like a symptom of too much work and school. It wasn’t until a routine trip to the gynecologist, that I discovered that I was a cupcake away from going into a diabetic coma.
After the shock wore off, I went back and forth from being angry to in denial. I kept wondering, “why me?” Confused, brokenhearted, and depressed, I had no choice but to accept the awful truth. With the help of my friends, family and the educators at the diabetic care center, I began to feel hope. Instead of asking, “why me?” I started asking, “why not me?”
I became veracious for information. I read blogs, visited websites, bought books, and spoke with other people living with diabetes. I learned how to count carbs, fancy diabetic terms like DKA, A1C, and LADA. I discovered new and delicious foods low in sugar and carbohydrates. I can’t say it wasn’t difficult at first. Having to completely restructure how you look at food and inject insulin 8 times a day is easier said than done. However, armed with information and medicine, I battled this disease and won! With the help of my doctor and pump therapy I was able to get my glucose levels under control.
I’ve come a long way, but this is just the beginning. I hope to share my story with others who were recently diagnosed. Becoming a diabetic later in life can be harder than having it since adolescence. If I can help bring hope and information to just one other person in my situation, then I have done my job, because I believe that I can make a difference. I believe that there will someday be a cure, and most of all I believe that I can live a normal life with diabetes.