Living with Diabetes
through the use of Community Advocacy, Social Media, & BLUE Flamingos!
Hi! My name is Alexander James but you can call me A.J. I am 9 years old and moving into the 4th grade in the fall. I love to play sports, especially soccer and basketball. I also love hanging out with my friends and my family.
Back in December 2005, when I was only 3 ½ years old, my whole family caught the stomach bug. Everyone else recovered in 3 or 4 days but I lost almost 8 pounds and was very sick. On the 5th day of being sick, I woke up and had very labored breathing and looked very pale. My mom went to give me a kiss and she smelled my breath which was had a sweet small to it. Normally someone might not think of that as a danger sign but since my mom’s father was a Type 1 diabetic, she was all too familiar with that smell. We immediately went to the emergency room at the South Shore Hospital. When they checked my blood sugar, it was so high that it did not register on the glucometer. I was immediately rushed to Children’s Hospital (lights and sirens in the ambulance) where my family and I spent the next 5 days grappling with my new Type 1 diabetes diagnosis and learning how our lives would change forever.
I did MDI’s for 2 years and had an A1C ranging from 5.7 to 6.4. My parents had to become experts in carb counting and schedules. I would cry a lot when it came time for my shots but as time went by, I cried less and the shots hurt less.
2 years ago, I went on an insulin pump and it changed our lives again. We did not have to live by a tight schedule anymore. Being on a pump made it a lot easier for me to participate in sports and to have sleepovers with family and friends. It doesn’t mean I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want but it sure does make it easier when we go out for ice cream!!!
My mom always says that life is just a little bit different for us, not necessarily harder or easier than anybody else…just different. My parents do a great job making sure I have all the same opportunities as non-D kids. We also do our part in trying to raise awareness and educate anyone who will listen about Type 1 diabetes. That is why I am so excited that The Diabetes Dude has given me the honor of being an Ambassador. I plan on raising awareness as much as I can. Go Blue Flamingos!