Living with Diabetes
through the use of Community Advocacy, Social Media, & BLUE Flamingos!
After weeks of being in school, Fall Break had finally arrived. It was Friday, October 2, 2009 and my family and I were packing up the van to leave for our week long, much anticipated 11 state tour of New England. The night long charlie horses and unquenchable thirst began on day one in Philadelphia. A diet of Dunkin Donuts, Gatorade, soft pretzels, and Tasty Kakes (hey I’m a teenager!), only drained my energy even more. Our trip consisted of daily adventures to different New England Seaside villages, which I had no will power to explore or energy to keep up with the rest of the family. It didn’t take long for my parents to notice my uncharacteristic behavior.
After arriving at our final destination, Niagara Falls, my parents finally got hold of a computer and looked up my symptoms. After a little bit of research, they finally discovered what could be the unbelievable truth; I showed every symptom of Type 1 diabetes.
I don’t remember much of the 12 hour ride home because I slept the entire way back. I only awakened for emergency bathroom breaks about every hour and to stop to refuel my depleted energy level with even more sugar based drinks and snacks.
Two days after our return home, mom decided to take me to the doctor for my flu like symptoms. The small town doctor burst into the room with the results of my blood test with the news that I had Type 1 diabetes like I had just won the lottery. The news was shocking. We were told to go home and pack our bags for a 3 day stay at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville.
Once there, I met with the most caring nursing staff, counselors, and doctors who not only realized that I was in shock from the news, but also scared and confused about what was happening. I was rushed in the E.R. with a fasting blood sugar of 430. At this point, my A1c was off with charts at a 16.7 and I had extra large ketones.
A year later, with the aid of my One Touch Ping Insulin Pump, I am a sophomore on the Varsity Dance Team, Officer in the local LEO Club, a member of the Varsity Golf Team, and a straight “A” student. This goes to show that even though I have been diagnosed with diabetes, it doesn’t get in the way of my hopes, dreams, and goals.
As you can see, my story is similar to yours. My goal is, with the help of the Diabetes Dude and the blue flamingos, to spread awareness of our disease so that others will understand that we can still accomplish anything that we set out to do, without diabetes getting in the way.