Living with Diabetes
through the use of Community Advocacy, Social Media, & BLUE Flamingos!
My name is Justin. I am a happy, healthy, 10 year old boy. I am loving, compassionate and just like everyone else, with one small exception.
In the summer of 2008, at the age of 7, I started loosing weight. Once school started, things got worse. I was irritable, excessively thirsty, I was always using the bathroom and I started wetting the bed. I had been getting in so much trouble at school that my mom decided to take me to my Pediatrician to see about getting me some help for my "behavior". This appointment changed my life forever...
On October 21st, 2008, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. According to the doctors I was lucky because "we caught it early". I didn't have to spend days in the hospital like all my T1 friends. Our first lesson in Diabetes care was a four hour crash course the next morning. FOUR HOURS!! That's all we were given to learn how to mix insulin, count carbs, what a serving size looked like, how to give injections, signs of hypo's, signs of hyper's, Glucagon. We learned how to test blood sugars, what a ketone was and how to test for them. What to do for ketones, high glucose and low glucose and even what to do if I suddenly had a seizure or became unconscious.
That is more information than most people could handle in four hours. To make matters worse... right in the middle of it all, I had my first injection. I was crying, begging and pleading as my mom gave me insulin for the first time. I was scared and didn't understand why she was doing this to me.
At the end of that four hours, ready or not, we were on our own. It took a little while for us to adjust to our new "normal", but now my care is just part of what I do everyday to keep me healthy. I know that my Diabetes does not define me. In many ways, it even makes me stronger, more compassionate and understanding.
I feel that everything has its purpose; this is why I am extremely excited to join several of my friends as they raise awareness along side The Diabetes Dude. I feel that together, we will make a difference. We will raise awareness and one day... we will even help to find a cure.