My journey with Type 1 Diabetes started several years before I was actually diagnosed. When I was 8 years old, one of my best friends was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. At that time, I did not know much about the disease, just that she got it because she was peeing a lot and that now she had to prick her fingers and give herself shots. Being the curious and emotional child that I was, I often asked questions and was quite observant. At home, I also remember telling my mom every time I went pee more than 4 time a day and that something must be "wrong" with me. My mom always reassured me I was fine, just a bit paranoid :)
Fast forward 9 years to the end of 2010, when I was a 17 year old senior in High School excited for Christmas. I had a bit of a cold and just generally felt "off". I distinctly remember filling up my water bottle 3 times throughout the night and even wetting my bed the night before christmas eve, and being so embarrassed, thinking "what is wrong with me?". I continued not feeling well, and went to the doctor 3 days after Christmas, where they stated I had a simple virus, but were a bit perplexed that I had lost 5 pounds in 2 weeks. This was not too concerning because I was always very slim and had trouble keeping weight on. My mom decided she would just keep an eye on me for the next few weeks.
Soon, it was time to head back to school. On the first day back, Monday January 3rd, I attended my High School Figure Skating Team practice. During this practice, I took an unexpected fall on a jump I had completed a couple hundred of times previously. I hit my head on the ice, but quickly got up and walked toward my coach. Everyone thought I was fine. Looking back I most likely passed out while in the air, and the fall knocked me back into consciousness. I shook off the fall, and went to a different arena for yet another practice. While there, I began experiencing concussion symptoms, so we headed to the hospital where the concussion was confirmed. The doctor instructed me just to take it easy and visit the pediatrician in a few days.
On that Thursday, I was still feeling miserable, so off to the pediatrician we went. They put me on the scale and the room immediately went silent. I weighed 85lbs. and was 5 feet 7 inches. I had lost 12 additional pounds in the one week since my previous appointment. The doctor ordered a urine analysis for a diagnosis she already knew, Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. So on January 6, 2011 my life changed for ever. The first person we called was the mother of my best friend, and fellow T1D. She immediately came to the hospital and sat with me. I was so blessed that week to be surrounded by people who knew what it was like and was introduced to wonderful doctors who showed me the way.
Diabetes is a hard disease, but I was blessed to have had a completely normal childhood without any limitations. I am lucky. I share my story because I want to show other young adults that managing diabetes is rough and sometimes annoying, but the silver linings throughout this crazy life is worth the struggle.