I was 9 1/2 years old, just got home from school. I was sick all weekend constantly puking till I was left dry heaving. My face was sunken in Monday morning so my mom took me to the hospital. By the time we got there I had fallen into a coma for a couple days. When I woke up my doctor told me I have type 1 diabetes. When I went back to school all friends avoided me and called me a freak, I felt alone. I was in elementary school at that time. Because of that experience I kept my condition a secret. I kept it a secret for the rest of my school years. It's been 13 years and my diabetes is still not under control. I can't seem to get my butt into gear and get it under control, I try so hard. If anyone could give me some advice as to how I can accept the facts that I have this condition. I haven't really had any complications and I'm lucky for that. I'm in denial still and can't seem get through it. I've been lectured and I know complications can lead to death. I'm struggling.
As a young girl, I remember watching my grandfather live with a disease called diabetes. My grandfather dealt not only with diabetes, but the complications of diabetes. So you can imagine my fear and dismay when 16 years later the Doctor explained to me that I had diabetes. My head almost exploded with this information. I was scared, and visions of grandpa came to mind. Little did I know it, but I was now on a journey that would totally change my life. The first thing I had to do was go to the hospital for a bunch tests, then get started on insulin. The first shot of insulin the nurse gave me was my first lesson. Then came the time I had to give myself my first insulin shot. You can not imagine the agony I was experiencing. I could not do it! I never knew her name, but to this day, I believe God sent that nurse to me. She left, but soon came back with a new syringe, a vial of sterile water, and a look of determination. She told me, "You are going to give me a shot with the sterile water." She did not move, she did not even grimace. As time went on, I became more knowledgable with what I would have to do to just exist. I would like to say that I could end the story here, and that I lived happily ever after. But I can't. For you see, diabetes invades and permeates your life. There is not a decision that I make that is not affected by this disease. You might ask, can anything good come out of living life with such a horrible disease that permeates everything and just won't go away? I can today answer that question with a resounding yes! It has made me compassionate for others! So when you see me don't ask me how my diabetes is doing, ask me how I am doing. For if you know me at all, you will know that I refuse to allow diabetes to define my life.
My name is Chris, I am 31 and I was diagnosed with type 1 when I was 4. After receiving my pump at 21, I started eating whatever I wanted because I never could eat anything. After 10 years I had gone from 5'11" 140lbs to 5'11" 240lbs. I was no way obese but I was overweight. On my 31st birthday I woke up and said I am going to be healthy. I ran that morning and ate smart the rest of the day. I started riding my bike at night, at first I was riding 5 miles then I moved to 8 then to 12 then on the weekends I was riding 25 miles. I started eating fruit whenever my sugar dropped and I started dropping weight. In October, I weighed 185lbs. I trained for a 5k and finally had energy. . Currently I am 175lbs holding steady and in November I finished my first 5k run in 29 minutes and 49 seconds. All this change started May 4, 2012. Anyone can do it if they change their life and their diet.
I am constantly surprised at how many people suffer from type 1 or 2 and do not know that they are completely different diseases. The cure for one won't cure the other. Type 2 doesn't get bad and become type 1. There are so many misnomers about diabetes, what causes each type, cures, medication vs. insulin, good diabetes, bad diabetes, babies that are overweight or who's mothers ate sugar become type 1 diabetics, etc. We need to get the right information out there. Every type 1 diabetic needs to be in therapy to be able to handle everything on their full plate, every diabetic needs to be a part of the diabetes community in some way so they are not alone with this disease and they can learn from others as well. My daughter was diagnosed at 20 months of age on October 20, 1992. Life is good but she suffers every single day. I pray every day for a cure...
My daughter Alyssa was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in February 2011. She was hospitalized for approximately one week at the time. Although it was a life-changing diagnosis she did not let it interfere with her life as would most people. Alyssa's a life-long talented dancer and despite the challenge of JD she fulfilled her goal of being cast as Clara with The Rio Grande Valley Ballet this year. It required hours of weekly practice with training being nearly every day. She also maintained straight A's in the challenging process. She's a true inspiration to other young boys and girls as well as their parents who may not think they can continue with their dreams and fulfill their goals as they believe they are suddenly "sick" or unable.