The day that I was diagnosed with diabetes, was the day that changed my life forever.
I was 12 years old at the time, close to my thirteenth birthday. It was Christmas break from school, and A few days had passed where I started feeling very weak, lethargic, thirsty, and the pounds were shedding off. All I wanted to do was sleep, even more than normal. I went to my mother and told her how ill, I was feeling. She didn't think too much of it at first. Maybe I just had the common cold, nothing worrisome. A few more days had gone on, and my mother finally noticed my symptoms had worsened. I looked as terrible as I felt at the time. My face was as pale as a ghost.
My mother took me to the closest hospital to get examined. The doctor's ran several tests, which took the majority of the day. At this moment in time, I just wanted to feel better. Not knowing that my world was about to change forever. The doctor then came in and gave my mother and I a preliminary diagnosis, that the tests are leading towards "diabetes." "Diabetes!" "What's that?" Like most people, especially at my age, I wasn't aware of what diabetes was. I had no idea what was going on. I then had to be transported to an All Children's Hospital for further evaluation and treatment for a blood sugar above 900!
When transported, the doctor's that began treating me, were frantically surprised that I wasn't in a diabetic coma for hyperglycemia. It's shocking that I was still able to "function". I remember thinking about all the foods I ate days prior - cheesecake was one of them - and not knowing my pancreas had failed me. I was poked and prodded at for an IV insertion. They couldn't find a vein (of course), and eventually had to use my hand. All during this, I was tired and confused. I remember just feeling the urge to sleep, not wanting to even open my eyes. There really isn't a word to describe this feeling - the feeling of having my whole body out of whack.
It was all starting to get real, as we received the official diagnosis from the All Children's physicians. I remember that my mother was in shock and trying to hold it emotionally together for my sake. I thought -- well, maybe everything is fine. "How terrible can it really be?"
I don't recall feeling any emotion at the time towards the news. I think it was really hard for me to understand what was going on, as it wasn't processing quite yet. The only thing that stood out to me was the reaction my family members had towards my diagnosis. My mother crying -- My dad in total disbelief -- all my family showing some kind of support.
It quickly became an eye opener when receiving the first needle given to me, from the nurses. I was told that I was going to have to give myself injections several times a day. I didn't know how I was going to do this. I couldn't even look at a needle without squirming. I remember asking my mother, "how long do I have to do this for?" The reply I received was "for the rest of your life." Those are words that are hard to swallow and live vividly in your mind forever.
I watched plenty of videos from the hospital that gave a quick 101 on what Type One Diabetes was all about. How it happens and how to manage it. "But why?" I kept asking."Why me?" That question never got answered. I don't think anyone could give me the answer I was looking for. Leaving the hospital, I left as a whole new person. With insulin, syringes, blood sugar meter, and snacks in hand. I left as this person I didn't even know yet. I didn't know the severity of the condition I was now diagnosed with. The day I was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes changed me forever.
Little did I know this journey had only begun...
Follow Brittany's blog at The Diabetic Journey