💙November is Diabetes Awareness Month!💙
It’s my goal everyday this month to bring awareness and share my story with this disease.
In 1995 at 8 years old I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease and is NOT caused by any lifestyle choices. My type of diabetes only represents 10% of the diabetic population and contrary to popular belief, you can be diagnosed with type 1 at ANY AGE although usually you see it in childhood.
The day I was diagnosed was a whirlwind. It was a Monday. My mom kept me home from school to take me to the doctor because she already suspected there was something happening. She wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything besides water after midnight. I think in her gut she already thought diabetes, but no parent wants that.
I remember what I was wearing that day. Black stirrup leggings (this was the 90s people ant that was popular) and a big white t-shirt with a GIANT 🌻 sunflower on the front. I remember getting my blood sugar tested and I remember the doctor coming through the office door saying, “You’re right, your daughter has diabetes.” I remember my mom bursting into tears and I remember thinking, “I’m dying! If my mom is crying like that, I’m dying. I have some weird type of cancer called diabetes and I’m dying.”
At 8 years old usually we don’t know many diseases but I knew cancer was a bad one so that’s where my mind went.
I remember the doctor explaining what I could and couldn’t eat and before I knew it I was off to the hospital for a week stay. A week of poking and prodding and crying (both me and my mom). A week of learning and fears and feeling my childhood ripped from me.
After that one week, I spent another week at home adjusting to my new “life.” Overtime the phone rang I secretly prayed it was the doctor saying they’d made a mistake and that I was fine. That was something I never told my parents until years later.
My schoolmates made me cards and pooled money to buy me presents and to this day I still have some of those cards. I missed Halloween that year. I felt like I became an adult that year. I also became a warrior that year.
Type one diabetes looks like me. I have diabetes but diabetes doesn’t have me. It’s something that I deal with 24/7/365. There are no sick days. There is no time off. I’m functioning everyday as my pancreas. Some days it’s so tiring and frustrating but in the end, I know that I can use this trial for good and maybe one day I’ll be here to see a cure!