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Thanksgiving Diagnosis

Hi, I’m 15 years old as of April and I was diagnosed with T1D on Thanksgiving of last year. My mom was in Wisconsin for the past week because my grandpa died two days earlier, so my dad, sister, and I were driving out there that Thursday of Thanksgiving. I hadn’t been feeling right for a long time, close to 6 months, and was misdiagnosed with asthma and a concussion so I was benched from cheer for 4 months. My dad also has T1D so when he was trapped in a car with me for 14 hours and we were stopping twice an hour for me to go to the bathroom he realized something was up. We got to Wisconsin really late that night and nothing had changed about my condition so he took his meter out, had me check my blood, and it was too high to read. So long story short I was admitted into the hospital at 12:04am.

Once my friends found out that I was in the hospital it was easy to find my real friends. A lot of people judged me about it and decided that they were better off without a diabetic friend. I don’t really mind now that they aren’t my friends anymore because if they aren’t willing to accept me for that then they aren’t true friends, but that experience felt terrible. I now am scared to tell anyone I meet that I have diabetes because I don’t want them to judge me about it.

I’m sorry if anyone who reads this feels like I am being over dramatic in any way that is not my intention but it really is hard for me to talk about my diabetes. Does anyone have and tips to get over that barrier of telling people?

  • #122630
  • Hello AshleyIn,

    Your entire story is quite normal. It happens.
    Now you need to be bold (i know it is not easy by any means) & courageous.
    You need to be also straightforward about T1D to others, though I can understand that these things would be quite difficult for you by considering your “TEENS”.
    But this is a reality, so try hard from very beginning despite you do not get good results.
    Give it sometime and hopefully some of the people around you will ultimately become your good & sincere friends very soon despite having T1d.
    Lastly but not the least, don’t lose your hopes in any case. It has been heard that cure for T1D would be there in next few years (probably in next 5 years or so). If it happens, then you will be on the moon again sometime during your early twenties so wait for your good time again!!!

    Stay healthy & Blessed.

    Munir Nara.
    Lahore 37C, 2042 Hours)

  • #122631
  • I’ve had T1D for 25 years and always say that I’m grateful for it. I live a much healthier lifestyle that I would if I didn’t have it.

    Being diagnosed at 15 is a bigger challenge, I would imagine. The partying years are potentially ahead of you and that’s going to be super difficult to keep your BG in a normal range. I know it’s easy for me to say pizza and party food isn’t worth it, since I have plenty of experience with the difficulty of managing my BG when consuming that stuff, but truly, adopting a you-first healthy lifestyle now will serve you better in the future (I sound like a parent, don’t I?).

    The other thing is, you haven’t done anything wrong to have T1D! Many people these days associate ‘diabetes’ with being fat or overeating. Even for Type 2s, that’s not always the case. As you’ve no doubt learned, heredity has a lot to do with T1D. There’s no one in my family who has it, so my diagnosis was attributed to an auto immune response to a virus. It used to bug me that I didn’t know exactly why/how I got it, but it really doesn’t matter.

    I’ve got a Type A personality (that’s probably a nice way of stating I’m a bit of a control freak!) so quite frankly, this disease fits my personality. I’ve always loved science, so this is kinda’ like a big science experiment in a way. Diabetes allows me to slow down a little here and there and actually put myself and my needs first sometimes. Taking care of our health is important, as we know, but with diabetes, it’s no longer something we can push aside.

    My best advice would be to become as educated as you can with your situation, find mentors where you can, ask questions, and be thankful you were diagnosed in an age where we’ve got so many great tools at our disposal.

    There’s truly nothing you can’t do or accomplish as a person with T1D. Look for those success stories: Olympic athletes, educators, doctors, actors, etc. T1D is a small part of who you are, it isn’t who you are. I always say I’m a person with diabetes, not a diabetic. I don’t let it define me. I often share with others because I like knowing that I’m a good example of someone living well with a chronic condition. Educating others about diabetes is important too, to clear up the myths and misunderstanding.

    I know you’ll do great! If you’ve got any questions feel free to email me at spectrum@sonic.net

    Best,
    Valerie

  • #122633
  • Thank you Munirnara and ValarieAdams. Both of your responses really helped me think differently. I will be sure to be straight forward with people and be bold. Thanks to both of you for your insight, it cleared up things for me.

    -Ashley

  • #122636
  • Hi Ashley,

    My daughter is 13 now, and was first diagnosed when she was 8. I will say that being T1 has really made her incredibly bold. A lot of teens (and adults) do not understand it, so she will point out celebs with T1 (kind of tough as there are only a few in pop culture), or compare it to another condition that everyone is familiar with, like asthma or allergies. It’s tricky doing that too, because T1 takes so much more work, but it at least gives them a frame of reference.

    while it is a gross oversimplification, at least it gets the point across that:

    1. You were born with this, it was nothing you did.
    2. Your body needs medication to work.
    3. It’s nothing contagious (seriously, it is something people worry about)
    4. You’re still just like them, you just take meds.

    Teens are a bit judgy about things, so it almost downplays what you’re going through to the point most won’t give it a second thought. Then, you’re inner circle, those you can really give the whole picture.

    My daughter just says she has the kind whete her pancreas needs a kick in the *ss daily, so she does shots. Like taking allergy pills, etc.

    Other times she’s incredibly bold and gives them a complete intro to T1, while explaining that she’s tough as nails for doing 1500 shots a year.

    I’d suggest putting together a short mental list of responses for different people. It sounds like you’re doing it now, which will give you more confidence in situations.

    Biggest thing to remember:
    1. you were sick, and now you’re fine.
    2. You take medication daily to help your body out, like allergy meds or an inhaler.
    3. You know how to live with it like (insert celeb – Jonas, olmpic medalist, Lauren Cox (Baylor basketball starter), etc).
    4. You know how to live with it, and are able to do everything you used it do!

    I hope this helps! Teen years are tricky as is, but you have a world of support on here!

  • #122644
  • Hello Ashley,

    I am pleased to see your assertive response & also glad to see that how others are doing their best to help others, that’s really great!!!
    Few more thoughts may be useful & helpful for you as well:

    1- Try to find friends of your age group or similar with known TID. It may eliminate your needs for friends. Perhaps you will be started feeling more comfortable & relax.

    2 – Think & take positive aspect in terms of being diagnosed in 2017, where there are so much developments already in place & its little easier to take good care of it which wouldn’t be expected few decades ago, when there were no such good accurate meters, no such friendly insulin & its administration & no pumps even there. But in 2017, situation has been quite reversed & possibly here onwards we may be few yards away from a cure. Who knows?. Just think by taking yourself in future (atleast few years ahead), when there would be cure like beta cells transplantation or something else by which there will be no more need for daily injections & all such relevant stuff!!!. These feelings make you feel great like “I shall rise again on some day”

    3 _ consider yourself as one of the luckiest person (despite having TID) in terms of the location where you are. probably one of the best in the globe. Unlike our region, where millions have been suffering but badly lacking in awareness,affordability, facilities for treatment etc. More agony is that millions have it but still are unaware despite having it for several years & more often came to know only when it is too late for them.

    4 – Always try to be assertive by keep asking questions without any hesitation, keep sharing & keep posting. This forum is superb!!!

    Stay Blessed & healthy!!

    Kind Regards,
    Munir Nara.
    (Lahore 36C, 1216 Hours)

  • #122645
  • My son is now 10 years old and was diagnosed The day after thanksgiving on November 27th 2012
    We were about to leave to go away and for / weeks or more my son came home from school always hungry eating snacks and drinking tons of water. Goes the bathroom constantly . So that Friday we were going to leave on vacation . Thank god we didn’t because where we were going in New Hampshire it was say 25-30 miles from Canada. So he was going the bathroom that day and drinking tons of water bottles. My wife came home from Black Friday shopping and took a nap.!when she got up we were getting ready to go all packed. When she had a feeling that something was wrong and just to be sure we were going to take him in to his pediatrician. She has Aunty’s that have type 2 but nobody type 1 on both sides of family. We made a joke saying watch it’s probably diabetes not knowing type 1 and type 2 are totally different. I had an idea of both because I would donate to jdrf before. So we took him in he had ketones over 1000 and his blood didn’t even read on the lab blood test over 600. He was walking , talking and doing everything he normally did. That’s why we didn’t understand. But when this numbers came back my wife was in the office and knew right away what it was and had to leave the room for a minute . She cried cried. Then came back in and she had to take him to the emergency room MGH. The endocrinologist dr. Came in to the room and told my wife this was the first case she had that she visited a type 1 in a regular room and not intensive care. That’s a good thing and bad because it makes you think what could of happened that day and not have gone to the doctors. We need to get the word out to all the schools, any place we can to bring more attention to this 24/7 disease. These kids, adults are the strongest people I know. I am a United Stars Marine Corps veteran so I know strong will people. These type 1 kids, teens & adults are my true heroes. To see what my little guy has to go through everyday. Through this whole ordeal I had just came out of my second back surgery which left me unable to walk for a long time do to an am industrial accident so this turned the family upside down. I have an older boy that is 10 years apart. He is 20 now -‘and my type 1 hero is 10 years old. Doing well as well as u can do. Playing baseball, basketball, street hockey etc…
    We do a fundraiser every year for JDRF under Ryans Pump Squad that’s his team for the walk. My wife and I and two of our friends go to over 100 places of business for dontations. Every year we do amazing and how much people don’t even understand type 2 until we explain it. We only had a couple of denials or several but that’s to be expected. We have over 60 places that donate to ryans pump squad fundraiser every year. We also get cash donations from several clubs.
    He has s Facebook page
    Ryans Pump Squad u can see the fundraiser dates and all the auctions , live auctions, silient auctions and more. Everything we make goes right to jdrf. Last year we made $6,500 just at the fundraiser.
    I also sell a lot of my Paracord , custom leather items at the table there and I donate everything to jdrf. U can visit my page da Paracord Creations on Facebook or website http://www.daparacordcreations40.com purchases made a portion goes to ryans pump squad JDRF.
    I try to do everything I can do help others understand type 1 Donate to help jdrf .

  • #122647
  • Hey Ashleyn,
    Just reading your post I can definitely relate to your story! I too was diagnosed around your same age (About 13 years ago, I am 30 now.) but I was also a cheerleader in high school and found it very hard after I was diagnosed. I live in Wisconsin and cheerleading was my life! So when I was diagnosed with T1D I was afraid to tell people because I didn’t want them to think of me any different. I especially did NOT want to get a pump because as you know with all the stunting and flipping I was nervous that it would rip off. Through the years I have learned that just because I am diabetic doesn’t mean that anything has to be any different. Many people actually don’t realize I have it until I tell them. It takes a bit of getting used to how you tell people but you will get more comfortable with it. Yes, you may lose some friends on your way but you will find which ones are the best because they will see you no differently!

    I would love to hear more about your story and how you are doing, especially with cheer! You can email me if you would like: alyssa.theobald@yahoo.com or just send a message on here!

    ~Alyssa

  • #122651
  • I was diagnosed not quite a year ago. There are many useful suggestions above and I encourage you to evaluate them carefully. I progressed through needles/syringes then pens [a big improvement] and now a pump. I encourage you to look into a pump as it allows you to manage things more easily and completely. I use the OmniPod by Insulet corp which i find liberating because you dont have to take everything off to bathe and dont have to thread a long tube through your clothes etc. AND you dont have a ‘ball and chain’ to contend with…i can even swim in it.

    Psychological issues are there for all of us to one extent or another but limiting the intrusions on our daily routine helps to limit that i think….so management of the cards we are dealt is how we move forward.

  • #122653
  • I also use the Omnipod and as all pumps do, it can have its flaws at times but I find the positives out weigh the negatives with this pump and I love it! Its very discreet and I like it because I the clothes I wear I can’t always clip a pump on to so it works well for me!

  • #122654
  • I was diagnosed (hospitalized with DKA) 4 days after this past Thanksgiving. I quit my job because of a 60 mile each way commute. I am in control of the glucose levels and am thinking of starting a business with my husband. I still don’t want a 60 mile commute and most of the jobs in my field are in South San Francisco. So, it has impacted my life but I am hiking, fishing, camping and motorcycling. Activity has really helped with blood glucose control. I think it’s a good change since I can prioritize things properly.

  • #122689
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