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Real Patients: Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes


I have type 1 diabetes. I was diagnosed about 24 years ago.

I was 17 years old, on my way to college and I needed to take a physical.

I was diagnosed in 2010. It was a couple days before my eleventh birthday.

I was 28 years old, which is a little bit unusual to be diagnosed as an adult. Sometimes we think of type 1 as being juvenile diabetes but we no longer call it that because there’s people like me that were diagnosed as adults.

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of nine, nine years old.

My sister-in-law is a nurse and we were talking on the phone about the Fourth of July plans and she asked me about the weight loss that she’d noticed. And I’d lost about 30 pounds in two and a half months. Not even trying.

And I lost some weight and I was going to the restroom a lot. I don’t think she really understood what was going on and neither did I. I just, I was like maybe I’m sick.

She started asking more questions and asked about my energy level. And I said well I’m tired but everybody that I know that has kids is tired. Who isn’t?

I’ve had signs of excessive thirst.

And at that time it occurred to me I was drinking about two gallons a day. Getting up several times a night to drink large glasses of water.

I was drinking a lot of sodas and I was also wetting the bed a lot. And my mother found that weird.

I used the restroom on myself. That was kind of embarrassing because my cousins were spending the night.

So eventually we went to the doctor, to the hospital.

She tested my blood sugar at the med center where she worked.

And the labs came back with high sugar levels of like 400.

And my blood sugar was so high that the meter just indicated high. It didn’t give a specific amount.

My blood sugar fasting was about 468. So that was alarming. I didn’t know how alarming at the time. She did.

So I had to go to the emergency room where they had more detailed glucose meter.

So then that’s when he had diagnosed me with diabetes.

Literally stunned. It was sort of one of those moments when you’re hearing but you’re not really absorbing what’s happening.

We tried to keep composure in front of our doctor but admittedly when we were in the parking lot we broke down.

My mom was upset. She was freaking out more than I was. But I think she realized like how much of the responsibility was going to be on her at the time because I was so young.

My mom actually blamed herself and she said it’s ‘cause she had kids at a later age. It’s totally not her fault.

When I woke up in the morning I was healthy and now I’m faced with you have this horrible, chronic condition that in my heart and my mind could ruin my life. I didn’t know what my life was going to look like from that point forward.

But my parents, my husband, everybody in my family’s very supportive of it. They’ve, they’ve pushed me to take care of myself. It’s not like I’m just doing this alone. They’re doing it with me.