I was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes on 4/26/13. Unlike many young people who are diagnosed, I was not in critical condition, nor was I very sick. It’s actually a weird story. What started out as a trip to the pediatrician ended in being admitted to the hospital.
I went to the pediatrician after school one Friday afternoon because I had swollen ankles and feet that my mom felt I should have checked out. After a typical urine sample was tested, it was discovered that I was spilling glucose and ketones. My doctors told me I needed to go to the emergency room to have more comprehensive tests done and see if I was diabetic.
I broke down. I was so scared. What will happen to me? I had no idea what I was in store for. I cried. Was this my fault? Should I have listened to my mom when she said to stop eating so much junk?
I arrived in the emergency room and was soon taken to the pediatric section. I sat in a gurney for over 6 hours. During this time, I had blood taken and was hooked up to IV fluids. Doctors poked and prodded and stabbed me with sharp objects. All the while, I’m trying to not think about what I had a feeling was inevitable: a positive diagnosis for diabetes. I didn’t want it to be true.
Surely enough my fears were confirmed. I was admitted to the hospital around midnight that night. I was brought up to the floor and put in a room next to a little girl with severe asthma. I tried to sleep but I was woken several times in the night by fits of her coughing and by my nurse who tested my sugar and adjusted my machines. I was told I would have to stay a whole other day.
The doctors flocked into my room throughout the entire time I was there the next day. They counted all my carbs, taught me how to test my sugars, talked to me about carb counting, gave me prescriptions, and tried to explain what was going on in my body.
I knew that my life was going to change, and that big challenges were ahead.