I was diagnosed at age 15…was in Mexico with the Spanish club and not feeling well, my parents thought I was dehydrated so told the adviser to get me to drink. Since we were in Mexico, I was given juice, soda, etc. over the 3 day trip to try and make me “better”. Finally, I was taken to the first hospital across the border into the US and diagnosed there. I was in a diabetic coma and about 3 hours from death :(.
My parents pointed out two cousins who were both diabetic and told me basically to pick who I wanted to be. One was numb from her knees down, legally blind, and having all sorts of health issues. The other, her brother, I honestly didn’t even know was diabetic.
I don’t remember making a conscious choice, but I do know that I didn’t/don’t want to end up like my first cousin. I am vigilant at keeping my blood sugars low. In fact, if I have any problems, it’s not letting them go or stay too low. I’ve had a A1C test of 4.2…while pregnant. I’m finally realizing that’s not any better but I’ve tried really hard to not be high.
I’m now going on 27 years as a T1D. I have two kids and am a little anal about watching them and having them tested any time I have the slightest warning that something might be wrong. At the moment, they’re both fine. I eat well, exercise, and live a normal life. I don’t let my diabetes run my life…sure my family tease me and my mom (T2D), who have to worry about when we’re eating and how many carbs there are…but it doesn’t define me. I guess I’m lucky that I’ve never felt embarrassed or ashamed of my disease. It’s just my life. I talk about it openly and let my friends know what I can or can’t eat or what my limits are/how long I can go between meals and such, and they’ve been very supportive. I refuse to let this completely run my life.
I usually just try to keep in mind that if I HAVE to have a disease, I’ll take one that’s manageable and fairly easy to live with. In the grand scheme of things, it could be significantly worse!!