The early morning of Friday, February 8, 2008, is when I was taken to the hospital and officially diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I was first admitted to the ER and then transferred to the in-patient care unit. My memories of the time spent in in-patient care are clearest. I don’t remember much about the ER. What’s even crazier is, I don’t even remember anyone telling me I was diabetic.
I actually diagnosed myself with diabetes the previous Monday. That’s right. Me, the 14 year old girl who knew nothing about diabetes and couldn’t name one symptom.
I had been experiencing the excessive thirst and urination, nausea, and lack of energy for quite a while. As I was brushing my teeth that Monday, a completely random thought popped in my head: “maybe I have diabetes.” I looked up diabetes in one of the medical books we had and discovered that my symptoms matched the description.
My mom found me looking at the book, and I told her that I thought I had diabetes. She and the rest of my family told me there was no way I could have diabetes and that I just had a case of the flu. They all hate this story because they feel like it makes them look bad and that they didn’t care. I don’t feel this way at all.
They didn’t know anything about type 1 diabetes. They, like most people, only thought of diabetes in terms of type 2 diabetes. With that mindset, who would think that a young, skinny, and otherwise healthy girl would have diabetes? Here is a description of the differences between the two types.
I feel the most important thing I learned from this experience is that each person knows his or her body best. Whenever one feels that something is really wrong, the best thing to do is get it checked out. No matter how crazy it may seem.