I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was four years old. As of October 16th, 2017 diabetes has been my life for 16 years. Getting diagnosed is my first memory. I was watching Sleeping Beauty on the hospital TV. I knew something was going on because at that point I had been in the hospital for a while. I looked over and my mom who had a needle in her hand learning how to fill it up with insulin, I asked her what that was for and she started crying and said it was for me. When I first got diagnosed my mom would give me a Barbie clothes every time I had to get a shot (like 7 times a day) and did not fight it. For every so many shots I did I got a Barbie doll. My mom said that was the only way to get four-year-old me to cooperate. Looking back, I feel so bad for my mom and truly realized how strong she is. She was 25 when I got diagnosed, She had a 10 month old, a four year old who just got diagnosed with a chronological illness and my dad was in the marines at that time so he was not home a lot.
I got diagnosed with celiac when I was 10. Because of my diabetes, I have to get labs every so often. When my labs came back one of them was way off. The Dr. wanted me to have a biopsy to see if I had celiac disease. For those of you who don’t know what celiac disease is, it is a auto immune disease where gluten destroys your intestines (I believe it is the small intestine, I don’t know for sure) over time. I went thought a lot of phases where I did not believe that I had it. I never reacted to eating gluten until I was 17. At almost 21 I still cheat a lot and regret it so much the next day. I find it so strange that I got diagnosed and did not react for seven years.
I am not sure when I got diagnosed with ADHD. I am thinking that I was in kindergarten.
I was diagnosed with diabetes so young it did not change my planes or anything. I did choose to go to college instate because I knew if I was out of state and something happened my parents would not be able to get there as fast as they would like or at all. I also wished I looked a student’s reviews about the food plane more. My freshman year I was living in the dorms and I had to eat at the food commons. Before I move in my mom and I tried to get a reduced food plan or none because we knew there would not be any gluten free food nor food to eat when my blood sugar was high. The college told us otherwise but their version of gluten free was a many fridge with GF bread and muffins and a gluten free station which was also potatoes and hardly ever open. I sent many anger emails about their food plan, as well as other students with celiac or who just did not like gluten, but nothing ever changed the year I was on the food plan.
During K-12 I had to go to the nurse every time my blood sugar was low or high. I hated it because I would leave class, and everyone would be looking at me. In elementary and middle school someone would always have to go to the nurse with me. If I had a elementary schooler with diabetes I defiantly would want that for my child, but being the one who had to do that it was really embarrassing and I hated it.
It was not until sophomore year of college I realized how much ADHD affected me. My sophomore year I started taking more education classes and learned about ADHD. Until then I did not know that it was not normal to take two hours to do a worksheet. I still take a ridiculous amount of time to do my school work, or really anything. I am scared that it will affect my future as a Special Education teacher, but I think it will also make me a better teacher.
I want people to know the difference between type 1 and type 2!!! Type 1 you can get diagnosed with at any age, but usually in childhood. It is not the "good" or "better" type of the two. It is the worst type because no matter how healthy of a lifestyle you live you can't cure it. You must take countless shots and finger pokes every time a day. It really hurts people when you make diabetes jokes. I have always been a average weight all my life, I am 5.4 and at my heaviest I was 140lb. I felt like (and still feel) that I had to be extremely skinny just so people don't associated my weight with my disease. I have had body dysmorphic disorder since middle school and I know my diabetes is the root of that. I have had the media telling me I am fat because of my diabetes (even know there is no correlation between type one and weight) and telling me to lose weight. All my life I have been switching between taking insulin injections and being on the pump. This summer I switched from the pump to injections. The pharmacy messed up and gave me needles and viles instead of the “pen”. This should not of been a big deal, they are the same thing, only the “pen” is a million times more convened then the stranded injections. That was the tipping point for me. I started to get lazier then I have ever been with my diabetes and as a result I started losing weight. Once I found out that not taking your insulin causes weight loss I got obsessed. I am a junior in college, I have two positions in my sorority, I don’t drink or do drugs, I have a job at a daycare and a 3.6 GPA, so I think it is safe to say that I am responsible and not stupid. but I still cannot get myself to take the amount insulin I need, no matter how much I try and learn about the effects of not taking insulin.
I think I have gained more responsibility and I am probably am more sympathetic then I would be without diabetes. I know I eat a lot better because of celiac. Right now, I am thankful that I have a easy way to lose weight, but on the other hand I know I would be a lot more confident in my skin and not feel the need to lose weight if I was not a diabetic. I am thinking my ADHD will help me in my teaching career because I know what it is like to spend two hours on an assignment that should take 10 minutes. I also know my ADHD has led me to my passion, special education.