Hello! My name is Lindsey and here is my story.
I am a 14 year old girl who was diagnosed with diabetes about two weeks ago [February 1999]. I cannot tell you how it feels to live with this very well, because I was so recently diagnosed, but I'll tell you my story anyway.
I had this feeling that I had diabetes before my doctor knew because I had read about the symptoms (dehydration, always having to go to the bathroom, constant hunger, no energy, and all that fun stuff) in a book and recognized them to be what I had. I told my best friend McKenzie and she urged me to go to the doctor, but I thought I was just being silly and over dramatic (as I sometimes am) so I didn't tell my parents right away. Then McKenzie told her aunt, who is a nurse, and her aunt confirmed my suspicions that I might have diabetes and so I decided to tell my parents. My parents felt the same way I did--at first, they just thought I was being over dramatic but my symptoms persisted and so they set up a doctors appointment.
When I got to the doctor I told him my symptoms and he told me to take a urine test. While I was taking the test he told my mom that he just knew I had diabetes. When the test results came back, my doctor told me to pack a bag for a couple of days and head straight up to the hospital. I had diabetes. I wish I could say that my mom and I left the doctor's office feeling strong and in control and feeling that we could handle this, but that would be lying. We both were total basket cases and had a hard time holding back our tears in the doctor's office.
I spent the next four tumultous days in the hospital learning about diabetes. It was very hard for me because I didn't know what to do and I was very scared. Plus, I didn't want to be singled out or be different from other kids my age. I just wanted to be a "normal" teenage and live a "normal" teenage life. I was also feeling guilty because I saw how sad and angry my parents were and it made me feel like it was my fault that my parents were hurting inside. I know that the whole time I was in the hospital my parents didn't sleep; they just talked and cried. I saw my strong Dad cry for the first time in my life because of me and I felt so guilty! Plus I knew that both my parents felt like it was their fault since diabetes is mostly hereditary.
As I'm writing this I just got back from California for a cheerleading competition, and I leave tomorrow for Hawaii! (I'm going to have so much make-up homework!) I don't know about long term effects or emotions because of diabetes, I just know that in the 3 weeks since I've been diagnosed I'm controlling my disease and still having a fun time! And who is to say what is "normal"? When I first told my mom that I just wanted to be a "normal" teenager she asked me if I knew anyone who was truly normal and who didn't have any problems or quirks. I had to say "no" and so I'm learning that I have my problems and so does everybody else. I just have to work through them.
If you want to chat about diabetes or anything else e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published March 14, 1999
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