My name is Ashley and I'm a 16-year-old girl from Scotland. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 12. I was in England at the time. I discovered I was diabetic after I had climbed Snowdon. The next morning after climbing I didn't feel like eating anything. All I did was sleep and drink. I had recently started getting up during the night to get cold cups of milk and water from the fridge. My mum thought it was because I was still tired from climbing. The next day I was still the same so my mum phoned the doctor. When we got to the doctor's there was a big queue. Luckily the receptionist said I could skip the queue and be seen first because I looked so ill.
I wasn't really scared because my brain wasn't registering what anyone was saying. When I finally saw the doctor she took a blood and urine sample. She told me she felt almost certain that I had diabetes. I wasn't as upset as my mum who broke down into tears. To be honest, I actually thought I had diabetes because I had just finished doing a topic about it at school and I had all the symptoms. I was just glad that I was about to be treated.
I had to go to the hospital straight away as my blood sugar level was running at almost 30 [540 mg/dl] when the normal blood sugar level is 5.2. My step-dad had to carry me as I was too weak to walk. He was shocked at how light I had become. I had a drip put into my hand then I was put in a ward with five other children. I was awakened at every hour during the night to have my fingers pricked to see what my blood sugar level was. I learned more about diabetes and a dietitian told me all about the diet I should have and things I could and couldn't eat.
When the time came for me to have my first injection of insulin I wasn't scared. I took the syringe and managed to do it all by myself. That made me feel proud and special. The only thing I wouldn't do was prick my finger. I hated that.
When it was time to leave the hospital I was glad although a small part of me didn't want to leave. I had become friendly with the nurses. I knew sooner or later that I would have to learn to cope all by myself. The next few weeks were hard. Several times I felt unable to do my own injections. My mum would come into my room to find me in tears. I hated doing my injections.
Now, four years later, I can test my own blood sugar levels and do my own injections with my mum doing the odd one or two. If you've just been diagnosed believe me it does get better. I've always tried to keep good control of my diabetes although sometimes I just can't resist chocolate or sweet things. I'm just like any other teenager. I like listening to music especially Westlife, *NSYNC, Five and the Backstreet Boys. I like having a laugh, watching TV and love going shopping. If you want to be my e-mail pal you can e-mail me at Chapman.firstname.lastname@example.org
Published June 18, 2000
Last Updated: Sunday December 05, 2004 11:16:30
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