My Type 1 Diabetes Story

by Rebekah
(Seminole, FL.)

I was 9 years old when I became very ill one day. Prior to that, I had been having symptoms of weight loss, thirst, and blurry vision. I thought the day that I came down with "the flu" that that is what it was.

As that day wore on, I became progressively sicker and then delirious, having trouble breathing. My parents became very worried and took me to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. When I walked in to the emergency room there, a nurse could already tell what the problem was. My blood sugar was close to 900! I was having episodes of ketoacidosis, which is where the body produces ketones which means coma pretty quickly if not treated, and then death.

After being initially treated in the ER, I was immediately taken to the ICU where I was being aggressively treated for type 1 diabetes so that I wouldn't die. I was on an IV with insulin so that I had a steady supply of it and my blood sugars slowly came down. I had an endocrinologist who treated me at the hospital and taught my parents and me how to inject insulin properly. It was a scary experience for sure.

My sugars were still on the high side after being discharged from the hospital in a few days. They really didn't stabilize until I received an insulin pump a few months after diagnosis. The pump has done wonders for me, since at that time, I didn't feel I could go anywhere away from home not feeling comfortable with insulin syringes on my own. The pump gave me freedom at that time that I needed, and at age 17 today, 8 years later, it still brings the control for the most part.

I have my ups and downs with my blood sugar and probably always will. But I try to keep on top of it and keep records of my sugars, watch my diet, and have my A1C checked regularly every 3 months like clock work.

It is a blessing that I am alive today thanks to the staff at All Children's Hospital. I also have a team with JDRF namely Rebekah's Hope. The purpose of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is to find a cure for diabetes, which I one day hope to have.

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