A Story for those who need hope

I've been thinking quite a bit about my diagnosis only a little over 2 years ago and thought, "Wow, I never thought of it as a big deal then, but now I think it's amazing." I've also been seeing quite a few newer diagnosed people and people who are having a rough time with diabetes on this site. So for the new year, I thought I would share this little personal experience and I hope it helps any new diabetic or down in the dumps soul out there :)

Many blessings,


I was 14 years old when I was diagnosed with diabetes. I had many usual symptoms of dehydration: constant thirst, extreme tiredness and spacing out constantly. I thought nothing of it. I started receiving these symptoms in early july, so I suffered through this "dehydration" a little over three months. When I was finally diagnosed in early October 2008, they told me my blood sugar was nearly 1200 yet, miraculously, I had absolutely no ketones. This is why I had not had any major symptoms such as throwing up. Since I had not been throwing up for what seemed no reason at all, I had never thought all my other symptoms were anything to worry about. The doctors told me I was very lucky I wasn't in a coma. At the time, I didn't think I was lucky at all. What was diabetes? I had to give myself shots? For the rest of my life? No way!

The five days I spent in the hospital were full of diabetes education, family visits, learning to give myself a shot and just trying to get my sugars back down!  It was overwhelming but on the last night there, overwhelmed and exhausted, I lay there talking to God for the first time in a long time. "How did I live through this? Why do I have to give myself shots to eat? Why me?" I knew then God was trying to tell me he thought I could handle it. I knew I would have to live with this for the rest of my life and though the thought still scared me to death, I knew He would want me to do something positive about it. Still, I was terrified to go back to school that next week. The last few days in the hospital I ended up having to wear very high powered reading glasses to finish my homework. My extremely high sugar had affected my eyesight but my body had been adjusting so fast I hadn't even noticed the change until my sugars actually started becoming normal again. I came home from the hospital still wearing those reading glasses but assured eventually I would gain my eyesight back.

A day and a half later, I had my very first show choir performance. Despite my mom's uneasiness at me performing that night, I was determined. I told her, "Mom, I have to do this. If I don't I will let the whole team down. I can't let this disease stop me." My mom smiled at me and squeezed me tight. "OK." was all she managed to say. I could tell she was scared. I was terrified but still I handed her the reading glasses and minutes later, I climbed on to that very top show choir riser and gave it my all - even though I couldn't see a foot in front of my face. No one in the show choir knew this little tidbit because I still had not told anyone of my diagnosis. Mom sat out in the audience probably squeezing the closest stranger's hand as tightly as she could. I knew she was worried that I would fall off the stage, that I would pass out right there and of course these thoughts crossed my mind. But none of these things ever happened because I was not going to let it happen. Of course, right after that performance my sugar felt very low. I checked and turned out I was fine. "I'm fine, mom." I told her when she came running into the locker room. I smiled at her, "I'm just fine."

Now today, I look back and remember how I had not thought my performing was a huge deal. I was part of the show and I wanted to be in it. We did a partner dance and I didn't want to let him down - I didn't want to let anybody down. Now, I realize that my performing WAS a big deal. My mom wasn't just being overprotective - she was truly concerned that something would happen to me since I'd only had diabetes for one week. That day was the day I decided I was going to live my life and not let diabetes slow me down. Despite the obstacle I faced, I would choose to conquer it and not let it conquer me. I still do show choir and I'm still on that very top riser. Everytime I perform I think back to that day and then look at the group in front of me and think "This is my passion. This is what I love to do. And I can be just like everyone else when I perform. And this time I can actually see what I'm doing." I still get very emotional as I tell this story but I take comfort in the fact that this story is important to me so it will surely be very helpful and inspirational to other people as well.

I inspired myself that day when I conquered my Type 1 Diabetes.


This is a beautiful story, Elena.  Thanks for sharing it.

Wow this is such an inspiring story.  I totally agree with you too.  I feel that God believe I am strong enough to deal with this disease and that is why I have it.

Thanks Elena. You have courage, intelligence, and motivation. Grandpa Richard is very proud of you!!

I really loved reading your story.  It's so positive and uplifting!  We all share this disease but it is not going to conquer any of us!  

Elana, my 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 two months ago.  Since then life has been full of fear like I never thought possible.  We've had our trips to the hospital, a call to 911 post glucagon injection, and a very fearful voyage through the holidays.  I can see how you felt at 14 that doing what you did wasn't a big deal, but indeed it was a huge deal.  Your mother is very brave to have allowed you to perform that night.  I've been terrified to allow my daughter to go preschool or be out of my sight.  You are a brave girl and your mother is a very strong woman as well.  Be proud of who you are and that your mother is as supportive as she seems based on your writing. 



Thanks for sharing!  I always love hearing other people's stories.  It's amazing what all of us have been through, and all we've been able to accomplish.  You definitely put a smile on my face! ;)

Elena, I can so relate to your story. My daughter was 10 when she was diagosed about 10 months ago. She was in the middle of practicing for her first lead in a local play (Cinderella Kids). I was totally paranoid. The heavy costumes, adrenaline, lights! Holy Moly! And it was a four day show, so four days straight of less sleep and a crazy schedule. And we were only a couple of weeks into diagnosis and still figuring stuff out. Anyway, it worked out great. We prepared and tested right before the show started, then she tested and ate during intermission. It was during this experience that my daughter learned that diabetes won't stop her or even slow her down. She's done several shows since, and each one gets easier to manage. She loves theater and there is absolutely NO WAY that diabetes is going to stop her from achieving her dreams.

Thanks for the inspiration, it's so awesome to hear stories of such successes.