Writing a fabulous article about all of us!

Hey everyone,

I'm a reporter for City on a Hill Press at UC Santa Cruz, and  I also happen to be a Type 1 diabetic, since the age of 2 (I'm now 19).

I'm hoping to write my feature for this quarter about the experiences of diabetic students in high school and college -- I know what my own personal story might be, but hearing others as well would really aid the article.

Let me hear you stories! This could turn into something great -- it's also kind of cathartic. Feel free to vent, to rant, to just tell the truth about what your experiences have been.

Thanks! ~ Samantha

Hey Samantha--

Neat idea! Here's my story:

I was diagnosed with T1 diabetes in January of 2006. I was only feeling bad for a week before I was diagnosed because my grandpa (he has type II but is doing so well he rarely has to test anymore) actually was the one to put two and two together and realize that I probably had diabetes. It was the day after I was confirmed at church, so all my family was in town to celebrate. My grandpa tested my blood sugar and the meter said 'hi' so I really knew what was going on before I even went to the hospital. I am really lucky that I did not get sicker, thanks to my grandpa.

I was on shots (4 per day) for over a year, then went on the Minimed paradigm 722 pump on my 15th birthday (not kidding!). So I've had my pump for 2 years now, and I love it! So much better than shots. For my meter I use the Accu-Chek aviva.

I control my diabetes very well but I also put a lot of time and effort into managing diabetes. It's important to me that I stay healthy and live a fun, exciting, long life.

This is not a very interesting story as I did not lose weight, go into ketoacidosis or a coma, etc-- but I'm glad it's not THAT interesting!!

Hey, Sam :) What kind of stuff are you looking for?

I'd really like to hear about how you're dealing with living with diabetes, while still going to school and doing all the normal teenage stuff. I know how difficult it can sometimes be, and I'm trying to bring that to light.

You could talk about how your life changed when you were diagnosed, or what new things you're trying to do. Anything goes!!

I was diagnosed when I was 2, so I really don't remember NOT having diabetes...i think i must have had it a little easier than kids who had to change their entire lives around. But I want to hear about you guys!

(and thanks for responding) : )

I think this is a great idea ")

Mmmkay well I was diagnosed at the age of 13 on March 4th, 2008. It was about one month before my birthday so that kinda stunk...wasn't exactly the birthday present I was hoping for hahah. It started off okay...it was hard to adjust but I had some really good friends who were amazing and helped me through the tough couple of months right after I was diagnosed. My family and family friends were so supportive I didn't realize how much I was loved I guess if that is the right word... Right now my diabetes is really not doing so well. I am not going to lie and say that I have a super low a1c and my blood sugars are perfect because they are not. But I am trying to get it back in control. My life changed so so so much. I have made a lot of friends by going through this. I have become more in tune with my body and I guess people really respect me when I explain what I have to do and go through. It is hard though because I still go into depression everyonce in a while and it sucks when you REALLY want to eat just chocolate chip cookies or something and you can't you have to eat like half of a cookie. Kinda blows but it has made me really healthy! "D The thing I wish for most is for more people to understand diabetes and what we go through. It would be so much easier. I mean I have personally gotten yelled at for checking my blood sugar in class and for eating. I have also gotten accused of faking it people take advantage of my disease and they also don't understand they aren't helping when they think they are helping me by telling me what to do. So there are pros and cons with this disease but in the end I would never go back and change what has happened to me because I have gained so much through this expierence in one year then I have ever gained in the 15 years I have been living ")

So that is my story...good luck with everything!!

Oh and my symptoms were just the normal I lost TONS weight I was only like 90 lbs...and I was really tall so everyone thought it was normal...I ate like a mad woman I could never stop eating...I drank at least 5 or 6 water bottles aday and many cups of water too...I was ALWAYS in the bathroom and I would cry at the drop of a needle. I just was't myself. I can't explain it too well but you have a normal feeling inside of you and I just didn't feel "normal". so yea :)

Alright, Sam, here's my story :) Please let me know if there's anything else you need :)

“Stay Brave”



          I’m only 15, but every day I’m responsible for my own life. Everything I do, everything I don’t do, determines the next step, the next day. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at eleven years of age. In an instant I went from worrying how the “in” crowd thought I’d be cuter with straight hair – and how to get it that way – to the nerve I’d have to muster for my first shot. Diabetes wasn’t an option, and the chronic illness was the most difficult obstacle I have ever been faced with. However, I have never been gladder or more grateful to experience something than I am to diabetes.

          For weeks I had fallen into a brutal cycle of dying for something to drink, then dying to find a restroom. I didn't fit any of the clothes purchased for back-to-school within a week; I'd dropped to 116 pounds. Dance classes were excruciating, and often proved so taxing I would flop in the car, shaking, without moving for countless blocks of time. The weekend before my parents sprung the doctor appointment on me we went on a road trip as our last “hurrah” before we put a name to what was wrong. We spent every other minute pulling off for bathroom breaks drinks, my lips blue after eating a Frosty; too drained of energy to entertain myself, I instead stared out the window the duration of the car ride. Once admitted to the ER, my blood sugars had well exceeded the healthy range, measuring around the 500’s. Spending nearly a week in the Hospital, my family stood with me the entire time. Near the end of the stay I requested that Dad bring in a change of clothes, given that I had been wearing the same shirt for a week. A baseball cap made the list of what I asked for.

          Dad brought the cap he’d purchased on our road trip. My relatives had always written quotes in their own hats. When he brought the hat in he explained just how much he wanted me to have it; on the underside of the bill was written: ‘Stay Brave,’ signed Dad, October 2005. I wore that cap proudly and gratefully when I was discharged, and continue to today. The words were positioned just right; when the days get hard, as I acknowledge they will, I wear that baseball cap. And when it feels like I have lost myself, or I cannot seem to find the strength to stand once more, I look up, and I can see the words loud and clear.

          I strongly believe that the care I take in diabetes and the person I am today has everything to do with my family; I believe they are everything that helps me “stay strong.”

Hey--first off i just joined this site today but i decided out of everything so far this would be my first post. anyone feel free to add me--i am up to meeting new friends and getting any advice!

Here is my story...

Unlike the few people who posted on this blog, I was just diagnosed on March 19, 2009 and I am 17 years old. Sam-I hope this gives you some different insight.

On March 18th I went to the doctors for a bad leg cramp that was causing me trouble when i walked. Being a dancer i tried not to let it bother me but it continued to get worse over a few days & my mom felt we should go get it checked out. When I went to my doctors he said it was probably a bruised muscle spasm and that I will be fine. However he decided to do some blood work to make sure everything was alright. The next morning (Thursday the 19th) my doctor called my house and told my mom to get me to the ER right away because my blood sugar came up as a 644 and it turns out i had diabetes. Once I got to the hospital they did more test and diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. It was a complete shock to my family and my mom took it the hardest. In the hospital I was there for about 32 hours and my friends/family/boyfriend all came to visit. The whole time in the hospital i felt great and learned everything quickly so i could get out. I told my mom that I would be ok and we will take care of this. I was completely ok with being diabetic until....

I got out of the hospital. Once I was out everything hit me at once. My family was having issues, my boyfriend & i broke up, and dealing with the disease was rough. Throughout the last 2 months it has been a rough rollercoaster. Days I completely forget I have diabetes and the needles don't bother me at all. Then I have my days where I just want to cry and yell at people that they just don't get it. At first my friends were supportive but some did not know what to say to me at all. I have learned that going through a crisis will show you who your true friends are. I have lost quite a few friends because I am drifting apart from people. However, at the same time I am gaining such wonderful friends. I am meeting great people through Delaware's JDRF and many people on different sites.

Right now I am finishing up my junior year of high school. I am counting down the days until summer break because I need a break from everything. I am trying to accept this disease and accept myself right now. I am learning that life is short and things can change in the blink of an eye. Diabetes has opened my eyes and showed me how much you should appreciate what you have in life. In a way I have been mourning my old life but also growing up at the same time. Right now I keep asking myself "why me" but i know one day I will understand better. This has made me want to do more for the community and I want to help others. Everyday I pray for a cure and wish people would understand me a little better everyday. My friends and family are my biggest support but then again I am learning who is there for me.

Being a teenager in high school is tough already, but add on diabetes and wow is all i can say. I have my days when I am great and I accept my disease. Then there are days when I just don't understand why my body is reacting like it does and I spend a lot of nights crying. However all of this will help me grow into the person I will be down the road. I try to look at this as a positive thing as best as i can.


well hope my story helps--anyone feel free to add me =]    -jordan

Hey Samantha

I was diagnosed literally one month before my high school graduation at age 18.

I had 3.5 months to get adjusted before heading off to college. That summer was strange for me. I felt like I was on shots only for a certain time and then it would all just go away. It never sank in that I would be doing this for life.

My first year of college was definitely a whirl wind. I was more focused on my education and diabetes than anything. It was nice to teach my friends things I was also learning for the first time.

I was lucky enough to switch doctors and be put on my insulin pump in Feb. of this year. It was again a good experience and I am more than happy I did that.

I'm still learning. It's only been a year since I was diagnosed and I have a lot left to learn.

The hardest part right now is that going back and forth from home and school is difficult because I have different insulin requirements when I'm doing different activities and I need to adjust based on my location.

the other hard part is that all my high school friends I am now seeing basically know nothing about my diabetes and how I deal with it whereas everyone from college knew exactly what I had to do and when.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

good luck with your feature article.

Well, in addition to what I already said...

Going on the pump was definitely a good move for me. I'm afraid of needles and four shots a day was like torture. Now, one every three days is so much better. At first I thought that the pump would be horrible; I was afraid I would break it if I rolled over in my sleep! I slept like I was wearing a straightjacket for three nights, then realized that I really wasn't going to break the thing. Even though sometimes I get frustrated if I get a bad site or a tubing bubble, the pump overall is so much better. It's also a lot quicker to test my bg and then bolus, as opposed to testing, then drawing up the insulin in a syringe (and we all know that getting rid of bubbles in a syringe can be very exasperating!). So it really was a good decision to go on the pump. The only time I dislike my pump is when I'm at the beach because the sand gets stuck in the infusion site, and sometimes it even falls off because I am in the ocean so much and riding waves. If this happens I have to go all the way back to the house and change my site, which is inconvenient. But this summer I may go back on shots for the week I'm at the beach, because my endo told me it would be possible. But that's really the only time I dislike having the pump. THe thing I like most is that the pump allows me to have a tighter control on my diabetes, with different basal rates and bolus incraments of .1 units, which is really neat.

Dealing with diabetes isn't too difficult. Sometimes I have those days when my bg stays around 200 and just doesn't want to come dow, or days when I drop down into the 40's or 50's three times (that happened recently) and I get frustrated. But mostly I try to go with the flow and not get too upset when I have trouble because I know I'm trying my absolute best, and that's all I can do. I've also learned that there really isn't anything I can't do due to having diabetes-- I can do anything, really. But I stay away from doing things that are unhealthy, even if my friends are, because I know that in general it's important to take care of myself.

In the future I'd like to figure out a way to eat pizza without skyrocketing afterwards, go whitewater rafting, and go scubadiving. And I know all this is possible, even if I have diabetes-- it just involves a little more planning and a little less spontaneity, that's all.


Good luck with your article, Samantha! Hope I was of help to you!!