I was 13 months old when I was diagnosed with T1D and I was diagnosed on my dad’s birthday! My parents were out getting some frosties from Wendy’s and they say that I kept reaching for them because I was thirsty. Well, later on I kept wetting my diaper. My dad would come in and change me, then he would come back in 10 minutes and have to do it again. This happened 3 times and they finally decided to take me in and see what was wrong. Turns out that their new baby was a type 1 diabetic. Surprise!
I had a great team taking care of me in Montana when I was a baby and my mother (who just recently passed away) did an amazing job of controlling my blood sugar levels. She was 18 when I was born and 19 when I was diagnosed, and she did everything possible to keep me healthy and active. I play sports, have a great job that I love, found a girlfriend, and I have even traveled out of the country!
What is the most difficult part of living with diabetes?
It is hard to pick one thing, but when you hear people joke about diabetes it hurts a little. When you are out and you see doughnuts or something like that and people are like “oh, I’m going to get diabetes if I eat this!” it is hard not to get upset about that. However, it is definitely better to let it roll off and keep a positive attitude about it instead of getting upset!
How has diabetes changed your daily life?
Diabetics have what I like to call a “sixth sense.” We all know when our blood sugar is going low or high and are very aware of that. It is something that is always on our minds and we know how important it is to take care of ourselves. There are many things that we have to think about that “normal” people don’t have to. We have to count carbs, think about how much physical activity will affect our numbers, and make sure our numbers are safe while we sleep!
I work with a couple of people who have kids with T1D and we love to share our stories with each other. We always have each other’s backs and they always make sure I am doing well. I have been involved with many walks for diabetes and I am a Leadership Giver to the United Way. I try to help others with diabetes feel like they are not alone!