It all started in the holiday season of 2010. I remember going Christmas shopping with my family and insisting on bringing the biggest reusable water bottle we had. For some people drinking that much water is totally normal, especially while shopping, but for me it definitely wasn’t. I remember being constantly hungry and eating so much food but somehow losing weight. I remember waking up 5 or 6 times at night running to the bathroom to pee and trying to convince myself that it was somehow normal. Something everyone knows about me is that I’ve always been an extreme hypochondriac, the second I got a rash or a headache I instantly wo blow things out of portion and assume the absolute worst. For some reason when my symptoms started to arise for type 1, I felt a weird calmness about it all. Maybe because everything was so drastic, I knew something was for sure actually wrong with me, and I knew if I had let myself go to that scared, fatalistic way of thinking, I wouldn’t be able to handle it. So I accepted the fact that I had something really wrong with my even before I knew what it actually was. I think this mindset helped me a lot when dealing with the actual diagnosis. I felt like I had mentally been prepping for it. I remember the moment my GP had told me I had type 1 diabetes. I was in her office with my Dad and she started reading some charts. She said I’m sorry but you have type 1 diabetes, I remember it not having a ton of weight until my Dad asked, “will she have this for the rest of her life?” And the GP said “I’m afraid so” and that was the 1st and last time I have ever seen my Dad really cry. Of course, then I started crying to and it was this whole cry fest for the day.
Fast forward to the hospital and learning about how to give insulin and counting carbs and eating meals on time. My whole family came to children's hospital to learn about how to deal with my new disease and at some times it seemed as though they were more shaken up about it then me, which somehow gave me comfort. I guess it was nice to feel cared about to such an extreme point at that time. My sister was actually dating a type 1 diabetic at the time and she was the most sad for me. I think because she knew first hand what I was in store for. There were times where she’d get much more emotional then me and the nurses had to tell her to leave the room.
Eventually, I didn’t have to keep attending learning sessions at the hospital anymore and I got accustom to the CDA way to eating and how to manage diabetes quite fast. I was adamant about taking care of myself by myself pretty much right from the get go. I didn’t want anyone at my high school to know that I now had this disease, because I didn’t want to be treated differently. I remember telling one of my close friends at the time that I had been diagnosed and her response was “omg that’s such a bad thing to get, that must be really hard for you since you don’t have a lot of close friends.” That response really put me off telling more people. Unfortunately for me at the time, all my teachers had to know about it so I had to discuss it so much in my first week back. The biggest pro was that my super bitchy counsellor now felt really bad for me and was super nice and gave me all the classes I wanted!!! As far as testing and injections went, I always did them in a bathroom stall. I had a whole routine figured out of balancing my meter kit on the toilet paper holder and waiting to flush the toilet until the beep was going to happen on my monitor so no one could hear it. Those last 2 years in high school were pretty much a write off for me. I didn’t push myself as hard in the classes I had more difficulty with and focused on music and other things that would take my mind off of my disease.