On December 7, 2008 my 17 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Like most people who do not have to deal with this chronic illness on a daily basis, I knew very little about it. Since then I’ve learned so many things and have to say how amazed I am with my daughter. Her great attitude and courage have given me so much strength. She is a daughter of kind and wonderful Heavenly Father who loves her and she loves him. She is such a blessing to me and the rest of our family.
The reason for this post is to add an essay my daughter wrote for her English 101 class. She received an A for the paper and I was so impressed with it I wanted to post it.
Type 1 Diabetes
It was December 7, 2008 on a beautiful Sunday morning; my mom woke me up at 6:00 with a concerned expression on her face. She sat next to me on my bed and told me that my dad, who is a doctor, thought that I might have type 1 diabetes. Over the past several months, I had been experiencing many complications that led him to this conclusion. I was not aware of what type 1 diabetes was, so I was not too bothered by it.
Soon after my mom told me the news, we drove straight to a drug store to buy a glucose monitor to test my blood sugar, also known as glucose. Unfortunately, my glucose was approximately 400; the normal range is 80 to 120. Now my dad knew for sure that I was type 1 diabetic. He explained to me a list of symptoms of the disease, which some are: unusual thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger but loss of weight, blurred vision, extreme weakness and fatigue, irritability and mood changes. I had had every one of these symptoms for about two months.
What causes type 1 diabetes is unknown; however, they say a child that has a parent or sibling with type1 diabetes has a 2 to 6% chance of succumbing to this disease. According to my mom, the only person in my family that has type1 diabetes is my grandmother’s first cousin. My mother also had gestational diabetes with all five of her pregnancies, but her temporary diabetes was the worst for me. Babies who weight 9 pounds or more have a greater chance of getting type1 diabetes and all of my brothers and sister weighed 9 pounds or more.
There are many issues that can occur with type 1 diabetes. If I do not take special care of myself I could develop complications and life threatening diseases, such as: heart and blood vessel disease, kidney disease, loss of eye sight, feet and skin issues, depression and even losing a limb. The best ways I can prevent these from happening to me is by taking care of my blood sugar with insulin shots, eating healthy, exercise, and seeing my doctors frequently.
I have to be very careful, particularly with my glucose. There have been some times when my blood sugar was dangerously low. Most people would be hospitalized, but thankfully my father is a doctor and knows the basics of type1 diabetes. Sometimes I fear that someday I will go to bed like any normal night and never wake up. This has happened to some diabetics.
Ever since I was diagnosed, I have had to change my life style almost completely. There are so many things I have to do daily to control my diabetes. I have to prick my finger 10 times or more in order to check my glucose, give myself 4 shots of insulin, eat very healthy, I personally exercise forty-five minutes and all this information needs to be logged into a journal for my doctor to review. There are many other little necessities I do each day in order to stay in good health.
Although type 1 diabetes may sound frightening, a big part of me is happy to have it. Diabetes has forced me to take my health seriously – I have become very aware of my eating habits and the way I physically take care of myself. I know if I continue to pay close attention to my health I will live a long, happy and healthy life.