DIE-A-Betes? Why can’t it be Live-A-Betes?
At the age of 7, I was loving life… hanging out with my Alf doll (I didn’t have many friends), screaming at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who lived in the sewer in front of my house, asking my mom to dye my hair black like Daniel LaRusso, and drinking the greatest soda of all times, Grapico. My parents started noticing I was losing weight, I was always thirsty and constantly going to the potty (side note: how awesome is the word potty, why don’t we still use this word as adults? I’m bringing it back!).
As a result, my parents decided to take me to the doctor, which I was cool with because they checked me out of school. I will never forget this doctor’s visit because it changed the course of my life and my family’s lives. Nurses took some blood pricks and I went potty (ßtold you I’m bringing it back) in a cup and I waited and waited and waited (cause that’s what you do in a doctor’s office.) I remember the bright white room, my dad looking worried and a skeleton display. Pricking fingers, potty in a cup and look at this creepy skeleton. If I were a kid’s doctor, Mickey Mouse’s face would be on top of the skeleton to make it less creepy for kiddos. Finally, the door opens and the doctor walks in. He talks to my dad in big-people talk. I’m zoning out and think the skeleton’s right tibia just moved. Then I notice my dad’s voice changed to a worried and concerned tone, so I tune back in. The doctor informs me I have Juvenile Diabetes (Type 1). To be honest all I heard was DIE-a-betes. (Another side note: Why call it DIE-A-BETES, why can’t it be LIVE-A-BETES?) I was scared to death and thought, I’m a goner. I told my dad he could have my baseball cards and was ready for the angels to take me away. The doctor tells us a little about Type 1 Diabetes and sends me to the local hospital where I learn I will live to listen to Michael Jackson’s Bad album another year or two or three or…well I still listen to it today!
Over the last 25 years, I’m still learning how to handle my diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) disease where there are high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Basically, my pancreas decided to call it quits on me. Not cool of my pancreas since it’s the organ which produces insulin that breaks down food (carbohydrates/sugars). Ongoing medical technologies and research have made it where I am able to live a somewhat normal life. I prick my fingers about 5-8 times a day to check my blood sugars. I used to get 5-6 insulin shots a day, but now wear an insulin pump which constantly pumps insulin in me. Normal blood sugar range is 80-120mg, but mine can range anywhere from 30-450mg. I explain to others like this, non-Type 1 Diabetics blood sugars are on a lazy river just cruising along. Non-Type 1 Diabetics can eat and their pancreas breaks food down with no worries. My blood sugars are like a roller coaster and I’m constantly trying to hop on the lazy river. Blood sugar gets high, I need insulin. Blood sugar is low, need carbohydrates.
I couldn’t imagine living without Type 1 Diabetes. There is still no cure but I’ve lived an awesome life thanks to my family, doctors, nurses, scientist, etc. Also organizations like JDRF, Insulindependence and ADA have brought awareness and funding to help make it easier to live with Type 1 Diabetes. Please keep a check on yourself and be aware of the signs of Type 1 Diabetes.
If you think this page contains objectionable content, please inform the system administrator.
Boocey and Scott
Friends of Fireball
Mom & Dad
Mr. Jonathan Fowler
Mrs. Katiya McKinney
Mrs. Nancy Curry
Ms. Ann McMichael