Hello! In a few weeks I'll be taking part in JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is a devastating disease that affects millions of people, like me. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 6 1/2 years old -- on my father's birthday. (I think it was his worst birthday ever!) Because I have diabetes, I test my blood sugar 6-8 times a day -- more when I am sick, very active, or growing. Plus, my mom checks my blood in the middle of the night, every night, to make sure that I stay on track. Because my body doesn't make insulin, I have an insulin pump that I have to wear 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I have to count the carbs in everything I eat, so that I get the right amount of insulin. Too much or too little can have a horrible result.
We had one of those times when things go wrong last weekend.
On Saturday, my parents woke up to a terrifying sound when your child has type 1. I was getting sick in my bathroom. Although we hoped it was a one-time problem, it persisted for several hours, making it impossible to keep my blood sugar at a normal level. We spent most of Saturday in the emergency room at the local children?s hospital. Not exactly the trip to the movies we had hoped for.
By Sunday, I was feeling better but still unable to eat much. But, because I was still fighting my virus, my blood sugar was elevated, even when I went to bed. But, my mom checked me again when she went to bed (about an hour later), and my blood sugar had plummeted to 37! (A normal range is between 80-120.) Trying to get a kid who has recently had a stomach virus and didn?t want food to eat and drink to raise my blood sugar was not easy. But, since I didn?t want to have a seizure or worse from my low levels, we all persevered. (1 in 20 people with Type 1 die from severe hypoglycemia.) It was not fun.
Not every weekend is that challenging, but it serves as a reminder of how tough living with Type 1 Diabetes can be.
There is some good news, though. JDRF is working towards a cure. It funds more type 1 diabetes research than any other charity worldwide and it's making progress along many promising paths toward better treatments and a cure.
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