Diagnosed at 11
When I was diagnosed at the aged of 11 years old, I was immediately admitted to hospital. I was feeling sick for about two months before action was taken. At the time, there was no awareness and knowledge about type 1 diabetes. We did not realize that what I was feeling and doing, where all symptoms of T1D. Painful headaches and weight loss, dehydration and constantly sleeping without energy, frequent urination and drinking gallons of water.
These where my symptoms and I remember how scary and confused I felt. At hospital,
I found a lot of support that helped me get through this difficult time, especially from
other families that were going through the same situation. They showed empathy and
encouraged us a lot. For my family, they were a ray of sunshine in this stormy weather.
Compared to nowadays, there weren’t enough professionals specialized in diabetes.
Therefore, very difficult to understand what was going on and learn what we had to do
to control my blood sugar. But, as they say ‘difficult roads often leads to beautiful
destinations’. I was able to meet warriors. Silent warriors that I never even knew about.
After about a week and a half at hospital, I was sent back home. I was in seventh heaven! My home was my comfort zone and the only place I felt safe. However, with the biggest needle phobia, I felt like it was the end of the world. I thought that there was no way I would be able to live my life injecting myself on a daily basis when I nearly faint just at the sight of a needle. My daily routine drastically changes and I was very worried as well as scared that I was not doing it right. I started going to our family doctor nearly every week. The shock of it all left a negative impact on my lifestyle. I suffered from very low self-esteem, depressed moments and even obsessions. I was totally out of control. There were times where I was very impulsive and I reacted badly towards my own condition and total situation. I was very nervous and negative towards it all.
I was unsure of where I was and what was happening to me. I was scared and panicked. I felt like I was trapped inside a bubble and I gave up so easily. To make matters worse, I was a very sensitive person, and still am. Being bullied in my primary years didn’t help me in building my self-esteem and independence. I always depended on someone, whether it was health professionals or my parents. Thus, it was a very rough road! ‘Out of the frying pan into the fire’ they say.
I always felt embarrassed and ashamed of what people think of me
if I tell them about my condition. I went through a really bad stage
with my diabetes. Sometimes, I lied like crazy about what my blood
levels were. I wouldn’t leave the house because I was too embarrassed
and afraid that something is going to happen to me in front of other people.
I missed out on loads of things because of it. I got really depressed and made me
feel different to everyone else, and it made me feel very much alone. It was as
if I was the only person going through all of this which is definitely not the case.
But I knew I had to stop worrying too much about things I can’t control. I was doing the best I can to keep my levels controlled. I improved by learning and using the carb counting method. I also started going out with friends, especially those living with T1D which helped greatly. Setting a positive mindset, I was able to reach a better HBA1C level. This was also done by having frequent visits to the diabetes health professionals team and attending educational sessions such as that of learning carb counting and adjusting insulin doses.
I found that the key for people with diabetes is to think positive!
The person writing this story wanted to share her experience and wished to remain anonymous for personal reasons.