My diagnosis happened in the summer of 2008. The whole summer flew by, but it was a summer never to forget. The first thing I remember was when I appeared to have lost 4 pounds. I never thought anything of it. I was actually happy that I lost weight. When in fact, I didn’t need to lose any. As the summer went by I was thirstier, I was hungrier, and my urination would get more and more constant. It got to where I would feel ashamed that I was 12 years old and wetting the bed every night. I was afraid to tell my mom and god forbid if my brothers found out. I was feeling ashamed of eating all the time. I started hiding food in my room and food was going missing. That summer a lot of things were going on. My father was working in Missouri and we were soon moving there at the end of summer. My oldest brother was also getting prepared for moving out to go to college. My mother’s suspicion was starting to grow. She noticed I was skinnier. She asked my father if I looked like I had lost weight. He had told her that was how I was supposed to look. ( only that it wasn’t at all how I should have looked) My mom thought well maybe she is going through a growth spurt. I was starting to even wonder what was going on with myself. My shy self didn’t want to say a word to anyone. Eventually, it was to where I would eat a popsicle and a minute later I would have to rush to the bathroom. Finally, school was happening. I went through one week of school and it was hell. Students in my class thought I had a eating disorder and I was exhausted every step I took. I remember getting off the bus and walking up the huge hill to my house. Once I got there, I parked my butt in the yard and would wait till my energy was ready to go inside. That Friday morning my mouth was hurting in a way I never had experienced before. I also wasn’t feeling so great; I complained to my mom how I wasn’t feeling good and how my mouth hurt. After all the convincing she let me stay home. Then, Saturday was here and my friend asked if I wanted to go to the mall. I was ready to go! My mom then said no, since I didn’t go to school the day before. The weekend went by, while my parents took my brother to college. Before I knew it Monday was here. I was in really bad shape. I stayed on the couch having my sister get me Kool-Aid again and again till she was fed up. I asked to stay home again and my mom was not happy. She was aggravated and thinking I was faking it since I stayed home Friday and then wanted to go to the mall Saturday. Right as she was leaving for work and open the door, I threw up. She ran over to me and told me to change into new clothes. As I got off the couch I felt too weak to walk. I crawled on my hand and knees to the upstairs bathroom. I knew I was going to throw up again, so I just laid on floor by the toilet. My mom comes up to check on me. As she said my name I looked at her. She took a good look at me with fear in her eyes. I was so skinny and ill looking just as bad as people in a concentration camp. She grabbed me and weighed me on the scale. It said 61 pounds. (I was originally 80 Ibs.) Adrenaline ran through her and we went to the ER right away. As she carried my bony body into the hospital people right away started moving. As we got in they put me on a stretcher and inserted a IV into my arm. They knew right away I was dehydrated. The only thought in my head was how much I wanted water. I soon started to yell for some. They didn’t want me to have any water because my brain could swell up and place me in a coma or even worse, die. As I cried they let me have a small sip. Right away I threw up twice. They rushed me in an ambulance taking me to Kosair Children’s Hospital I was placed into critical care. The next few days were just a blur. I pretty much slept through them. They were pricking my finger every hour to get my blood glucose level. Soon I was put in a curtain room. A lady came in to clean my mouth. She put this sucking pipe in my mouth and yellow chunks came through it. I was as grossed out as you are reading this. The chunks were from dehydrated saliva. My mind was still completely blank to why I was here. I then heard my mom on the phone speaking to my grandmother. Her words were heard so clearly as she said, ” Haley has diabetes“. Right away I said,” diabetes?”. All I knew was that my grandfather has it and he can’t eat sugar and only old people have it. I was soon taught that my diabetes was different. I have Type 1 juvenile diabetes. I learned that because of genetics, that my confused immune system attacked my pancreas killing all my beta cells that produce insulin. I was insulin dependent. I was soon learning that I had to take insulin shots for all carb related food. When I first heard that I had to take shots, I cried. I was confused as to why this was happening. Why is this happening to me?! I was told by my doctor that it was a miracle that I didn’t die. It was a miracle I had no organ damage. I was one lucky girl! I soon learned that my blood sugar was up to 1,350. My mom even told me a scary secret: that if she didn’t hear me throw up and had gone to work, my 8 year old sister would’ve came home and found me dead. I am now 7 years strong with type 1! Of course I’ve had my ups and downs, but I am finally at my proudest about my disease. Remember I am strong. You are strong. And we can defeat and control the “bêtes” and NOT let it control us!
Shout out to my family and mostly my mother, for being my biggest supporters and always by my side!