- advertisement -

My take on diabetes, four years later..

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by malyssa, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. malyssa

    malyssa Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,846
    I wasn't really sure where to post this to be perfectly honest, but I fugured since this is where the most traffic is, I thought this might be a good spot. Also, I thought thought that some parents would like to see the perspective of an older teen with diabetes who was dxd when she was 14. I figured it's worth a shot. Its not perfect, and criticism is welcome. I am thinking about turning it into an essay for scholarships for my sophmore year of college (this coming fall) and if I did that I would add more info about diabetes (this, as it is written now, is more directed toward people who understand/live with it), and change some things, but, anyway, here it is. I know it's long, but if you have a few minutes, I'd love to hear what you have to say.



    Living with diabetes is rough. Anyone living with the disease knows this; anyone close to a person with diabetes knows this. You; if you're reading this, you probably know exactly what I mean.

    My four year anniversary of having diabetes passed a little over a month ago. It's hard to believe that it has been that lone already; so much can happen in that amount of time. I can remember the day of my diagnosis with type one diabetes, and the first few weeks so clearly. I was 14 years old, and it was a Tuesday. I was a freshman in high school and it was the second day of midterms. I remember being so sick that I could barely walk without feeling as if my legs would give out from beneath me. I remember begging my mom to bring me to the pediatrician as soon as possible; before the 12pm appointment that she had open that day, as I sat at the bottom of the stairs, crying, unable to explain to her what exactly was wrong; how I felt was beyond what words could explain. I remember my pediatrician and my mom telling me that I could get help for my problem because they'd thought I had an eating disorder due to my drastic weightloss. And I remember my pediatrician walking into the exam room, apologizing to me and then saying "Malyssa, you have diabetes. You need to go to the hospital, now." And I remember my mom sitting to the left of me in a chair next to the exam table, bursting out into tears, and how I started to cry when I saw how upset she was.

    And so my journey with diabetes began. I remember my first blood sugar in the ER; 720 mg/dL. I remember the nurse talking to me about Uggs as she struggled to put an IV into my arm. I remember being transported by ambulance to the pediatric ICU of another hospital about an hour away from home. And I remember having my blood sugar tested every hour or two for the rest of the day/night. I remember my first insulin injection the next morning, and how I freaked out because of my fear of shots. I also remember meeting my first CDE the day after I was diagnosed; the woman who had inspired me to be what I wish to become today, how she taught me how to test my blood sugar with the "cute" new meters she'd brought for me.

    I also remember leaving the hospital after three long days, with a new set of "instructions" on how I'd have to live my life from that day foward. I left with new skills, like how to count carbohydrates, how to fill a syringe with insulin, and how before you filled the syringe you had to pressurize the vial. I learned how to use a blood glucose meter, how you had to code the meter to match the vial of test strips, I learned how to give an injection. I also left with a new vocabulary; insulin, type one diabetes, a1c, blood sugar, meter, lancet, lancing device, test strips, correction factor, insulin to carb ratio, ketones...things that a 14 year old, or anyone for that matter, should never need to know about. I remember the first few weeks as well. My first day back to school after being diagnosed, and how scared I was because I was "on my own." I remember the strict carb restrictions, the timed insulin injections, mixing the cloudy and clear insulin, the sliding scale for a correction if my blood sugar was over 200. I remember the first time I gave myself a shot of insulin, something I'd never thought I could do, or have to do.

    Through these past four years, I've been through a lot. My family has been through a lot. Five months after my diagnosis with diabetes, my dad was diagnosed with Leukemia, the day after I started pumping. My mom was with my dad at the hospital most days, and I'd stay home with my sisters or other family members, and I remember how this taught me to be independent in my diabetes care. My junior year of high school I faced a horrible bout of anxiety, one that kept me out of school for almost a year. I remember not being able to even drive past my high school without having a panic attack that year, and how when I went through the process of desensitization, how my blood sugars would more often than not shoot up well into the 400+ range. But with counseling and my stubborn personality, I got back to school my junior year, for the last two months, and I went back without flaw for my senior year. I remember my graduation day in June 2009. I remember thinking to myself "I made it, even after all the hardships I'd been through, I made it," after being handed my diploma. And I remember that even though the four years of high school were no doubt the hardest years of my life, I got through it. And, I know that I am a stronger person because of it.

    So as I sit here in my dorm, four years later and write this, I am still amazed at how much I've grown, how far I have come. If you had asked me four years ago where I'd be now, I probably wouldn't know what to tell you, and I know I would have never imagined that I'd be anywhere near where I am today. I have went from a little 14 year old girl in a hospital bed thinking that my diagnosis with type one diabetes was the end of the world, to a 19 year old college freshman with a 4.0, a biology major with hopes of persuing a carreer in endocrinology. Sure there has been many HIGHS, and some pretty nasty lows in between then and now. There has been an a1c in the 10's when I was so sick of diabetes that I tried to ignore it. And there has been times where I've felt like giving up.

    And yes, there are still days when I just don't want to deal with diabetes. Yes, there are times when my blood sugar is through the roof, but I still go to class and sit through the two hour lecture trying my hardest to concentrate despite the high blood sugar, hoping that the correction will bring me down by the end of the class. Yes there are times when my pump will start alarming in the middle of class and I'll have to leave in order to take care of it. Yes, there has been times when my blood sugar has gone low during a class and I get nothing out of the class because of it. And yes, there has been a few times when I've needed help, and I've realized that it's ok to ask for help...sometimes you just need to, and there is nothing wrong with that. I've realized that there is nothing to be embarassed about if you have to get up and leave to take care of your diabetes. There are still highs and lows, and they still happen at the worst moments sometimes. Diabetes is always with me, everywhere I go...and it has been for the past four years.

    Four years ago, I would have never thought I'd be sitting here in college, in a dorm. During my struggle with anxiety I never even thought I'd go back to school. I never thought I'd be able to live a normal life with diabetes. Yet I'm here, proving myself wrong with every day that I wake up, every class I attend, every high, and every low that I am faced with. I've realized that diabetes is not a death sentence, but a lifestyle, and everyone has a different lifestyle. Sure, my life might take a little bit more day to day planning and thinking ahead, but I've learned to live with it. Sure, I would love to have a cure some day, and I have nothing but hope that one day I, and everyone else living with this disease will have that cure. But until then, I've accepted diabetes, and the challenge that it has brought with it. And you know what? I'm winning.
     
  2. emm142

    emm142 Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    6,883
    Wow; this was really powerful to me, Malyssa. I think that was partly because I was diagnosed at the same age and in similar circumstances to you, and I also had a lot of other challenges around the time of dx.

    I really hope that in 2 years time I will be winning as well. :cwds:
     
  3. bgallini

    bgallini Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    3,950
    That was really good. I just see one typo (there may be others). "It's hard to believe that it has been that lone already;"....should be "long."

    Not only is it a good essay....but sounds like you are doing a great job with school and your D care!
     
  4. lynn

    lynn Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    3,112
    Thank you Malyssa. You are one strong young woman and an inspiration!!
     
  5. Lance

    Lance Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    321
    Powerful. I hope that all our kids can grow to be as strong and successful as you. The stories that you, along with some of the other teens on CWD, share with us give us all hope for what the future holds for our little ones.
     
  6. malyssa

    malyssa Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,846
    Thank you. You know, I just was sitting at my laptop thinking about it, and it just all came out at once. I think you most definitely will be, and already are winning. :)

    Ah, i noticed that too, lol. Thank you. And, I am trying very hard to do well in school, and of course with my D care as wel. Diabetes and college is a new challenge, though I think I'm doing alright. :)

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope I can inspire others in some way. Diabetes has taught me a lot. :)

    I have no doubt in my mind that they will! People with diabetes, we have a different kind of strength, I think. All of the parents that I see post on CWD are such big supporters of their children, and it amazes me how far you go to tackle the disease for your children. I guess it was a little different for me because I was dxd at 14; I took on most of my care right off the bat. But with parents like you, I don't see how your children could not become successful, and as for strength, believe me, they have much more than most people will ever know. But parents know...parents know everything! :p:)
     
  7. Janimal

    Janimal Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Messages:
    186
    You got a lot of strength and a lot of heart! Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    9,652
    Well-written and heartfelt. Your parents must be so proud of you. You should be proud of you! :)

    Aside: Noticed 1 other typo - "carreer" which should be "career"..
     
  9. Danielle2008

    Danielle2008 Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,548
    Malyssa,
    Beautifully written.

    I was listening to an Olympian the other day(I think JR Celski) on the news saying we all have our challenges, what defines us is how we overcome those challenges.

    Your post certainly made me think of that. :cwds:
     
  10. Ali

    Ali Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,219
    Beautiful. If you decide to submit for a scholarship I would suggest visiting one of your prior or current English profs and asking if they would act as an editor for you. I think you have a wonderful essay and a good editor could really help you earn a scholarship. if you do not find someone to help, email me and I can help you track down an editor. :)ali
     
  11. Barbzzz

    Barbzzz Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,661
    Malyssa, thanks for that wonderful essay. I hope my daughter is able to bear her diabetes with as much grace as you.

    As far as editing, saw a couple of typos (weightloss and foward) and some punctuation issues, but on the whole, very nice. Best wishes on it.
     
  12. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    13,195
    I still remember your intro post.:cwds:

    I am in tears reading this. Good tears.

    Beautifully done!
     
  13. OSUMom

    OSUMom Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    5,324
    Malyssa you inspire me. Thanks for sharing. :cwds::cwds:
     
  14. Toni

    Toni Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,882
    Thank you for posting this. You have won! You were a very responsible young teen and I hope my DN models herself after someone like you. You are going to make a wonderful endocrinologist. I am glad you were able to perservere though so many challenges. 4.0 average with all this going on! Wow!
     
  15. Brandi's mom

    Brandi's mom Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    This is a very wonderful essay. I hope you do submit it for scholarships.

    I plan on having Brandi read it this evening.
     
  16. alismom

    alismom Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Messages:
    634
    Thank you for sharing this inspirational message.
     
  17. malyssa

    malyssa Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,846
    Thank you for taking the time to read it! :)

    Thank you so much. Yes, my mom tells me how proud she is of me all the time. I'm the oldest, and my parents didnt have the opportunities to go to college, so I'm the first. I am pretty proud of myself.

    Hmm...I have a few typo's and odd punctuations in there, lol. It really did just come out, so I really do need to go back and fix a few things.

    Thank you! :)

    Thank you, and yes, I agree with you. I need to fix it up a little, lol. :)
     
  18. malyssa

    malyssa Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,846
    Thank you so much, and, I am sure your daughter will one day. She's still young! Thank you for taking the time to read it. :)

    Hmm...I don't remember my intro post! :eek: Lol. I'm glad you do though! I take it as a good thing! :)
    Don't cry!! Ahhh. It's a happy post! :) But if you're going to, I'm glad they're good tears!
    Thank you so much for your kind words, and taking the time to read it. I appreciate it.

    Thank you for reading!

    Thank you! And, I'm sure she will! I hope I can make a good endo one day! I know it's going to be hard, really hard, but I think I can do it. Pediatric endocrinology is about 12 years of schooling :eek: Lol. I have a lot of work ahead of me!

    Thank you, and I am honored that you are going to show her!

    Thank you for reading!
     
  19. bbirdnuts@aol.com

    bbirdnuts@aol.com Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    361
    Malyssa you are wonderful and obviously you have done a great job taking care of yourself. You a pretty amazing to have a 4.0. That is not easy to do without diabetes and you have endured highs and lows and are maintaining a 4.0. Keep up the hard work. I'm sure in the long run 12 years won't be so bad. When you earn your degree and become a Endo. you will have a true heart to understand how each and every one of your patients feel. I'm sure every child would like for their Endo. to be a type 1 because they could understand them better. You seem to be motivated. Keep it up.

    Never forget where you came from and keep your eyes on where you are going!
     
  20. Toni

    Toni Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,882
    Regarding spelling. I DO know how to spell, really! Constantly have to reread and re-edit the spelling. We all make typos. Malaysia, I'm sure if you are submitting something at school you just run spellcheck. There is no spellcheck feature here.
     

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice