30 Sep My Life with T1D
I grew up a healthy, average little girl who loved to play sports, dance, act, and sing. At the age of seven, my family and I moved to a new town. I started losing a lot of weight, drinking lots of water, and going to the bathroom a lot. I was also very sleepy and did not have as much energy as a normal seven year old should. My parents didn’t think much of it at first because of all of our recent life changes. Not only did we just move to a new town, but I had a new school, a new daycare, and a new baby sister. One night we went to a local Halloween parade with some family friends. I ended up falling asleep in my sister’s stroller, during the middle of the parade. That’s when my family realized something was really wrong.
My parents called the doctor the next morning. After looking up my symptoms on the internet all night, they knew something serious might be going on. I went to the doctor and they immediately checked my blood sugar. The doctor came in with tears in her eyes and told my mom that she had some hard news to tell us. That day changed my life forever. I spent three days in the Pediatric ICU and they didn’t understand how I wasn’t in a Diabetic Coma. I was then Diagnosed with Type One Diabetes.
During my elementary years, my parents were very involved in training my school, daycare, and coaches. They wanted to make sure that I could advocate for myself. By high school, I was almost completely independent in my care. Now, as a senior in highschool, I can appreciate how having Type One has shaped my life. This past summer, I decided I wanted to combine my love of working with children with my experience of living with T1D. I got the amazing opportunity to be a camp counselor at Little Shots. I loved being able to be a role model and show other children that you can do anything.
This summer I also had to start thinking about my future education. I always knew I wanted to major in something involving working with children but didn’t know exactly what. My T1D team from when I was younger made such an impact on me that I decided I wanted to do the same for other children. I am currently in the process of applying to colleges in the nutrition/dietetics program to eventually get my certification to become a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist.
I am excited yet nervous about moving away to college and being on my own with my T1D management. But my family has prepared me and I am ready for this new chapter in my life. I plan on continuing with my medical 504 plan in college to help me with accommodations I may need. My friends have always been very supportive and I’m sure any new friends I meet will be the same. My advice to campers looking at colleges, would be to start early and plan ahead and find somewhere you feel comfortable.