Diabetes May Be Common, But That Doesn't Mean We Ignore It
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Diabetes May be Common, but that Doesn't Mean We Should Ignore it

Every day is a guessing game and even the smallest mistakes can be life changing.

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Diabetes May be Common, but that Doesn't Mean We Should Ignore it

A few months after my 4th birthday, I started to get sick all of the time. I was nauseous almost 24/7, I was always excessively thirsty, and I was always very pale in the face. This went on for a couple of weeks before my parents decided they were going to take me to the doctor. My memory is a little hazy from that day, but one thing I remember clearly is how urgent my pediatrician was when she told my parents that they needed to take me to the hospital...and fast.

After that doctor's visit, I was in the hospital for a little over a month. I had test after test done, but the doctors still couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. In retrospect, I have to admit, that was a little crazy. The symptoms of diabetes are usually very clear and can't be mistaken. But apparently, I had stumped the doctors. It was my nurse that figured it out before anyone else did. I vividly remember her. She was short, had long blonde hair, and talked with a husky voice like she smoked too many cigarettes.

The next thing they did after the nurse offered up the suggestion of testing me for diabetes was to prick my finger. Little did I know that something that stung that bad was going to become a part of my everyday life. They checked my blood glucose level with that tiny, yet painful little jab. Keep in mind, the normal range and the range that most non-diabetics is 90-120. My sugar level read at over 700. It's kind of scary to think about that I could have been a few days or even hours away from slipping into a diabetic coma and I had absolutely no idea.

From that day forward, my life was never the same.

Now, I've had diabetes for so much of my life that I don't remember what it was like not to have it. But that doesn't mean that it's something that I trust brush off.

Diabetes is a pretty common autoimmune disease. It's a disease where your pancreas stops producing insulin naturally, that helps break down carbs and sugars. 1.25 million Americans have type 1-diabetes and 2.3 million Americans have type 2 diabetes. And those are just the diagnosed cases. It's said that it's 1 in 5 people have diabetes. However, the commonality of it should not mean that it isn't taken seriously.

I cannot tell you how many times I've heard people say things like "it smells like diabetes in here" or make a joke about someone's weight and how that's going to lead to diabetes. Normally, I am a pretty humorous person. There isn't much that I don't find funny, but I don't find diabetes jokes funny. I know some people are going to say "you just need to lighten up", but until you go through what I go through every day, you don't have the right to tell me that.

Every single day is a guessing game. Some days I'll wake up, and things will be great. My glucose levels will cooperate with me and I'll feel great. Other days, I'll wake up and everything is wacky. My levels are up and then they're down. Sometimes I pump myself with so much insulin that I've convinced my blood is going to turn to insulin, and my sugar will still not come down.

Every time I go somewhere, I have to worry about if I'm going to have snacks or orange juice available just in case my sugar goes low. Or I have to make sure that I have enough supplies with me just in case my sugar gets too high. Most of the time that means I have to carry around a giant, packed purse. This could be chalked up to just an inconvenience, which it is, but that worry that's permanently embedded in me makes things so much worse.

My fingers have scars and blisters on them constantly. This is from how many times I have to poke my finger with a needle. My stomach has scars and bumps for all the times I've given myself shots or hooked up my insulin pump.

I realize that all of this might sound mediocre to most of you. This disease could be so much worse, and I am grateful that it's not. But it still comes with so much anxiety, fear, and hardship. The insulin I take keeps me alive, but it can also kill me. My sugar could drop dangerously low when I'm asleep and I would never know. My insulin pump could fail and block me from getting insulin. There is so much that could happen at the drop of a time. And trying to maintain it is not a walk in the part either. Diabetes will undoubtedly have lasting effects on my body regardless of what I do.

So, I ask you, to just please...look out for your diabetic friends or family members. We're stugging more than you think.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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