When It's Not Just The Flu

When It's Not Just The Flu

Most of time we feel crappy during the winter, it is just the flu, except when it's not.


I had a great childhood filled with loving parents, and sibling, great friends, family, school, sports, and loads of extracurriculars. Sure my family wasn't perfect, but I was loved, happy, and healthy. Then, when I was 10 years old, I got sick, like really, really sick.

I had lost upwards of 20 pounds in two weeks, my naps had returned and were becoming longer and more frequent. I was going to the bathroom at least 5 or 6 times an hour. More often than not I was calling my grandparents begging for them to pick me up from school because of my pounding migraines and unfathomable upset stomach.

It got really bad in November and December and through the end February - I even began wetting the bed again at 10 years old. See, as a kid, my time was split in so many ways. My grandparents saw some symptoms, the school saw some symptoms, my parents saw some symptoms, but no one saw them all.

Most people around me chalked it up to the flu, too many sleepovers, or just normal growing changes. Then, two weeks after my 11th birthday on March 2, my mom used the restroom after I did and noticed a fruity smell (ketones). She called the doctor and demanded I be seen that day for she had been suspecting and the ketones had confirmed that I was in a far worse state than the flu.

I went to the doctors and received the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes. A chronic, lifelong condition where the immune system attacks the insulin-producing (beta cells) of the pancreas. I was promptly taken the ER and then rushed to the children's hospital by transport team where I spent the next few days in PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) and finished out the rest of the week in the hospital.

The first 48 hours were touch and go, no one was sure if I was going to survive. I did, but many do not.

November is Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Month. The colors to show support are blue and grey.

Type 1 is often fatally misdiagnosed as the flu. I want to spread awareness by urging you to demand a blood sugar tests. The test are quick and simple, often costing around $1.50. The doctor may try and tell you it is the flu, but you have a right to ask to be tested. Please advocate for yourself and friends. In most cases, it probably is just the flu, but you don't want to be the one case where it not.

So please, be aware of the symptoms listed above: extreme weight loss, upset stomach, fatigue, lethargy, headaches, dizziness, confusion, excess thirst, excess urination, any flu-like symptom.

If you feel like something is wrong, get tested. You have a right to live. Your life is worth more than a $1.50 test.

For more information and diabetes resources, you can visit JDRF or DYF websites.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.

When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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If Shonda Can Do A Year Of Yes, Then So Can I



A few years ago, Shonda Rimes decided to do a year of saying yes, after her sister told her she says "No" to everything. It ended up changing her life.

So, I've decided to embark on my own year of yes.

Sure, it may be easy to say yes to everything when you're a millionaire with a bunch of record-setting televisions shows, but the rest of us can do it too.

Say yes to treating yourself.

Say yes to taking care of yourself.

Say yes to saying no, don't stretch yourself too thin.

Say yes to new opportunities

The year of yes is about taking better care of yourself.

My year of yes starts right now.

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