November 2010 when I was 13 years old I started getting all the typical DKA symptoms. We have no type 1/2 diabetics in our family so we didn’t even have the slightest clue that I have diabetes. Early in December I went on holiday with a friend. We went camping and the symptoms just got worse by the day. Eventually I reached a point where I called my mom, crying in the shower saying something is seriously wrong. Lucky for me my grandfather lived in the same town where we went on holiday so my mom got him to fetch me at the camping site. He took me to a normal house doctor and the doctor said my kidney is giving problems (I’ve had kidney problems since i was young) and he said I should drink as much fluids as possible. He didn’t even test my sugar and he clearly didn’t know diabetes symptoms because all the evidence  to show I am diabetic was there. About 3 days after that, at about 5pm in the afternoon my mom tried to call me but I didn’t pick up the phone so she called my grandfather and told him she wanted to speak to me. While on the phone she could hear how my grandfather was trying to wake me but I wasn’t waking up… I was in a coma. With a sugar level of 84mmol (the highest they’ve ever heard of.) Eventually 6 days later I woke up in the hospital not knowing where I was or what was going on. And also spent Christmas in the hospital! 

I still can’t remember anything from about 3 days before diagnosis and also i cant remember who told me or how I was told that i was diabetic. All i know is it was very difficult to get use to… I think I’ve been going through a diabetic burnout since day 1. I’ve been through diabulimia, ended up in a wheel chair, pheriphal neuropathy and so much more.

I only started accepting the fact that I have this disease in August 2020. I really made a point of taking care of myself and my health became my number 1 priority. That’s also when I started using my CGM for the first time, now I’m happiest I’ve ever been! I got my HBA1C from to high to read down to 6.7. I finally have a great relationship with my diabetes (I still have bad days though but much less frequent than before)

Acceptance opened so many doors for me and I’m truly happy to be where I am today. 

Julia Esterhuizen
Julia (@anti_sugalicious) is 24 years old. She was diagnosed at 13 on 16 December 2010.

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