In March of 2016, I started to slowly develop the common symptoms of Type One diabetes. Increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, unintended weight loss, mood swings, fatigue, and blurred vision.
My first symptom was excessive thirst. I clearly remember being frustrated with myself because I could not quench my thirst, no matter how much cold water I drank. Soon after, I developed my second symptom – frequent urination. When I mentioned my two symptoms to my mom, she suspected that something was wrong. My mom knew right away that I was a diabetic. My uncle, her brother, is also a type one diabetic, and a lot of his symptoms he had from when he was younger were symptoms that I was experiencing.
The week before my diagnosis, my uncle hosted a barbeque with my family. When my uncle saw me, he got concerned. He told my mom to take me to the doctor because I looked sick and had lost a lot of weight. After hearing my uncle say that, I got worried and asked my cousin to look up the symptoms of diabetes. After going through the symptoms together, I remember fear and confusion rushing through my body.
Unfortunately, I didn’t go to the doctor the next day, but the night I was diagnosed was interesting. Like a typical weeknight, my mom was preparing dinner. When she placed everything on the table, my mom stepped in front of me and placed some food down onto the table.
For some reason, I let out a big sigh. Little did I know that this sigh would change my life forever. My mom stopped in her tracks right away because she could smell ketones on my breath. At that very moment, my mom diagnosed me with diabetes.
In the blink of an eye, I was rushed into the emergency room. I remember when I was brought in, my mom explained to the nurse that she smelled ketones on my breath. The nurse that was on call, took me right away when a room was available. The nurse that took my blood came into the room and diagnosed me with type 1 diabetes, and said that my blood sugar was 55 mmol/L and that I was in DKA.
The doctors that night said that my mom was my lifesaver, and that if she didn’t bring me in that night, I could have been in a coma or even dead by the morning. My mom saved my life. Four years ago, my life as I knew it ended. I will admit I was sad for some time. I grieved and then accepted the challenges of living my life as a type 1 diabetic. In fact, living with type 1 diabetes changed my life for the better.
Gloria was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 17, as a senior in high school, a week before graduation.