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First Came Amy…

Most Type One Diabetics remember the day they were diagnosed. For Amy, it was Monday, July 6, 2009 at age 23 years old. After months and months of extreme thirst, weight loss, and large infections under her skin, Amy pulled up to her doctor’s office with another skin infection, which had been routinely treated with antibiotics. That morning, the nurse told her to go to the Emergency Room, as she couldn’t find the reason for her repeat infections.

It was at the ER that Amy learned she had Type One Diabetes. After scarfing down a latte and scone from Starbucks earlier that morning, her blood sugar read 350 when tested in the Emergency Room. “Oh, you’re Diabetic,” said the ER nurse. News to Amy; it was the simple, underlying cause for all her abnormal symptoms for the last several months…

Amy was admitted to the ICU that day, where she stayed for 3 nights to ease her infection and get her blood sugar levels under control. Since July 6, 2009, it has been a lot of learning for Amy – highs, lows, carb counting, and insulin shots – which has got better with time and thorough carbohydrate management. In early 2013, Amy got a pump.

Then Came Me.

When Amy was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes at age 23, I was also requested to get an A1C test, which showed that my blood sugar levels were normal. Over the next couple of years, I learned that I had a 50% chance of also developing the disease – before the age of 30. So, at 29 years old, I thought I was golden.

It had been 5 years since Amy was diagnosed and I felt good – until March 2015. I was on a flight home from Costa Rica when the extreme thirst kicked in. However, at the time, I thought I was just dehydrated from some wedding shenanigans the night before. Coupled with the 92 degree weather at 100% humidity in Costa Rica, I blamed the trip for my dehydration.

After a week of returning from Costa Rica, the thirst didn’t subside but increased exponentially. I also craved sugar – and I couldn’t get enough. I remember going on a business trip and getting frozen yogurt multiple times, along with waffles. (Don’t you just love a good waffle?) The next week, I went to the doctors and lost 5 pounds. Happy but concerned, I had a pretty good idea what was going on and requested an A1C test from my Endocrinologist. After all, I had watched my sister go through the same thing almost 6 years prior.

Early that week I self-diagnosed myself with Type One Diabetes, and on Wednesday, April 15th, I went to Amy’s house after work and used her blood sugar monitor. It read 350. The next day, I tested my levels after working out and before dinner. It read 502. Have you ever Googled, “What to do if your blood sugar is 500+?” It says go to the ER. However, I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled the next morning, so I opted out.

On Friday, April 17, 2015, I was officially diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, and my life changed forever. My A1C test of 10.5 confirmed what I had been experiencing for the last couple of weeks: hyperglycemia. As a result, this Type One Diabetes Blog was born to provide hope, encouragement, and connection for others also growing through Type One Diabetes. You may be a Diabetic, a parent of a Diabetic, or a friend of a Diabetic – but I hope that these stories, tips, and news offer inspiration to those affected from this chronic disease.

In the latest book I’m reading, Typecast, one of my favorite quotes is, “I have Diabetes, but it doesn’t have me.”