Dear Katie, This is Your Diagnosis Day
Dear June 14, 2011 Katie,
I have some bad news. Tomorrow, you’re going to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I know, it sucks. Turns out those leg cramps and crazy thirst you’ve been having isn’t just a result of the heat. And the 20 pound weight loss isn’t a result of dumb luck. Put together, they’re all classic symptoms of diabetes.
So tomorrow, you’ll go to see another doctor, the third in the last month, because you know something isn’t right. She’ll check you from head to toe, and decide to test your blood real quick, just to rule it out. Her glucometer will read “ERROR” because your blood sugar is too high to read. The doctor will then start panicking, which you won’t find helpful, and call an ambulance.
Once you’re at the hospital, you’ll be hooked up to IVs and an insulin drip. It’ll take about two hours before someone will actually stop, look you in the eye and tell you that you have type 1 diabetes. Then you’ll cry and cry and when you think you’re done, you’ll cry some more.
They’ll send you home from the hospital that night with a few brochures and an appointment with a doctor the next day to show you how to administer insulin shots.
You’ll feel confused. You’ll feel helpless. You’ll feel like you did or ate something wrong. You didn’t. Whether it was tomorrow or two weeks or six months from now, you were going to get this disease. Nothing you could have done would have changed that reality.
You’ll walk into grocery stores and feel overwhelmed by all of the choices, carbs and sugar. You will be afraid to leave your apartment for a few weeks because you’re worried about getting low in public. You’ll realize that boyfriend of yours has the innate ability to keep you calm. Spoiler alert, you end up marrying him.
I know, it all sounds overwhelming and awful because it is. But, I have some good news, it gets easier.
In fact, it’s been five years and you are absolutely killing it. Your A1c is right where it needs to be and you have no complications. The shots and blood sugar checks become part of your routine. You’ll forget what life was like before them. You’ll always be aware of your diabetes—it’s impossible to ignore—but your life is full and your disease is just one part of it.
And the best part? You still get to eat French fries! You can eat anything you want. See, it’s not all bad. It’s going to be okay.
There’ll be days where you feel like type 1 controls your life, but most days you control it. So keep your head up, you got this.
June 15, 2016 Katie
Read more from Katie: Part I IVF and Type 1-A New Journey Begins