Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Way Back Wednesday... Symptoms of Diabetes...

A couple weeks ago, I started my own, more different version of Wayback Wednesday. Since I've only been d-blogging since this past July, the traditional version of Wayback Wednesday that I've witnessed on sites like DiabetesMine and Diabetesaliciousness doesn't really apply to me yet. So today, in honor of Diabetes Daily's Newly Diagnosed Week, I'm going to go "way back" to about eleven years ago and dialogue my personal diagnosis story.

I was always a chunky kid, so when people started asking me if I'd lost weight I felt pretty flattered. Maybe I was growing into a tall, beautiful, skinny young woman! My dance teacher was the first to notice my weight loss, since she usually saw me in skin-tight leotards and had an idea of how my body looked, since it was her job to help me train it.

"You must just be getting taller and thinning out." I noticed a hint of pride in her voice. The first few pounds probably made her hopeful that the short, chubby girl would one day have a dancer's body. But, it wasn't just 10 pounds. It wasn't just twenty pounds. I was getting thinner, and thinner, and thinner.

Other people were starting to notice too. One of my mom's fellow soccer moms asked her if I was anorexic one day after watching me play in my now-over sized jersey and looking fatigued the entire time. Anorexic, at 11? My coach had even moved me from mid-field, where I had been quick and an asset to the team, to defender, where I could spend half the game standing still and simply kick the ball off to a midfielder. Even he had noticed my fatigue.

What I noticed was the thirst. My family had just gotten a water cooler, the kind with the big jug on top that reminds you of office-based comedy TV shows. My mom thought I was drinking so much water because I thought the cooler was neat. I was enjoying trips to the water fountain during the school day way too much. I thought that water was the best tasting thing in the world.

My fifth grade teacher noticed how often I was asking to go to the bathroom. I was going between five and six times a day. She told my mom, "either she is really bored in class or something is wrong with her. You might get her tested for a bladder infection or diabetes."

She was right, but we didn't find out until the following school year.

The primary care physician my mom took me to didn't want to test me for type 1 diabetes, despite the list of symptoms my mom gave him and my weight (I was 5'2 and weighed about 80 lbs). I was more concerned about the headaches I was having. "I think I need allergy medicine," I told him. My mom was vigilant. She said, "Please give her a blood test for diabetes." The doctor followed her request and that was the first day I visited the "vampires" - aka the lab, with the long needles and the tubes filled with blood. I don't think I was that scared by it because I don't remember being upset.

The last thing I remember before going to the hospital the next day was eating a special sucker I had won in class as I walked home from school and thinking, "This may be the last sugar you ever eat."

Me at 13, proud PWD member of the Drexel High School Dance Team

To be continued on Thursday and look for these posts later this week:

Upcoming posts for newly Dx Week:
-Thursday: The Diagnoses
-Friday: Disease Denial, part three of my journey
-Saturday: A Wake-Up Call, part four of my journey
-Sunday: Looking to the future: The journey never ends

Stay Tuned!


  1. wow yeah my mom was sorta like that only a lot nastier and meaner about it . I will tell you sometime when I get to know about you better . thanks for sharing and posting a great blog .

  2. It's always great to hear a diagnosis story--thanks for sharing!



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