I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes just three weeks before my ninth birthday. That was ten years ago. I am 19 years old; currently a college freshman. The day that I was diagnosed changed everything for me; I didn’t realize it then, but I was very aware of this fact once I started high school. And not because students would pick on me, but rather because I started struggling with my diabetes for the first time ever. And as a perfectionist, I didn’t know how to deal with my diabetes while struggling.
I became angry at myself for not being able to do better, not living up to everyone else's standards - my doctors, my parents, even my own. And my standards alone guided me down some tough times. A year after I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. To me it was just another thing that set me apart from my peers. At this point I was profoundly deaf and wearing a Cochlear Implant and I had Type 1 Diabetes and was wearing an insulin pump. I never thought much of any of my diagnoses then. I never thought they affected my day to day life. In fact, I always told people I loved being deaf and that I loved having diabetes, and it was true. I was taught how to take each of my diagnoses and turn them into something positive, use it as a way to give back and help others. And that's all I ever did, I loved it!
Once high school came around, my attitude of loving diabetes grew to be not so accurate of a statement. I went through times of only obsessing over the perfection of my blood sugars to the standards of others, and I went through times where I couldn't have cared less about my diabetes. High school had been a disaster of a few years which included my dealing with depression, diabetes burnout, and diabulimia. As the time came where I dealt with each of these things, I felt more alone in my diabetes than I ever had. I tried finding information on each situation on my own, but often couldn’t find enough information, not easily. Or I found too much information and was overwhelmed by it all. I didn’t know how to deal with these situations, I felt like I should’ve been able to do better, and I didn’t know anyone else with Type 1 who had dealt with these things; it was very isolating. Which brings me to this website.
My senior year I decided to do a Capstone project. Something that was near and dear to my heart - Type 1 Diabetes. I want to help others, individuals with Type 1 and their family and friends to be able to find the information they need in order to be educated on the different aspects of life. Ranging from adolescent years to adulthood from topics on play-dates to driving and diagnoses related to diabetes. Looking back on my (so far) 10 years with Type 1 Diabetes, I wish that I had been able to more easily find information on a variety of aspects related to this disease. So instead of wishing for the information to be more accessible, I decided that I could make that change. I do it for others, and also for eight year old me.