Being Diagnosed With Type 1 Diabetes

by Stoyan
(New York)

Diabetes is one of the most wide-spread diseases in the world, yet few people really know much about it until they meet someone with type 1 diabetes or become diagnosed themselves. If you have experienced the symptoms, such as dehydration, frequent bathroom visits, nausea and vomiting, you may have guessed there is something wrong (though some people do not go to the doctor or get tested for weeks or even months).

Nothing can prepare you, however, when the blood results come in, and the doctor explains that you have a chronic condition for which you will have to take multiple injections each day for the rest of your life.

No matter how well prepared you are (or think you are) for the surprises in life, the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes is something that hits you out of nowhere and takes a long time to adjust to. Often the mental ramifications weigh heavier than the physical ones. I remember the feeling when I was diagnosed – at first I refused to accept the fact that I had diabetes, and demanded they redo the tests.

When I graduated from high school, I was 18 years old, and felt in shape. I had barely experienced any sicknesses of any kind before – and suddenly I found out I was going to be dependent on injections and regular check-ups for the rest of my life? Not exactly the graduation gift I was hoping for.

After the initial shock and feeling of helplessness, you slowly begin to understand your condition and learn about ways to manage it. With proper care you can live your life again the way you want to. Accepting your situation, however, does not mean that you should give up on a better future. A practical cure for diabetes would help millions of people lead lives free of the restrictions that come with the disease, and save that many more.

Treatments are important, but the real solution must be a cure. This drive is at the very heart of the JDCA. It is what attracted me to the organization, and with the help of the entire type 1 diabetes community, I know that we can find a cure in the near future, or before 2025.

- Stoyan
Associate Editor

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