This month will represent my four year anniversary with diabetes. It was January 29th 2007 when I was diagnosed and for the past few years around this time I seem to think back those first few weeks and months after I was diagnosed. There are certain things that stick in my mind, especially about those few days that will probably forever be cemented into my memory. I can still remember where I was sitting at my desk at work when I heard my primary care doctor utter those horrible words. "We got your blood work back, and it appears you have diabetes". I had no idea what those words even meant at the time. I had no idea that my world was about to turn upside down. I had no idea there were even different types of diabetes. I thought I would be able to take a pill and go about my daily life.
I didn't go to the hospital immediately as most people do when they are first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. In fact my family and I were in disbelief about my diagnosis for the time between that phone call and when I visited a diabetes educator for my first of what would be many finger pricking's. We didn't believe it because I didn't feel that sick. Yes, I had lost weight and yes I had been dealing with some stomach issues, but diabetes and possibly having to be admitted to the hospital was not anything I imagined for myself. It wasn't until the over 500 blood sugar reading that that it even began to seem like it could be real. The diabetes educator sent me immediately to the endocrinologist who squeezed me in for an appointment and it was there my fate was sealed and I learned how to inject insulin. My mom and I left that appointment, overwhelmed and still in disbelief, and with what felt like a billion prescriptions that needed to be filled at CVS. Despite some distinct memories, those first few days are a bit of a blur. Looking back I am amazed I somehow managed to still go to work while going to daily doctor or diabetes education appointments.
The one memory that sticks in my mind the most from those first days was waking up the morning after I was diagnosed and heading downstairs to my kitchen counter to test my blood sugar. As I looked down at the objects that were so foreign to me at the time (a lancet, test strips, needles, insulin), I looked over to my mom and began to cry as I realized this is how I would start my day, every day for the rest of my life. I think I might have broken my mom's heart when I said something along the lines of "I was hoping this would all be a dream".
My mom and I spent weeks just learning about diabetes, reading books, going to classes, while my dining room table was covered with all my new prescriptions and supplies. Those first few days and weeks were tough and certainly life changing but I deeply grateful for all of the support and love I received from my dear family and friends. As I look back on my 4 year anniversary, I realize I have come along way- learning and adjusting but I couldn't have done it without my wonderful family and friends. They got me through it then and four years later- they still get me through it today.