My name is Hannah Reitsch and I am 13 years old and 12 days ago (November 18th 2011) I was diagnosed with type one diabetes and heres my story… It was the 18th of November, one of my best friends birthday and her mom pretended to have an appointment that day but she was actually setting up a surprise birthday party for my friend. And so we had to pick her up from school and then take me to my doctor appointment then take her home for her birthday party that we were also invited to. So we picked her up and went to the doctor office, my mom told them of how she could smell ketones in my bedroom and of how ive been getting up multiple times a night to go to the bathroom and my stomach aches and shortness of breath and all that good stuff and they gave me a physiological test thinking "its all in her head" and a couple weeks before we came for the same thing and they sent us home saying its all in my head (well obviously now they know it was not). My mom is a retired nurse so by now she knew it was diabetes and she kept insisting that they take my blood sugar and time after time they refused until my mom got really angry and made them have me take a urine test.They let me and i was spilling a massive amount of sugar and the doctor ran in and started franticly talking and apologizing to us and she told us that she already called an ambulance for me to get rushed to Mary bridge children's hospital because my blood sugar was 714!!! My mom was calling my dad and my friend was calling her mom to come pick her up from the doctor office because i was leaving in an ambulance. My mom got to ride with me in the ambulance and my dad and brothers were meeting us at Mary bridge. On the way there was so much traffic that we had to turn on the lights and sirens and speed down the busy road. We arrived there 2 hours before my dad and brothers! I was put in a room in the PICU and had two IVs in at the same time witch hurt a ton after about half an hour of being in the PICU almost my entire family knew what had happend to me and wanted to talk to me and visit me. I knew i wasnt going to die but everyone when they saw me all hooked up in the PICU, they started crying. I was also constantly loosing weight at one point I weighed only 91 pounds! My mom never left my side she slept on the pull out bed next to mine. Every night my sister would come at about 6 and stay till 11. I got many visitors every day and at one time every one got kicked out except for my mom because we had over 20 people in my room :)) After a few days in the PICU i went to the step down floor and that day was very hard because i had to start getting shots instead of an IV but i had to keep them in unhooked witch was very uncomfortable. But what really cheered me up that day is when my entire youth group walked in!!! they brought me books and toys and a bunch of fun stuff and my very best friend, Jennika layed in my bed with me :) they also brought me tons of cards from church and things that were prayed over at a retreat my youth leader went to.But i was really happy to be out of the PICU because i wasnt stuck in a bed any more so my mom and dad and i walked around the hospital everyday! I got lots of visitors out of the PICU too! and my sister brought me a pillow pet and a close family friend brought me a teddy bear that i put a diabetes bracelet on :). At first it wasn't real to me and i wouldn't accept it because i thought i still had a chance of it just going away but after a while in the hospital with my family,friends,nice nurses,mean nurses,nice doctors,and mean doctors, I knew that this was my fate and i had to accept it. And then, it was real and everything was going so fast i cried so much i dont know how i dident run out of tears. I had a talk with my nurses,mom,dad,and doctors about how its moving too fast and i dont know if i could do it. they said that they were so impressed and proud of me and that they will try to not go so fast and after that it really was better and i felt a million times better because i was in the 700s for so long i forget what it was like to be in the normal area and it sure felt great! We had so much to learn and the doctors said it looked like i wasn't going home in time for thanksgiving. What I was worried about was giving myself the insulin I thought i could NOT do it not ever and my grampa bought me a key chain and chatted with me about it because he is a pharmacist and we all prayed together that i could do it and i was almost constantly praying silently to my self and that next day i knew that with God's help i could do it and that day is the day i started giving the shots to my self!! and my mom and dad bought me a sock monkey from the gift shop as a prize I was soo proud of my self and so was everyone else. I got so many visitors here and there everyday and thats how i liked it. And did i mention that on the 18th i had breakfast and thats all i had for the entire time i was in the PICU?? I was STARVING i got to have dinner on the 21rst and i was so happy when i finaly got to eat. We had tons of learning to do so for two days all we did was have educator after educator come in and talk to us and i got a pink panther book on all the diabetes stuff i had to learn. The doctors told us that since i was doing so good we could probly get out the day before thanksgiving and my whole family and I were super happy. But that ment i had to work fast!! We had to talk to a diatition, a nutrition,a psychologist, some more educators, and lots of doctors and nurses. Theres alot of challenges i had to face with my new diabetes but i was VERY well supported by my friends and family and the staff of Mary Bridge. The day before i left, my mom dad and i wanted to do something fun: we "went out" to eat dinner! we went down to the hospital caffatiria and i got to have what ever i wanted but we still had to count carbs and give insulin. Finally, the day I leave but one more thing, im not immunized!! (My big brother had a bad reaction to immunizations when he was little and due to our religious beliefs my mom and dad decided not to get me immunized) this was not good for me since i have diabetes so on that last day i had to get 6 immunizations!!! 3 in each arm, OUCH!. But i was still very happy to go home. Its still a little new but i know i can do it! And thats my story.
Hi Hannah, thanks for sharing your story. My mother is a nurse too -- and a strong an insistent one also, when dealing with doctors, which is good. She discovered "something was wrong" and brought me to the doctor before anything bad happened, I was just going to the bathroom a lot, very thirsty, and she said I was losing weight (though I don't remember it). It was 1981 and I was 7 years old at the time.
Any other time I've been in the hospital, for any reason, since then, she's been by my side, recording every bit of insulin and food I had and questioning everything the doctors did. Which is good, because Emergency Room doctors don't know much about diabetes at all, and the meals you sometimes get in the hospital aren't always appropriate. Hopefully you won't spend much more time in the hospital (I've been there for everything from hypoglycemia to hockey injuries!) Make sure your mom is there for you (at least during childhood) to look out for you, in case someone other than yourself or your own doctor tries to tell you how to handle your meals or insulin. She seems strong, and I'm sure she'll do that. And yeah, sometimes riding in an ambulance can be fun! (If you're in a state of mind to appreciate it).
I remember when I was diagnosed, I was just getting over a very contagious case of the chicken pox, so rather than be put in pediatrics, I had a room in the adult section of the hospital. The nurses loved me, since they rarely saw kids during the course of their work. I had so much fun playing with the motorized bed (moving my head and feet up and down) that I ended up breaking it, so they brought me a manual bed with a big hand-crank on it. Aahh, the things we remember! I was only 7, so I don't remember much about the actual diabetes part of it, but I sure know a lot now, I've learned so much about diabetes in the last 30+ years. And you'll learn a lot too. I'm convinced that people with diabetes are some of the smartest people in the world, because we have to be.
I wish you the best of luck and the best of health, Hannah. Be well.
Thankyou very much hearing other diagnoses storys is always great for me :)
Hannah, you are a brave, smart, and strong young lady. I was diagnosed at the age of 13, and I remember being so scared, but so glad my mother and family was there to support me!!! You also know that God WILL be with you ALL the way.Feel free to ask us anything here at Tudiabetes..This is a community of very caring people, and as another poster mentioned, there is a Type One teen Forum as well.
You ARE a gem!!!
Type One 44 years
Thanks! Yeah i was really happy i dident have to do it alone too :) I know. Thank you very much
Yeah I feel that way too im pretty much going through that to but I guess i shouldent be sneaking foods and ignoring everything. thank you this is very helpful. Sometimes i just feel like im the only one ON EARTH with type one and I have a question for you but i dont know if you will be able to answer it because im 13 but is it okay to cry everynight?? Everyones been saying its okay to cry, but "to this extent??" Is my question. Thankyou a bunch
Thank you for sharing your story Hannah! Sounds like you have been very brave about this.
Diabetes is not always easy and you will have tough days. Feel free to write to us when you do! We understand.
After I was diagnosed with diabetes (when I was 21 years old), I was determined not to let diabetes slow me down. I wanted to study in another country -- so I did! And now I am happily married and had a healthy baby boy a few months ago. So always remind yourself that you can do anything that you dream of with type 1 diabetes!! You just need to take good care of yourself.
If you have any questions, always feel free to ask! Hugs!!
Wow thats awesome! Thanks :)
My son is 13 years old now and was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when he was 10 years old. Thanks for sharing your story. May God Bless you and your family!
Hey, Hannah, just checking in - how's it going?
Thanks :) Pretty good, we STILL haven't gotten my doses right and there was a mix-up in the pharmacy so im actually getting the pen TOMORROW. Schools going great and im doing swell :) thanks- Hannah