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.

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So, you decided to use the pen. I think that was a good decision ;) It can take quite a bit of time to get doses correct. Of course, once you do, everything will eventually change. You'll get there Hannah, I suspect that you can do whatever you set your mind to.


Welcome, Hannah. It's good to read your story. I'm so very glad for you that you have such a warm, supportive family. It sounds like you feel you can trust the people in your life to help you learn how to manage your diabetes and be safe. That is a wonderful thing.

I've only been diagnosed for about two months and I'm waiting to find out whether I'm a Type 1 or a Type 2. I think I'm a T1/LADA, which is Type 1 that happens in adulthood. I'm 53 years old.

Whenever someone finds out they have diabetes, it's a big shock, for sure. So many things to learn, decisions and changes to make--it's dizzying! But I'm doing it, and I know I'm doing a good job because my BG numbers have already come down a lot in two months. I'm sure you'll get your BG stable and your insulin doses worked out soon.

You asked, awhile back, if it was okay to cry every night. I want to say, absolutely! If you feel sad and want to cry, do it. Don't keep your emotions bottled up inside too much because, sometimes when we do that, we start to get confused about what we really feel. Then it's harder to know what we truly need or how to ask for it. I think that all of us go through some mourning because our lives have suddenly had to change. We weren't consulted about whether this is a good time to get diabetes, or whether we feel up to learning everything we need to know, now. No one likes to feel that they're "different" from other people around them, but we weren't consulted about that, either.

You may want to tell friends and others that you're feeling good, doing okay, and things like that, most of the time. That's perfectly okay. Just make sure that you have some people that you talk to about how you really feel, especially when you're having a hard time. What you feel matters a lot! And if even just a couple of people understand what's on your mind and heart, you may find that it's easier for you to manage, too. Knowing that our closest friends and family understand us and believe in us is important for everyone in the world. When we're managing a chronic disease like diabetes, it's even more important not to feel like we're alone.

Thank you for joining TuDiabetes and for sharing your story with us. I can tell that you're a strong, determined, thoughtful and smart girl. You'll do well. Sometimes it will be hard. Sometimes it will be easy. The community here will be with you all the time.


Thankyou very much. i have been struggleing with depression for a while now

Wow,Hannah I have a daughter,whose name is also Hannah and she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on November 13,2011!! My Hannah's story is much like yours with the frequency of using the bathroom at night,when I was in close proximity of her I could smell something sweet,but not the kind of good smelling sweet,quite the opposite,actually. This went on for about a month. I had mentioned this to my husband,Hannah's dad,who just so happened to have been a paramedic for 20yrs,prior to a career change and he just told me to relax,stop being so paranoid, She is healthy,active and I was the one being a little too much in thinking it could possibly be related to diabetes. Sadly though it was. Much like yourself in the hospital,we ended up at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia(CHOP). Hannah went into the hospital with a BG of 760. I was beyond scared,but also extremely sad for her too. Sad because this is something that is so unbelievably overwhelming I wasn't sure of how I could even begin to try and make this ok. Hannah is now 9yrs old and obviously this is going to be a life long journey. Thank you for sharing your story with this group. I too am very new to this group and am learning how to navigate through. I am truly looking forward to sharing your story with my Hannah when she gets home from school. You are a true inspiration Hannah!

thankyou. i wouls like to meet your daughter.

WOW! What a great story. You are such a great kid and I am proud of you to learn so much in such a short time. Keep taking great care of yourself! Best of luck!!!

Thankyou :)
Wow! I would LOVE to meet her

Hi Hannah!

I know you shared your story a few months ago, but I just wanted to let you know how great it was!

I was diagnosed just like you when I was 9. Now I'm 26 and my diabetes is 17 years old. There have been so many new ways to handle it since I was diagnosed... new types of insulin, insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems.

Keep your head up :)





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