It was Christmas eve, 1981. An evening that is usually spent celebrating with family and friends. But this year was different. Little 5 year old me was drinking and peeing a lot. Enough for my parents to take notice and be concerned. Back then there were no BG meters available for home use so the way to test one’s BG was via urine strips. Since my father was a type 1 diabetic himself, we had those in the house. They tested me using those strips and the result was very dark. Dark meaning there was sugar in my urine. My father called his own endocrinologist and he recommended that my parents take me to the hospital and so we went, leaving my poor twin sister with family on Christmas eve. It was confirmed once at the hospital that my BG was elevated – I believe around 300 mg/dL or so and I was admitted. I was in the hospital for about 2 weeks, spending time at two different hospitals. I transferred to another after my parents picked a pediatric endo for me to be under the care of. I was very fortunate in that I didn’t go undiagnosed for long at all. I wasn’t even sick yet. My parents knew the symptoms well and recognized them very quickly.
That was it. My life as a diabetic began. And I don’t remember what that life changing event felt like. I really only remember life with diabetes.
Please note that much of this is not based on my own recollection but that of my mother and father’s over the years.