Hi, my name is Brian and I am 16 years old. I live in Michigan and I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on July 1, 1999. This was a big surprise to me as I had never heard of diabetes. I was supposed to be playing in a baseball tournament that weekend but instead of playing baseball, I spent the time in the hospital.
I liked the hospital bed, and the TV, but I was pretty surprised about what I had facing me. So quickly I went to needing all the needles and shots, I was really angry. My mom had made me the doctor's appointment that started all this because I was drinking so much and going to the bathroom all the time. I couldn't make it through one inning in baseball without having to go so bad I could hardly think about the game. I tried to tell my Mom that I was only drinking a lot because it was so hot out, but she said I had to go to the doctor. I hated getting shots and she told me they might want to take my blood. Here I was afraid of getting just one blood test and now I test at least 6 times every day - how life changes.
Even though this was all very new to me and to my parents and family (I have two big sisters age 21 and 26) I think we adjusted pretty well. I guess there just wasn't too much time to feel sorry for myself or anything. I started with just two shots a day, but within a year was on three shots, and sometimes 4. I have always tested 4 - 7 times every day. As of March 1st 2001 I am using the insulin pump. I first used the MM508 and now have the MM715. The pump is not a cure (which is what I would really like) but it has made a lot of things so much easier. I can sleep in on the weekends! I can stay up late with my friends and have late night snacks! There are even times when I am playing with my friends that I just skip a meal - especially lunch on the weekends, and that's OK too. I don't have to stop what I am doing to have a snack or a meal - I eat what I want when I want. I am very good at figuring out my carb counts so I do a good job of "bolusing" for my meals. I only have to change where my pump is attached every 3 - 3 1/2 days, so I get a lot fewer shots. I check my blood more often, but I don't think blood checks are a very big deal. Most important is that my A1c is improving and I am in good health.
As far as my life away from diabetes - its a pretty normal 16 year olds life. I am in the 11th grade in high school. I play for a travel baseball team in the spring and summer. This past summer my team won the prestigious Indiana Bulls U15 tournament - it was great. I also play on my high Schools varsity baseball team. As a sophomore I was pretty happy to be named to the All-County Team. During baseball season I combine the use of my pump with a daily shot of Lantus. This is called the un-tethered regimen and makes it much easier to disconnect my pump for extended periods. I don't like to wear my pump when I play baseball. Being on the pump has made it easier on this very busy schedule.
You can reach me via email at brianrobinson25 AT wowway.com.
Published October 11, 2000
Updated October 16, 2005
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