Hi my name is Jenny. I'm 16 years old and I live in California. I was diagnosed with diabetes in July 2004. I had come back from a trip to my friend's house in Missouri and had felt sick the whole trip -- thirsty, tired, out of breath, and weak. When I got home I felt fine though. I went to soccer practice with my team where I had the nickname of the "Ball of Energy" since I always had energy. A week later I went to my doctor for my annual physical. During the routine urine test she found off the chart ketones. They decided to test my blood sugar and it read HI. I had no idea what any of this meant. I just thought I wouldn't be able to have sugar. That made me really upset. I was supposed to go to soccer practice after the doctor. I was even wearing my soccer clothes. When they said I had to go to the hospital I asked if I could go to soccer and then the hospital since they are off the same freeway exit. Sounded simple at the time. They told us to pack an overnight back and head to Children's Hospital. I drank a gallon of water on the 10 minute drive home. All I kept thinking was "Why Me?" When we got to the hospital we found that my blood sugar was 695 after not having eating for about 5 hours. All the nurses were amazed at how healthy I looked, still wearing my soccer clothes too. They then began the long process of trying to get an IV into my arm. It took them 6 tries and 7 hours to get an IV in. My veins kept collapsing. Finally some guy in the surgery area was able to get the IV in. I swear he had just stepped out of Pirates of the Carribbean. Even the people who put IVs in people who are airlifted and are unconscious couldn't get the IV into me. So we finally get the IV in and I go to sleep. Around 3am I got a rude awakening when it turns out the endocrinologist wanted to give me insulin. Then around 7am they woke us up to meet various people in the hospital. They also took out the IV. The IV that was for nothing. They never even used it. They had to draw blood the regular way and I didn't need anything through the IV so it was all for nothing. The next few days was all about learningm and having fun in the hospital, if that's possible. My dad and I snuck into the cafetieria to exchange my bad chicken for the cafeteria chicken. I also got onto the internet while my dad distracted the hospital staff. We had a rude nurse who told me I could never go to the beach barefoot again so we decided to ignore her and went outside and played some music. Finally, 5 days later, after doing the whole "give a shot to an orange and then try it on yourself" deal, we took a "diabetes test," passed it, and went home.
I was on NPH, Humalog, and Lantus and I HATED the diet restrictions and the schedule. So I researched the pump and talked to my doctor about it. We did the work and I started the Cozmo pump in September 2004. I have been through 7 Cozmo pumps in 10 months. I don't know why they keep breaking. The pump was great at first -- eating whatever and whenever. The only problem is in early July I developed an allergy to something in my pump site. 6 weeks, 3 nurses, and 2 doctors later and we still haven't figured out how to fix this problem. It is the most horrible itching ever! If you're thinking about a pump though, it's not going to happen to you. My diabetes educator says she only knows one other person with this allergy -- it's very rare.
When I first got diabetes I didn't want ANYONE to know. The first two weeks I had the pump I spent so much energy finding ways to hide it. It'd wear sweatshirts to cover it -- in 90 degree heat -- and I was just sooo conscious of it. I also would go to the bathroom to test my blood sugar. Then I was talking to a teacher at my school who also has diabetes and a pump. He is so open and cool with it and seems much more at ease. He would test while teaching a lesson and think nothing of it. At that moment I thought, this is dumb, nobody cares, so I took off my sweatshirt and that was the end of my "pump hiding days." That day, two of my friends asked me what my pump was. Until they asked, only two of my friends knew I had diabetes. I explained my pump to both of them. Then in class my teacher asked me what it was. I explained it to him. Everyone listened to my explaination and then replyed with "cool" or "that's interesting." I also started testing wherever I felt like it. I think my mom sometimes doesn't agree with the way I go about testing. Like once I did it while walking to a ride at an amusment park -- in the dark. And once while I was in the pool. But I totally don't worry about it. If someone asks I tell them what they want to know. However, I don't walk up and say "Hi, I'm Jenny, and I'm diabetic...now what's your name?" because that's just not me. I also had heard about diabetes camps and support groups while I was in the hospital. I thought they sounded lame and wanted nothing to do with them. Then in December 2004 I gave in and went to a JDRF Teen support group. I loved it. It felt great to complain to people who actually understood. Now I go every month. I also went to a diabetes surf camp...that was a blast!! I now try to go to all PADRE and JDRF events that I can because I always have lots of fun. The one thing I hate is that people have all these misconceptions about diabetes. They think they know what it is just because their friend's neighbor's grandma has it. I think type 1 and type 2 should have totally different names because all too often people totally confuse them. They try to tell me what I can and cannot eat. At my friend's party her mom wouldn't give me a cupcake even thought I'm 16 years old!! She didn't think I could have it. I also had a friend ask how I was able to play basketball if I was sick. I'm like, the same way you play basketball. Most people think it's all about sugar, which is what I thought 13 months ago. I try to teach them but sometimes it goes in one ear and out the other. Also, sometimes whacky blood sugars can really get you. I've had several 30s and just last night my blood sugar was 25 -- pretty scary ! I also have days where I am HI and just can't get it down. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
I am so thankful for this website. I have gotten so much helpful advice. My friend Danny who I met on here was the first person I talked to from CWD. I think talking to someone who know's what you're going through really helps. I would never complain about diabetes to my friends because they have no idea what it is and I would just sound like a baby. I encourage anyone to talk to me. I don't mind if you're 6 years old, 16 years old, or the mom of a 6 year old! My email address is
playfromyourheart AT earthlink.netand my AOL Instant Messenger screen name is BeneathThatCaSun. So just talk to me and I promise I'll write back!
Oh yea, I almost forgot. I do have something to say besides my diabetes story. I play club soccer and basketball. I like rock climbing, boogie-boarding, surfing, roller blading, swimming, mountain biking, and tennis. I love listening to music like switchfoot, the killers, green day, and the ataris. My favorite color is pink. I love traveling and have been to 40 US states, 4 Canadian provinces, Mexico, and England. I love taking photos and looking at photos and I'm a total roller coaster geek. I love being outdoors and hot weather. I also like building webpages and editing pictures. Hope to talk to you soon!!
Me and some friends at school...I'm the one in the middle with green
This is me climbing a rock in the Badlands in South Dakota
Published August 14, 2005
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