I remember when I was eight years old, I had been home sick from school for about a week when my mom had decided to bring me to the doctors because I wasn’t getting any better. A couple days before she brought me, I had told my dad that I wished we lived in a one story house because it was really tiring to go up the stairs. He thought I was just being lazy. The day before my mom brought me to the doctors, I told her the same thing and she thought I had walking pneumonia. We got to the doctors and he asked a lot of questions and ran a test and came back to us and told us I had Type 1 Diabetes. I remember my mom asking if it was fatal and I had no idea what that meant. The doctor said something along the lines of, “It can be if you don’t treat it right.” My mom immediately started bawling her eyes out while I sat there with a smile on my face. The dr had given us some time alone in the room and my mom had called my dad to come meet us at the doctors office. I remember she called my dad while crying and said something along the lines of, “Tom, it’s an emergency you need to get to the doctors office now.” and he came right after they got off the phone. After he arrived, the dr explained to both my parents in more detail about what was going on and he said that we needed to go to a hospital in the next state over (Alabama) and pack enough clothes for about a week. He said when we arrived there we had to go to the ER and tell them I have Type 1 Diabetes and needed immediate medical attention. He also specifically said not to tell them I had just been diagnosed.
After what seemed like forever, I was finally called to be seen. They took me down to the room I was assigned and started an IV drip of saline. The nurses didn’t put it in right so it hurt a lot. After being in the ER for about 2-3 hours, I was transferred to the ICU. The dr at the ER said I would most likely be in the ICU for about a week but I was only there for one day because my body bounced back so quickly. They also said if I would have waited a day or two longer to go to the doctor, I would have died. The rest of the week I was in a normal hospital room and had nurses coming to check my blood sugar every hour. It was exhausting. I remember turning on the TV at one point while my dad was in the shower and Jaws came on. My mom let me watch it and by the time my dad came out of the shower, I had been watching it for about 15 minutes. He told me to turn it off because it was a “scary movie” and I told him he was crazy and it wasn’t scary at all. My mom kept screaming throughout the movie which I thought was really funny.
After a week of being in the hospital, my brother who was back home staying with a friend got sick. He had pneumonia. Because of that, the doctor discharged me early so we could go home and take care of my brother. I was healthy enough to go home but she wanted to keep us for a few more days to teach us about my diabetes. When I finally got to go back to school, I had been out for about a month. Maybe longer.
To the people who are reading this, make sure you never ignore the symptoms presenting. You may end up with a life threatening autoimmune disease.