Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Life with Diabetes - Juliann

Week four in our Life with Diabetes series. Only 17 days until the walk to Cure Diabetes!

Today we introduce to you, Juliann.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 10 years ago, the day after Christmas - a day I remember vividly. I was 10 years old and had spent the past week on vacation in Colorado with my family. I should have been an energetic 10 year old having the time of my life, but instead I spent most of the vacation feeling sick (chills, exhaustion, confusion) and ended up sleeping more than I ever had - 10 hours per night, plus several 2-3 hour naps throughout the day. I can still remember putting on a pair of pants that had not long ago, fit me perfectly, but were now so big I was swimming in them - I had lost a TON of weight. I was scared to say how ill I felt and how scared I was. My dad also has Type 1 Diabetes, so as soon as we got home, my parents tested my blood sugar and it was really high - the rest is a blur. 

I honestly don't remember life before diabetes because I was so young, but I know my elementary school friends recall going on trips to the library with me to test my blood sugar throughout the day and have snacks with me. Every day since my diagnosis, has been full of blood testing and shots. On average I test five times a day and take five insulin injections per day. 

Diabetes is a huge part of my life and is constantly on my mind. Every single thing I eat, drink, or do affects my blood sugars. When I get low, I feel shaky, light headed, hot and tired. When I am high, I feel nauseous, exhausted and completely out of it. When my blood sugars are off, so is my mood and my patience. Luckily I am married to a nurse, so he understands for the most part! 

It's not easy. It is a constant challenge. It is a part of me and I am lucky to have amazing people in my life that have helped me take better care of myself. Being at the age and stage in my life when everyone wants to talk about children, it changes that for me too. Before we have kids, my blood sugars will need to be in much better control. I will have to be prepared for all of the complications that come along with being Type 1 Diabetic and pregnant. It's a lot to think about!

I have always wanted to be involved with JDRF, and finally made the connection in Minneapolis last fall (thanks Lauren!) and am now happily part of the Young Leadership Committee. It is fun and inspiring to be surrounded by so many people who understand and are dealing with similar situations.  Join myself, along with the YLC team in participating in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes on Saturday, February 23rd - my first walk! 

Thank you for your support! xo

If you wold like to make a donation to support Juliann's walk team, please click here.

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