Emily was excited, but a little nervous to be at church camp. This was her first time going to this camp, and here, they roomed by age group, not church group. As the days went by, Emily cheered up; the other 14 year old girls in her cabin were really nice and a lot of fun, and the church was more than amazing.
Emily also began to get sick. Instead of spending the last day of camp with her new friends, Emily spent it in the dorm, asleep.
She slept the entire way home from Missouri, a good 15 hours, still sick with a fever.
When Emily got home, there was no time for recovery, as she had to get in her mom's car and go to Florida for a big family vacation at Disney World! Everyone was going, her mom, dad, brother, aunt, uncle, 2 cousins, and grandma. At least her mom had been able to get the doctor to call in an antibiotic for her to take.
Emily slept the entire way to Disney World, a 17 hour trip.
Upon arrival at Disney World, everyone burst out of the vehicles with excitement, even though it was nighttime. The next day, Emily and her family went to the parks, ready to begin their vacation. Emily was feeling a little better, she thought, and was having a good time, until the afternoon. About 3 o'clock, she got too tired, and went with her grandma back to the hotel. She slept 15 hours and didn't get up 'til the next morning.
This continued for the next 3 days.
Finally, Emily felt better, and was able to enjoy the rest of the trip.
When Emily arrived home, everything seemed normal. Until August. Starting then, she stopped all physical development, and began to lose weight. She came home from school and took a nap, ate supper, and went straight to bed. She drank a lot too. Her mom was worried at first, but justified the behavior because Emily was a high school freshman, and in marching band.
What her mom didn't realize was that Emily was so thirsty that she couldn't satiate it. She would drink 5-6 glasses of water per night. At school, she filled her water bottle and went to the restroom between every class, and by the middle of the next class, her water was gone, and she started feeling desperate. Staying awake during class was a chore. To this day, she remembers very little of what went on during Biology class, the period of time when it was the hardest to keep her eyes open (Note: probably around the time my breakfast was breaking down). When she marched, her feet would draw up inside her shoes, but by the time she got home, it was already forgotten.
But, based on what she could see, her mom got worried.
In January, Emily's mom took her to the doctor. The doctor placated her mom, and told her that there was nothing to be concerned about.
In February, Emily's mom took her back. The doctor said they'd run some tests for anemia, thyroid, and such. Her mom asked them to test for diabetes, too, although she hoped beyond hope that it wouldn't be that.
On February 7, 2007, the results came back. Her a1c was 18.0.
After a hard trip on the bus, trying to keep her eyes open, Emily walked in the door. Her mom told her that she had diabetes. Emily fell on her mom's bed, in shock. Really, diabetes? Her? This couldn't be possible, could it? Her mom hugged her, assuring her that it was going to be okay, and that they would do whatever they had to do to make her healthy.
The duo went to the doctor's office to have a fingerstick test done. 372 mg/dL. Moderate ketones*.
The doctor said to see an endocrinologist within the next 2 weeks or so.
Emily's mom decided it was time to call the pediatrician downtown. The pediatrician said, "Go to Texas Children's. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200. Just go." They did run home and grab some clothes, first, knowing that they would at least be there overnight.
That night, Emily was given her first insulin shot.
And she told her mom that she would be okay.
The next 3 days, they waited, took classes, and learned how to give shots. Emily was nervous, but once she found out that this was NYGD (Not Your Grandma's Diabetes), she began to feel better. She could still eat the things she loved, there just were some times that it wouldn't always be a good idea. She would have to deal with high and low blood sugars. She would have to give shots several times a day.
But she would be okay.
And okay she is still.
*An a1c of 18 does not usually correlate to moderate and small ketones, but that is all I ever ran. I have run large ketones once since dx, and have only run ketones at all a handful of times. I'm just one of the very blessed to not easily run ketones.