Gretchen

 
 

Age: 25  Year Diagnosed: 2014  Location: Newport Beach, CA

"In the summer of 2014, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on a cruise ship while traveling across Europe when I was 23 years old. I started to feel sick when I was traveling alone in New York and Spain, but then when I boarded my cruise ship, a few days later, I decided to see the nurse because I was VERY sick. The cruise doctor (who spoke broken English) took my blood sugar and there I was diagnosed with T1D. I was then stuck in the ICU for 3 days where I needed to be taken out of DKA. I couldn't fly home because I was too unstable to fly because I need my IVs and to be taken out of DKA. After 3 days, I was released and given a slight overview of what I needed to do with my new life as a T1D. I was scared and depressed. I got my first glucose meter and insulin supplies in Italy where all of the directions to use my meter were in Italian so I had no idea how to work it. I had to go internet cafes to go online to look up how to use my meter and how to take my shots. I decided that since I have already traveled this far to Italy, I wanted to continue my trip and see the rest of the countries that I have been dying to see. With my determination, I became obsessed with T1D and researching as much as I possibly could about it. Since my doctor couldn't tell me that much about it, the internet was my doctor. I learned everything from reading about other blogs, medical forums, googling everything. I learned what the disease was, I learned what insulin does, I learned about lows and highs, I learned the life threatening things that can happen with T1D. With my growing knowledge, I decided I would do my best with this new disease and see the rest of the world! And I did. A month after my diagnoses, I was still traveling the world, seeing places that I have always dreamed of. Type 1 Diabetes didn't stop me from doing what I wanted to do. It was a huge obstacle to overcome and deal with (especially as a newly diagnosed T1D), but I couldn't let it stop me! It is all about your outlook and the power of positivity and determination! 

The most embarrassing and most horrific thing to happen to be regarding my diabetes was definitely the time where, a few weeks before my diagnosis, I was starting to get really sick with all the Type 1 Diabetes symptoms. I remember I was traveling alone in New York City (before heading out to Europe where I was officially diagnosed a few weeks later) and I wanted to go see a movie. I took the subway to a Midtown crowded movie theatre. I was standing in a long line to purchase my ticket and all of the sudden I urgently had to go to the bathroom! I stepped out of the long line to go in search of a bathroom. I was circling the ticket floor and I couldn't find a bathroom anywhere! I learned that all the bathrooms are on the movie screen floors, of which no one can get to until you have your ticket. So I got back in line pacing back and forth to wait to get my ticket, BUT with T1D symptoms, there is no way to hold in that pee. So at age 23 years old, I stood right there in a New York City movie ticket line and peed in my pants. I was so horrified. I started to cry. I took out a napkin that I had in my purse to clean up the mess the best I could. Then I took my sweatshirt and tied it around my waste so no one could see the wet trails down my leg. I was so scared and mortified, but I finally got my ticket, went up the the movie screen floor level, finally went to the bathroom to clean up more the best I could. I sat in a dark movie theater and let the movie take away my worries and allowed me to escape into the movie fantasy. I was happy to sit there in a dark room with my popcorn and water bottle (because I was so thirsty all the time) and just forget about what had just happened. "