Age: 41  Year Diagnosed: 2013  Location: Los Angeles

"I was at a neighborhood bar and walked into the restroom to inject and a woman, standing at the hand washing sink, was watching me through the reflection in the mirror. She proceeded to say to me, “wow, you have no shame.” I just stared at her and said, “no, I don’t.” When I was back at my seat, I noticed she kept looking at me and I began to wonder if she really thought I was getting high and was waiting for me to behave a certain way. I did consider acting erratically just to trip her out but I was too busy enjoying my cocktail! Needless to say, I no longer go to the bathroom to inject. I do it, shamelessly, anywhere!

A common misconception I wish I could change is that type 1 diabetes is not only developed in infancy/childhood. Many adults develop type 1 but are misdiagnosed as type 2 as was my case and as was my brother's case. My brother was diagnosed with type 2 in his 20s because he was overweight and had an unhealthy diet so the doctors assumed it was type 2. He was unable to maintain control of the disease because he was being treated for the wrong disease and in the long run, he was damaging his vital organs. It wasn't until about 10 years after his initial diagnosis when he met a knowledgeable endocrinologist that retested him and the results concluded he was indeed type 1, proper treatment followed. Whenever I hear misconceptions of diabetes, I take it as an opportunity to educate others.

In April of 2013, I was religiously attending Zumba classes in hopes of losing weight for my 20th high school reunion. By May, I had lost a significant amount of weight, which was wonderful, but I had also developed an insatiable thirst and my frequent urination was alarming but I associated it all with Zumba. Of course I was losing weight, I was dancing my butt off! Of course I was thirsty, I was dehydrated from Zumba! Of course I was urinating so much, I was drinking a lot of water! By June, my vision got blurry and I just assumed it was because I was pushing 40 so I purchased my very first pair of prescription glasses.

By July, I was sick, I was tired, I was sick and tired of being thirsty, sick and tired of my frequent urination, and sick and tired of losing weight so fast that my clothes no longer fit. I knew I had diabetes, I knew the symptoms all too well. My grandmother died of complications of type 2, my mom and brother have diabetes but I was just in denial. On July 5, 2013, I checked my fasting blood glucose with my mom's meter and my sugar read 275 and I was devastated. That Monday, my doctor diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes and sent me home with a prescription of Metformin that never worked and I began to have panic attacks. By mid-week, my doctor called me to inform me that I had been misdiagnosed. I had tested positive for antibodies and my c-peptide was low, I was type 1 diabetic and I needed to go into the nurses station for insulin and so my multiple daily injections began."