Age: 25 Year Diagnosed: 2016 Location: Los Angeles, Ca
"I was in Thailand for what was supposed to be a 2-month summer long vacation when I suddenly started feeling awful. I remember every day crossing my fingers as I woke up hoping I’d feel better when I got out of bed. But nope, it only got worse and worse. The thirst, the urination, the heavy breathing, and weakness. I remember hearing people next to me at one point, speaking in Hebrew about me- "Why is that girl breathing like that?". My friend was telling me I wasn’t being myself and I realized she was right, all I wanted to do was sleep.
Doctors there misdiagnosed me with “pelvic abdominal infection”, and cleared me to leave the hospital with some pills to take with me- no blood test, nothing. On my 9th day or so, my parents were worried about everything I’d been telling them I was feeling. They told me they heard in my voice that something was off. I sounded lethargic and aloof.
My dad booked me a flight home at that very second. I was SO confused. I had a 20 Kilo travel backpack with me and had never felt so weak. I had no clue how to get from this tiny Island, to another tiny Island, to Bangkok, to a layover in Tokyo, and finally back to Los Angeles. Oh and did I mention I was completely alone for all of this? I remember being too weak to carry my small purse at this point, or even my phone. I was wheel-chaired around the airport in Bangkok and Tokyo.
During my layover in Tokyo I realized I hadn’t eaten in over 48 hours. I remember thinking that I’ll die if I don’t eat soon and that the only thing i could tolerate was orange soda. So I chugged that which I later realized was the worst possible thing I could’ve done! Yay me! When I finally got back on the plane for the final stop (Los Angeles), the symptoms got significantly worse. I had a 12 hour flight ahead of me and literally felt like I couldn’t breath, couldn't stand up, and could hardly move.
I remember the flight attendants giving me the oxygen tank and telling me to breath it in "slowly", because I was breathing so rapidly? Makes no sense in retrospect because I was in fact producing too much oxygen.
The last thing I remember on this flight was being in excruciating pain. Every muscle in my body was aching. I was moaning in an effort to fall asleep. When I finally “fell asleep” there were about 4 hours left on the flight which I don't remember whatsoever. I then apparently went in a coma. Other than the small flash back on the ambulance, the next thing i remember is waking up in the ICU at the hospital in DKA and left the hospital as a Type 1. I am SO grateful and lucky to be alive!"