Age: 40   Year Diagnosed: 2011    Location: Dallas, Tx

"This goes for people even in the medical field: type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed at any age. I was diagnosed as type 2 in the emergency room by a PA because I was "too old to have type 1 diabetes." I was sent home to eat lunch with a prescription for Metformin and no information. I went to my primary care doctor that day because my symptoms were just too severe to by type 2. Type 1 is rare, but the consequences for a misdiagnosis can be dire.

When I was 34, I was dating someone with type one diabetes. I was also working out and skating in competitive roller derby. Over the course of about 3 months, I exhibited all the classic symptoms for a diabetes diagnosis: crazy fatigue, weight loss, thirst, constant hunger, terrible moods, and my eyesight was going very very blurry. I even went to get my eyes checked three days before diagnosis because I simply couldn't see WITH my glasses on. I chalked up all my symptoms to training for roller derby, except the eyesight part. Finally, my partner noticed my crazy thirst, and decided to test my blood on her meter. "huh," she said, "I've never seen this before." My bg was too high to read on the meter, which meant it was over 600. We were both in such shock and denial, that we actually decided to go to bed and test it again in the morning. If it was still high, we would go to the emergency room. Needless to say, it was still high. Thus began my t1d adventure, with my partner at the time who is also t1d. She taught me how to give myself my first shot, and how to track everything. She was a fantastic support during that time. We're no longer together, but I owe her my life.

The biggest thing I've come to learn is that diabetes can just be crazy, and it can have nothing to do with what you've done. You can eat the very same thing at the very some time under the same conditions while taking the same amount of insulin, and have a different outcome on different days. I used to beat myself up for eating a certain thing, or not remembering to take the insulin for that banana, and then I realized that no matter how "perfect" I think I'm being, diabetes is going to zig when I zag. And it's okay. Getting through a difficult day with diabetes is the win sometimes. Be gentle with yourself."