Age : 40  Year Diagnosed: 1983  Location: Thousand Oaks, Ca

“An embarrassing story is when I was maybe in 1st grade and I was having a low BG. The school had to call my mother because I was trying to drink my milk carton using a pencil with the eraser in my mouth.

We all are living with this disease and it gets tiring and crazy at times. We feel like we are outsiders or just want to be like everyone else and be healthy and not have to test our blood or take insulin regularly. We get to the point of burnout. I want to tell you that burnout is normal but ask for help if and when you get to that point. I did not have family close by and thought I could handle it on my own. I was tired do living with diabetes after about 20 years. I stopped taking my insulin and kept eating  normal. After a week of this I starting vomiting and feeling really bad, but still chose to not take my insulin. I was determined to be normal. My roommate at the time bought Pedialyte because he thought I was dehydrated. I was drinking that. My parents and sister kept calling me and eventually called the paramedics from Northern California. By the time the paramedics had arrived I was in a coma. I remember nothing for the next day, but was told I was yelling and had to be strapped down by my wrists and ankles. I had a BG of 2,000 when I was admitted to the hospital and fluids had to be drained from my head. I am very lucky to be alive. Life is precious and everyone has a reason to be here. Please don’t let diabetes veer you off course of taking care of yourself.  Find a purpose to use your skills and knowledge to help others. We as a community can always use help from others whom can relate. 

My piece of advice is that we are always learning about diabetes and no one is an expert. I feel like I know a lot because of my 35 years living with it and still learn more on a daily basis from those that have lived through things I have not. Don’t pretend to ever be an expert and always listen to others”