I'm 23 and have had type 1 diabetes since I was ten years old. Going through puberty, I denied my diabetes and did not take care of myself very well. I had a really hard time accepting my disease and I didn't want to be different.
When I was 18, my dad moved to Spain with his wife and my insurance got canceled. I paid out of pocket for insulin, which was extremely expensive for me. So I would only take my insulin when I felt my blood sugar was high. I was hospitalized multiple times and treated for DKA. I tried to apply for state help but I was denied.
In 2021, I was having a lot of UTIs and went to the ER because of back pain. They found a cyst on each of my kidneys and a 14in tumor on my right kidney (the size of a softball). Right before my surgery, I was urged to change my routine drastically or else I couldnt have surgery. I took extreme care of my diabetes and a couple months later I had my surgery. My surgery was a success, but a day later I woke up and all of a sudden everything was blurry. I could no longer see the tv or read my computer or phone. My family's' faces were distorted unless they were up really close to me. I ended up having to sell my car, move back in with my parents, and quit my job. I went to the Wheaton Eye Clinic and they helped me out a lot. By that time, I got accepted by Medicaid and was accepted for social security benefit since I was declared legally blind. I recieved laser treatments and shots every couple of months now, and as long as I keep my diabetes under control, my eyes are okay. I can read large text and can live a pretty normal life. I dont know if Ill eventually lose my eyesight all together, but I try to keep positive.
Its still very hard at times to manage my diabetes, ive always been very brittle. Ive learned through this experience to not take your life or health for granted. Also, Ive learned that diabetes complications are very real. I used to go to diabetes camp when I was first diagnosed for about 6 summers. They informed us all about what could happen if we did not take care of ourselves but of course, as teenagers, we did not listen because we thought we were invincible. Or that "wont happen to me."
Im having a hard time moving on, its been a year since my surgery, but I feel like I need to talk with people who understand.
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