What was your first thought when you got diagnosed?
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Ladies and Gents, I know things are hard with this condition, and more often than not…it does not come alone.
My name is Sarah Marie. I am currently 22 out of Texas. I am a firefighter for my local departments and have been all my life until I was legally able to become a member at 16 under the junior program. I am the last of 5 kids, with a half-sister and 3 full siblings…at least that I know of. With that being said I am an Aunt to 12 glorious nieces and nephews.
I was a normal child when I turned 16 in 2011. Nothing was really all that strange. Hadn’t ever had a period but that was it, and all my labs were fine, beautiful actually.
That was February. In September after my mother worked a 12-hour shift in the great big city an hour away, I was taken to the ER. Mom thought the pain and vomiting and lack of appetite when she came home that night was from appendicitis….no one, not even the school nurse put two and two together with the weight loss, pain, vision changes, frequently urinating, moodiness.
Why would they? I was 16. Never been sick before. No family history and in a BAD relationship. Plus it’s Texas…in August and September if you aren’t chugging water and peeing a bunch when outside all the time you’re kinda dense. I digress…ER one was packed. 3-hour wait! So we flew across town where they got me to triage immediately. 114 pounds, 5 foot 8 and looking grey like I was about to die.
Flash forward a couple hours. Labs come back and the nurse breaks the news at just before 1 am..” well her CT was clean but…her sugar is 607. She’s a diabetic” pats mom on the back tells us the doc is coming and then leaves. Me, half asleep and loaded on morphine, I’m surprised I remember but I think my mother’s world shattered. I then spent 4 days in the Children’s Medical Center and came home a bright shiny new type 1.
The first in the recorded family history. Since then I have battled doctors and hospitals against the “you’re not being compliant” and “no something is seriously going on” arguments. And guess who wins every time. Yup!..this girl!
I have been Diagnosed with the following:
- Diabetes T1
- autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1
- Ovarian cysts
- Chronic Pancreatitis
- DVTs (3 radial vein) (2014-2015) (undetermined cause)
- Colitis (diagnosed once at hunt regional)
- Hepatic glycogenosis
- Endometriosis (before I had my hysterectomy last year on my 22nd birthday)
And more that I know I have but can’t recall. And in a few weeks, I go to a specialist about a lung mass that looks less and less likely to be benign the more they dig into my medical history but hey! Fingers crossed!
Ladies and gentlemen, I have almost died multiple times. I hold a record at UT for lowest PH, bicarbonate, and CO2 EVER recorded in a coherent patient who is still Alert and oriented. Students were coming to me ER room because they didn’t believe the doctor or the labs that it was physically possible! And I believe that is the case as well with the local smaller hospitals.
The battle is hard, it’s dangerous, it’s exhausting….but I’m going to ask y’all this. If myself, a tiny, 22-year-old girl can live every day to the fullest and not be brought down by all that… Why can’t you? It doesn’t have to be the end of the world….but let it be the start of the new world, the stronger world, a potentially if you do it right..a healthier world.
You are more beautiful and strong than 90% of the world’s population. What is a worse adversary than yourself and I don’t mean mentally (not excluding that category just meaning it in a different light.) You fight for your life every day. You fight. You live on. Even on your worse day remember. …
Today is done. But tomorrow the sun will rise, and bring with it a new start. Like the snows of yesterday wiped clean from the earth.