Diabetes is...
a part of me

On December 11, 1995, I found out I have a disease called diabetes. I was 4 1/2 years old and was ALWAYS thirsty and going to the bathroom.
Here is a picture of me (and TJ, my brother) at Joe DiMaggio's Children Hospital in Hollywood, Florida, where we all learned about diabetes. My blood sugar was 554. We learned that that was TOO high (for people without diabetes, a blood sugar reading is usually a little less or a little more than 100).
My pancreas doesn't make insulin, so my body can't use the food I eat the way it should. To get insulin in my body I take shots EVERY day. To know how much insulin I need, I have to check my blood sugar (by putting a drop of blood on a test strip).
Since then I have checked my blood sugar 6 times EVERY day (that's almost 25,000 times!) and I give myself shots of insulin at least three times EVERY day (more than 12,000 shots already, and I'm fifteen years old!). There are MORE tests and shots when on days that I am sick.

It is a disease that cannot be ignored for even one day.

A scary part of having diabetes is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). I feel shaky, my heart races, and I can't concentrate. It happens if I haven't eaten enough, forgot that it's time to eat, or had too much insulin. Four ounces of orange juice is usually all it takes to make me feel better.

For me, the hardest part about having diabetes is not being able to eat whenever I want. I eat 5 times every day. Sometimes I eat a late breakfast or have an afternoon party to go to. That means an extra shot. To keep my numbers where they should be, it is best to eat on schedule.
Here is the meal plan and insulin doses I use right now. We keep it on the refrigerator. My doctor figured out how much insulin, and the dietician how many carbohydrates (and protein and fat) I need to grow. It changes a few times a year. Nutrition labels make it easy to count the carbs. As long as I follow that, most of my blood sugar readings are between 70-160.

BUT, I CAN eat sugar and candy. And that is a good thing, because I love Halloween! Years ago when people had diabetes, they were told they couldn't eat sugar. Scientists have learned that as long as a person with diabetes counts carbohydrates (sugar in food) and eats as much as told (by a dietician), ANY food can be eaten :-)

Exercise is good for me, but I ALWAYS need to check my blood sugar before I start. If the reading is below 150, I have to have a snack so that my blood sugar does not drop. If the reading is above 250, I am not supposed to exercise.

To read about me MEETING the scientists in Miami trying to find a CURE for diabetes go to WHAT'S UP DOC?

Insulin is NOT a cure. Click the to learn about it and why people with diabetes NEED a CURE!

You can't tell if a person has diabetes just by looking at them. Olympic GOLD medalist, swimmer, Gary Hall Jr., has it, and so do many other famous people you might know.

Not everyone who has diabetes, gets insulin with shots. Some people, like Miss America 1999, Nicole Johnson, use an insulin pump


There IS more to me than diabetes.

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click on the computers and write me!


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