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I Chose Life!

I chose Life!
I chose Life!

Yes, I have type I diabetes and am an Advocate for the American Diabetes Association.

Four years ago, two weeks before Christmas, I was hospitalized. Initially the Doctors did not know what was wrong with me. I had lost over thirty-five pounds in two weeks and though I didn't fully realize it at that time, I was near death. When I arrived at the hospital I had no idea how much my life was going to change.

There I was, lying in my hospital bed thinking that I just have a stomach virus and that everything would be okay, that I would be cured by the Doctors and walk out the door to continue my "normal" life. With a knock on my door at 4:00 a.m., all that changed, I was diabetic. Unfortunately for me, I had no idea what Diabetes was nor did I know how to take care of myself. After the Doctor advised me of the diagnosis, I was rushed to CCU (Critical Care Unit) and immediately hooked up to numerous IV's and a Heart monitor. I had an Endocrinologist, Gastroenterologist, Cardiologist and my Medical Doctor by my side telling me how lucky I am to be alive and how someone was watching over me (I like to think that my Grandparents were my Guardian Angels).

After several days and my blood sugar down to high 300's and mid 400's(Normal is 80-120), I was released from CCU and placed in a regular room. My IV's were removed and the fun part began with the lessons of how to stick myself with a needle (For all of you whom do not know I was terrified of needles). I was released from the hospital three days before Christmas. As my doctor said, "The greatest gift has been given to you and your family by celebrating Christmas together and not a funeral."

After being released from the hospital my brother and sister-in-law (who is a nurse) opened up their home to me. My sister-in-law gave me her time, took care of me, nursed me back to health and taught me how to live with Diabetes. I stayed with them just after Christmas knowing that I was able to start my disease and my "new" life on my own.

Now four years later I celebrate my life with my loving husband and my beautiful 19-month-old son. I continue to live my life with Diabetes; Yes, Diabetes and life, though a constant struggle, is very real and very possible.

So I believe and say I was given the gift of life! A thought made very real to me each of the four times a day I have to stick myself with the needle which I fear. And it is made real to me every time I realize that I have grown to become outgoing and more full of confidence and life than I had ever been.

I have changed my life through health and through confidence. I have grown and believe that I am stronger now than at any point in my life. Nearly dying, being diagnosed with Type I Diabetes, and living with the disease everyday and finding myself has made me who I am today, a strong woman who continues to grow and live life with Diabetes.

I dedicate my story to my loving, caring and dedicated husband, my beautiful son, my family, and my friends and to the American Diabetes Association for all their support to find a cure and give us people with diabetes hope for a new future.

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