Diabetes Stories

Moving Past Diabetes: Personal Stories
Most Albertan’s have someone in their lives touched by diabetes. The staggering statistics suggest 1 in 4 Albertan’s have diabetes or pre-diabetes most of whom are diagnosed. We would like to share a few stories that are close to us.

This is Davis on his 12th birthday. The day before his birthday he had some blood work done and his parents were contacted first thing the next morning and instructed to get Davis to the Stollery Emergency Room.

Prior to this, Davis had not been himself, he was lethargic and his colour was poor and he was drinking a lot of water. So when his parents were told to take him to the hospital, they were quite concerned.

At the hospital Davis was quickly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. When the ER doctor came to meet with him and his parents, she told them not to worry, that a cure would be found in Davis’s lifetime and it would most likely be developed here in Edmonton.

Davis’s long journey began on his 12th birthday and he is looking forward to celebrating many birthdays after he is cured.

I her own words, Kira tells us what it was like to receive a diagnosis of diabetes:

I was diagnosed at the age of 20. I had started treatment for Hypothyroidism a few months before and it was working fairly well but I still felt exhausted all the time. I asked my doctor to check all the simple things like vitamins and iron levels. The tests came back with Type 2 Diabetes.

At this point I received a lot of really hurtful comments about how I wasn’t taking care of myself properly and that I ate too much sugar. People told me I was too young to have Type 2 Diabetes and that my doctor must have been wrong. All these stereotypes and hurtful comments really took a toll on my mental health. I was assured by my doctor that it was genetic but I still struggled with a lot of guilt and angry. How could I do this to myself, how could I let this happen?

It wasn’t until I met with a specialized team at my local Primary Care Network that I started to see the light again. They taught me about the disease and what it really meant for me. They helped me get over my fears and guilt, and ultimately brought my mental health back up.

Yes, I’m not perfect. Sometimes I eat a few too many carbs or forget to take my medication but at least now I have the skills I need to manage this. Most importantly, I have the knowledge to correct all those stereotypes that are floating around. After all, being a diabetic doesn’t define me as a person.
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