The first blog post. What to say?....
I'm 22 years old and I live in New York City. I decided to make acting (musical theatre) my career long before my diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. I actually graduated with a degree in the field before I knew I had it. Would I have chosen this difficult career path, one known for it's lack of health insurance and benefits if I had developed the disease during childhood? Who can say? At this point I feel I've gone too far to go back so am just waiting to see what the future holds.
I was diagnosed with Type 1 about 6 months ago (mid-June 2006). I was doing summer theatre on a grueling schedule the same as I had the previous 3 summers. Working 7 days a week, rehearsing during the day and performing at night is bound to make anyone tired. No, more like flat out exhausted. So I didn't think twice about the fact that I was so exhausted it took all of my energy to keep my eyes open during the day. Then I started drinking (literally) gallons of water every day and STILL feeling thirsty. I mentioned this to my boss casually and she told me to keep an eye out for any other strange things but I pretty much dismissed the idea that the thirst actually MEANT something. "No. I'm just thirsty! I always drink a lot of water, I'm just drinking more now because of the heat!"
Fast forward a few days. I stepped into the publicity office where I worked and realized I could read absolutely NONE of the printed materials hanging on the walls literally 2' from my face. Now THIS was odd. I have always had PERFECT eye sight. No glasses or contacts needed. My sight actually bordered on remarkable and I could read things at great distances that noone else could read.
Anyway, next thing I knew I was at the doctor's office. Had my blood sugar tested. And came in at 570!
I spent the night in the hospital and the following week or so at home dealing with major highs and sickening lows. The news that I "had diabetes" and would have it for the rest of my life didn't really sink in for the rest of the summer. I missed performances, was given an unofficial understudy for even the smallest parts and hated every second of it. Few people understood when I couldn't physically make it onto the stage or when I had to lie down at a moments notice. But looking back, if I had been in their shoes, I wouldn't have been able to understand either.
I gradually began to feel better and started having more good days than bad. I got used to giving myself shots in public, used to timing pre-dinner shots at restaurants (after a few awful hypos when food didn't arrive on time), used to ignorant remarks, used to finger pricks and bruises on my abdomen from my amateur shots..... I bought books on diabetes and googled everything I could. But found surprisingly little help. Almost everything focused on Type 2. And the few things about Type 1 focused on children or on people who have had the disease since they were children. I found the best and most comforting information in the blogs of others going through similar things.
They inspired me to take the plunge into the diabetes blog world (which is actually quite large!). We'll see if I am able to follow through and post on a regular basis. I hope so.
I moved to NYC at the beginning of October ready to take the plunge and become a working actress!
I'm currently working (as a nanny)! But not as an actress. (Yet!!!) Soon enough I hope. :)
I look forward to this blog becoming therapeutic and to hopefully meeting more people who can relate to the daily struggles and triumphs that living with this disease creates.