NDAM 2021: Tell Your Diagnosis Story


My Diagnosis Story

By: Wyatt Cox

When I was 16 years old, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). A few weeks before my 17th birthday, I started having symptoms such as unquenchable thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, and weight loss. I did not notice the extreme weight loss at the time or I likely would have gone to the doctor before I did.  At the time I did not think anything of my symptoms and I was not very well informed about diabetes. In science class, I was always taught that Type 1 Diabetes was genetic, which is why I never considered it as something that could be causing my symptoms. None of my family members or relatives have diabetes. 

After being admitted into the hospital, the next few days were spent trying to bring down my extremely high blood glucose level of 504 mg/dL. I learned all about T1D and how to maintain and monitor my blood sugar.  It was a huge few days.  I was taught about how to treat low blood sugar incidents, what to do when my blood sugar was too high, how to test my blood sugar, how to give myself injections of insulin, how to know how much insulin to give myself, and much more.  

When I was released from the hospital the real challenge started. I had to learn how many carbs were in different foods, learn how different foods effected my blood glucose, and completely change my diet.  Fortunately, at the time I was attending high school online due to COVID, which allowed me to measure out my meals at home with measuring cups or weighing it on a scale to gauge how many carbohydrates were in my food.  This life change was not easy, but I soon gained a new self-awareness and was able to manage my diabetes well enough to attend Governor’s School on a college campus for 5 weeks, a few short months after diagnosis.

As a JDRF Youth Ambassador, I have seen the many ways that advocacy and research funding can make a positive impact on policy and the development of new technologies that benefit the juvenile diabetes community.  JDRF is helping to advance new technologies and bringing us one step closer to a cure.  My plan is to advocate on the national level to increase access to affordable insulin and secure funding for T1D research.