Oliver’s Diabetic Journey

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Hi, my name is Oliver Shane, and I am a fourteen year old diabetic living in Jupiter, Florida. Welcome to my first blog post! As a wise man once said, “What’s a blog”. That man was my grandfather, who has yet to discover the internet (we had that conversation on his landline phone). Still, he raised a good point, what is a blog? Despite having just started writing for one, I had never actually read any blogs before. I plan to use this excuse as a scapegoat for when I make a mistake writing this blog (I’m kidding).

While I can’t guarantee I know exactly what a “real blog” is, I can guarantee that I’ve come up with some great diabetic topics to share with you, from my experience with various insulin pump sites, to my review of the Control IQ program for the T:slim x2 diabetes pump. I also plan to talk about my life as a diabetic, and the way my diabetes influenced me over the past year, psychologically, socially, and physically. I will also be sharing new and exciting information about various diabetic companies, so stick around if that interests you. Anyways, now that we’ve got the boring introduction and self-promotion out of the way, it’s time to get into the actual article. Of course, that’s next week.

Give Me Food, as I Must Feed

To commemorate my one day blog anniversary, I figured it was fitting to talk about my one day anniversary of diabetes. In other words, for my first blog post, I’ll be talking about my first day with diabetes, and the weeks leading up. As I’m sure all of you know, the weeks leading up to diagnosis can be strange. You likely have many unusual symptoms, such as excessive thirst and hunger, yet abnormal weight loss. My symptoms started popping up in late January, and involved eating and drinking about five times my body weight and peeing it all out only moments later.

I had a weekly allowance of soda cash, and I would regularly use it to buy sugary snacks (think like 2 Oreo packages, four fistfuls of Reese’s Cups, and five different boxes of the most sugary cereals you could find). I frequented a midnight snack of Craft Mac n’ Cheese. I think I probably drank close to a literal gallon of water a day. Despite all of this, I was still losing a lot of weight. Like, a lot of weight. I dropped down from 136 pounds to 104 pounds. At the time, I thought “this is the height of luxury”, like a kid in a limo with a pizza box. Seriously, being able to eat this much and lose this much weight was a huge benefit to me.

While being able to eat what I wanted was great, I was also incredibly hungry, and this hunger only seemed to grow over the following months. For every time I ate, I became hungry five minutes later. It was a never-ending loop of eating and eating and eating, yet still losing

weight. At one point, my mother wrote a Facebook post where she said roughly, “I work out for three hours a day and barely eat, yet I still gain weight. Meanwhile, my son eats Kraft (Mac N’ Cheese) for a snack and is still only 100 pounds.”

Oliver and the Giant Gallon of Water

One thing I also noticed in early February was an unquenching thirst. I could, and often would, drink gallons of water at a time. I have this giant sports bottle, from back when I used to go long distance biking, that holds about 32 ounces. Every day, I would fill it up with ice and water at least three times; every night, I would fill it up at least twice. The water tasted like some form of holy elixir. It was always crisp and refreshing, as if I had just run five miles to taste it.

I then started going to the bathroom. At first, it wasn’t an issue. I would go about… five or six times a day, compared to three or four. I didn’t think much of it, until those numbers started to increase. Every day, I seemed to need the bathroom more and more. There were certain days where I could confidently say I went to the bathroom more than ten times. Even then, I shrugged it off. I figured “eh, these things happen to teens”. As I’m sure most of you know, these things don’t happen to teens.

There was something seriously medically wrong, and it just kept getting worse. Every night, I would wake up and go to the bathroom. I couldn’t sleep until my bladder was empty, but the second I emptied it, I was thirsty. It was an endless circle that would sometimes keep me up all night. I slowly became absolutely exhausted. The more I had to the go to the bathroom, the more I just tried to ignore it.

Warning signs and Fingersticks

My parents at first assumed my symptoms were a sign of a tapeworm. They gave me an antibiotic that would help me fight one. Oddly enough, the tapeworm medication helped a bit. I needed to go to the bathroom less, and was a bit less hungry. I imagine that this change was more of a placebo than anything. For a short bit of time, I believed I had a tapeworm. I read up on the symptoms, and the symptoms of a tapeworm seemed to match the symptoms I was experiencing. I continued to take the medication in the hopes of fighting the tapeworm; but one night changed that.

May 2nd, at around two in the morning, I wet my bed. It was the first time I did something like that since I was a toddler. It’s embarrassing to admit it here, but if I am to be truthful, that’s what told me I had diabetes. My step-mother, a keto diet enthusiast, already had the fingerstick on hand. I was afraid of the fingerstick, because I was afraid of officially knowing I had diabetes.

I didn’t want some new disease, some foreign problem I’d have to deal with. I didn’t want to give myself a shot every day of my life. I didn’t want to have to control and limit everything I ate. I was terrified of receiving a diagnosis. So, what did I do? I ran.

I ran as fast as I could, and I kept running. I wouldn’t let them take my blood, as that means they could never diagnose me. That run didn’t last long, as my mother came along with her car to pick me up, and drive me to the nearby Urgent Care. After they took my blood and sampled my urine, they gave me a diagnosis that would change my life forever.

To learn what that diagnosis was, you’ll have to wait till the next week. I’m sorry for the cliff hanger, but you can’t reasonably expect me to write a five page essay every week! Since I’m feeling nice, I will give you a hint of what I’ll be talking about in the next chapter. The disease I was diagnosed with starts with “dia” and ends with “betes”.

See you next week!

From one diabetic to another!