Diabetes Awareness Month: Kyle’s Story

Caleb Johnson, Reporter

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Tell me about your diagnosis, what symptoms did you have?

“When I was diagnosed, I was taking the AIMS test in 8th grade and one of the teachers said I smelled kind of like fruit. She knew the smell because her husband had diabetes. I went up to the nurse and she tested my blood sugar and it was high. This triggered her attention enough to make her say I should go see some doctors and see what they had to say about it. Some of the symptoms I found out I was having were that I was drinking a lot more water, like one whole milk jug full of water, and I was eating less and urinating a lot more, which was my body trying to stay at a normal level.”

What’s a typical day for you dealing with diabetes?

“It’s challenging at times. Sometimes I will have days where I’m always high (blood sugar level) like in the two hundreds or days where I’m low like in the 80s, 70s, and sometimes 50s. It’s just the whole pricking my finger thing. It’s kind of like a small wall that I have to jump over.”

Are there any limitations, such as could you join the military? ?

“I cannot join the military. I don’t know about other stuff but military personnel aren’t allowed to be diabetic in the field because they can’t carry insulin and keep it cooled however many hours.”

What are some common misconceptions about diabetes you wish people understood better?

“Type 2 isn’t the only one. Type 2 means your pancreas can’t keep up with what you’re eating, but Type 1 is that your pancreas is just not working; your white blood cells attacked it thinking it was a disease. As soon as I got diagnosed, everyone was like, “Hey, did you eat too much candy?” It gets kind of annoying sometimes because I didn’t cause it.

Do you have any pet peeves, or anything in particular that bother you?

“When people ask if I can eat something, asking if I’m not allowed to eat this. I can eat anything I want, I just have to know the carb count for it.” So, everything you eat has to be specific proportions? “In a way, yes. It needs to be a specific proportion.”

Who’s your biggest support group?

“My parents most certainly.” Is there anyway people or the school could do to help you? “Just know more about it; a lot of the teachers are already asking if I’m allowed to eat things if they bring it into the classroom, they just don’t know how to go about it. They just need to know that everything will be fine.”

Is there anything else you’d like everyone to know? “Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

 

 

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