Survival Mode Before Diagnosis

In light of today’s Happy Diabetic Challenge prompt, diagnosis story, I wanted to share a  memory of BEFORE my diagnosis, since I’ve already shared the actual diagnosis story.

As a teenager, my mom and I liked to go biking/rollerblading on the trails in Northern Minnesota. I would rollerblade and my mom would ride bike. This particular time was not unlike any other time we went. We packed water and a few small snacks. Nothing crazy. Little did we know, the day would be one to remember!

It happened so quickly, but also in such a blur. It was summertime and quite hot.  I was chugging the water so fast that it was quickly gone. If you don’t know anything about Minnesota, just know that on these trails, there’s not a lot to come by for gas stations or convenience stores, or even homes for that matter. They are just trails through the woods. This turned out to be a problem.

I needed water. At the time, I don’t think my mom and I realized what was actually happening. I was exhausted and thirsty, beyond thirsty really. Without water, I literally could not keep rollerblading. I had to take breaks, which was unusual.

When we realized this was an issue, my mom decided to bike ahead and find some place to buy water. Simultaneously, I kept skating in the same direction she was going.

Once I was alone, I felt like I was in survival mode. I looked at old rain puddles with such a strong desire. When other bikers rode by, I was on the verge of begging for their water. I saw a house and wanted to yell for help. I cried from exhaustion.

What felt like forever, but probably wasn’t long, my mom came back with water. I honestly do not remember drinking it, but I’m sure it was gone in seconds.

Equally odd and somehow amusing, my mom and I found a long stick in the woods so that she could hold it and pull me from behind her bike. I had my rollerblades on, so it was perfect.

I was an athlete and fully capable or rollerblading 10+ miles. Honestly, I’m so thankful that I made it through that day. I’m sure that I was on the verge of collapsing. Looking back, we should have known that something was wrong. But when neither of us knew the symptoms of diabetes, how COULD we have known?


Image from Beyond Type 1

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