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My name is Danielle. I love the computer, and playing outside with my friends. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 9. I had always been a pretty good eater, and when I started eating even more, my mom just thought I was growing. Then I started drinking a whole lot, and going to the bathroom a whole lot. I mean I was really, really thirsty all the time! My mom thought I was just using the bathroom more because I was drinking more. But she didn't really know the symptoms of diabetes, so she didn't think it was too strange.


After a couple of weeks of this, my mom started looking up my symptoms online. All she found was information about type 2 diabetes. I had some of the "risk factors" for type 2 – like having a few family members with it, and being from a minority group. But I was very active and young, so she didn't think it could possibly be diabetes.


Finally, after about a month of the drinking and eating (by then I was starving all the time), and using the bathroom, she took me to the doctor. My mom explained my symptoms, and said she thought that maybe I had a bladder infection. They took some urine to test, and right away they decided to send me to the emergency room. The nurses put an IV in my hand and took a ton of blood. My blood sugar that night was 476! It had probably been very high for months. I'm very lucky that the rest of my body was still ok.


We were in the hospital for 5 days. My mom got a lot of information from the doctors and nurses. She learned how to use my meter and how to draw up insulin and give me shots. She also learned how to count carbohydrates. I learned a little too, but I let her handle everything at first.


This past summer I got an insulin pump. It stays attached to my body so I don't have to have shots anymore. But I still have to prick my fingers to check my blood sugar about 8 times a day. My mom checks me when I'm sleeping at night. And we still have to count carbohydrates. The only thing the pump does is give me insulin. Mom has to tell it when and how much. I'm learning more about counting carbs, and I can give myself insulin with the pump. I always check with my mom first to make sure I do it right.


There are 3 other kids at my school with type 1 diabetes, but we are in different grades. We did a presentation at school about it last year. A lot of people think you get diabetes from eating too much sugar, but that's just not true. I wish people knew more about type 1 diabetes. And I wish there was a cure.