Experiences with Diabetes

How chocolate changed my life

 

It was around christmas eight years ago. I love gingerbread surrounded with dark chocolate a lot, but at this time I ate it excessively. I can exactly remember the day where I have eaten about 500 grams on a day. A week later I woke up in the hospital, diagnosed with diabetes type 1.
Sure,…it was a shock for everyone!

The first night at the hospital was awful. The doctor attached sensors and cables all over my body. It was almost impossible for me to sleep. It was beeping everywhere and I continuously thought about the answer the doctor gave me, when I asked „how long do I have this ‚Diabetes Thingy‘ “.
After a few hours of staring at the ceiling I fell asleep, but it was more a nap then a deep sleep. I can not really remember how long I closed my eyes, but I know in detail that I woke up in a bed that was completely wet and warm….

I was alone and helpless. It was dark. What should I do. Detach all the cables and stand up? Press the nurse button, which might be embarrassing? Try to sleep again in a wet bed?
Then I moved up my hand and it started dropping down my elbow. I realized that a butterfly needle at my arm was open and a lot of blood sucked into my bed. I directly pressed all buttons that i could find to get a nurse. But everything that started to happened was a small red light at the room entrance. It felt like half an hour till a nurse came to fix that open port and to bring me fresh blankets, but actually it was something between three and five minutes.

Later at night another doctor came to me and injected something without telling me what he does. It was quite scary, but i survived 😉 On the next day I was allowed to leave the hospital. Usually I’m not scared of hospitals, but since this experience, I don’t feel comfortable next to doctors or clinical institutions.

 

The next days I tried to understand all the diabetes equipment stuff that I got. I can tell you its overwhelming. Food / Carb tables, dextro energy, glucose pen, two different insulin pens, test stripes, more test stripes, lancets, diabetes flyer, diabetes booklets, diabetes, diabetes, diabetes.
If you don’t know how that all look like. Good for you! It’s ugly as hell.

The first nights I was always dreaming about the disaster at the hospital. The first weeks I always thought that I’m dreaming. It must be a dream.

The worst you can do, but you probably will do, is to think about why you got diabetes type 1. For me it was clear. To much chocolate. It took me a few month till I understood that diabetes type 1 is a genetic issue. Chocolate has not really something to do with my disease. But even today I have moments where I ask my self, how my life would be if I have not eaten this huge amount of gingerbread with chocolate.

Diabetes Type 1 is an autoimmun disease. That means that my body has anti-cells that think they have to destroy my cells that produce insulin. If my body has no insulin cells, I have no insulin, if I have no insulin, nothing  can transport sugar into other cells. No sugar means no energy. No energy means … death. This is a short explanation of type 1, but on the internet you’ll find a few good and much better explanations.

Today I’m 24 and I see my disease from another perspective. There are thousand and thousand of people with diabetes out there. So I’m not alone. Especially when I was diagnosed I was thinking really intense about my life and that was somehow inspiring. I met really creative and helpful people in only communities like dedoc or on facebook. I kind of learned to deal with my disease, to accept it and to make the best out of it. I have days that are not easy, but if life would be easy, life would be boring right?!

 

Kevin Röhl

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