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Upon Diagnosis.

My diabetes alma mata - The Joslin ClinicLast week, I was at an event at Novo Nordisk in New Jersey, attending an event (more on that later) and participating in a discussion about what it's like to grow up with diabetes, and more specifically, what our actual diagnosis moments were like.

I had a chance to talk with a few kids with diabetes (much younger than me - we're talking like the 5 - 10 year old range) and their parents, separately, and what amazes me is how much information is available to the newly diagnosed these days. 

When I was diagnosed (cue stories about walking uphill both ways to get to the endo's office), there weren't any websites dedicated to the parents of children with diabetes.  There weren't blogs about all kinds of different grown ups who were living with diabetes, offering my parents a glimpse into a life after diagnosis.  The books about diabetes were limited to those of the cooking variety, and mostly dealing with diabetes that was controlled by diet and exercise.  Google wasn't an information option, and the only resources we had were people who had older aunts and uncles who had "a touch of the sugar." 

When the diagnosis call came in for my parents, we barely knew what diabetes was, never mind how to live with it.

I listened as the kids in this session talked about what kind of information their doctors gave them upon diagnosis.  "We got a book?  And we went home with needles but then I got my pump so we don't use the needles anymore."

These kids had a very different diagnosis experience than I did.  Most were on pumps within a year of their diagnosis, and web resources kept their parents tuned in to the latest diabetes developments and research.   They were in and out of the hospital within two or three days time, compared to my two 12-day hospital stays back in 1986.

For some of you guys who are reading this, you may have been diagnosed a while ago, like me.  Or you might be newer to the diabetes experience, or handing this disease on behalf of a loved one.  What information would you have wanted upon diagnosis?  How has the diabetes blogosphere changed the way we all feel about our diabetes?   I thought about the resources available to my mom and dad.  Like that bright red book we received from Joslin that had all the meal management tools available in the mid-80's, and that chapter in the back about complications and blood sugar goals.  I wonder how different my care would have been, and my life as a result, if I had received more information about connecting with other diabetics, and forming a community of emotional support for myself. 

So much has changed since I sat in the endocrinologist's office at Joslin back in the day.  

"How many of you guys had to practice injections on an orange before you tried the needle on yourself?" I asked the room of kids, and they looked at me blankly. 

"An orange?"  a sweet little five year old girl asked.  "Nah, we used fake skin."

Fake skin.  Well I'll be.


I used an orange! And I was in the hospital for over a week. But I was diagnosed in 1986. :) I often think about how different the onset of diabetes is for children who are diagnosed now. It's amazing, isn't it?

In 1989, I got a VHS tape and a coloring book. I don't really remember the whole process though. I do know that we brought that tape into the school nurse though. And we had a purple book with all the foods and how many starches they were. And we got copies of the book so that my grandparents could have it too. I was in the hospital for a week so that my parents could learn "everything." They did set us up with a monthly support group at the hospital though where I got to play with other kids and mom & dad got to learn. When my cousin was studying to be a nurse, I let her practice on me instead of an orange and she said that I was much easier than an orange. (Man, she stabbed me!) When I was doing my internship with a Child Life Specialist, I went to a health fair at a middle school with her, and the kids got to give oranges shots. I called my mom after and asked why they never did that with me, because I think it would've helped, and she said that I wanted nothing to do with the orange.

*Sorry this is so scatter-brained, but you hit on a lot of points and they all bring me my own memory.

I didn't know that my sweet little 5-year-old remembered that. I'm pretty certain that she's referring to our pump start, when we DID practice putting on an infusion set on something that was "like" fake skin - but, she was 2 1/2 at the time. Boy, the things these kids remember!

No oranges or fake skin here. I learned to do my injections on some rubbery, fabric covered thing.

I sought out most of my own information, and didn't discover the DOC until a few months after my diagnosis. That's where I learned that an insulin pump wasn't as unappealing an option as I had thought and that just because I don't know a lot of people in real life with diabetes doesn't mean I'm in this all alone :)

Fake skin? Really?

I was dx'ed in 1997, the inbetween then and now generations of diagnoses.

I practiced on an orange and my hospital stay was 7 days. I was 11 and the hospital gave my parents the option to either teach me everything and my parents the supplemental info, or the other way around. I rec'd all the info of what I should eat and insulin, the whole gammut. The big technology improvement was going from syringes to pens, then eventually a pump. The pump didn't come until 6 years later.

Sheesh, makes me feel old

I was an adult diagnosed in 2005. I used an orange. but then they sent me home with insulin pens, not syringes. So I had to learn it all over again by myself. I was not given a lot of information, but I was given my Drs cell phone number and email address and instructions to contact him whenever I needed to. One thing I didn't get until I started pumping was a correction ratio. It was a few weeks into diagnosis that it occured to me that if my bg was high and I was eating food, I would need more insulin than just covering the food. No one gave me a number, I just sorta figured that one out on my own. And i was not in the hospital, I went to the drs office, based on the results of a blood draw I had for a physical.

I can't really speak for my parents, but I do remember oranges, the exchange system, switching to skim milk, a list of free foods, and some sort of bitter tasting medicine hidden in my applesauce. I was diagnosed in 1985 at age 3.

I also remember the first day I was well enough to leave my hospital room, I went to the hospital play room, where we all decorated cupcakes. After we decorated them, the caretaker told me, "now you can give your pretty cupcake to your parents." Who's wonderful idea was it to let a newly diagnosed diabetic kid in the days of no sugar decorate a cupcake? I bet that wouldn't happen these days.

our dx was in 2005 upon a 4 day stay at the hospital - she was 11 months old and i was 3 months pregnant w/ baby #2. we were given a back pack w/ loads of info. looking back i would have paid top $$ for a few names of reputable, willing and responsible babysitters that were familiar w/ diabetes. just to have gotten out for a few hours with my hubby would have been heaven. oh and thank GOD for cwd.com - a true lifesaver after dx.

An orange???? I was diagnosed in 1967, I was 10 years old and in a country where there were not too much type 1. I lived (and I'm living in France, Lyon) and after the doc said to my parents "you're girl is diabetic and she will need insulin all her life", they found a nurse who came one morning with the tallest needle and glass syringe. I was a child, a thin child. And the nurse came during 3 months...my parents found BD and for the first time I discovered (they discovered) that USA was a modern country... So I did my first injection in my body without orange. And without hospital. I never met another type 1 at school, college and later lycée, and university. I was alone. It's hard. I'm sure, my parents would have like to take a computer and asked all the questions. Thank you Kerri, you were the first person that I read and helped me a few years ago.
My needle and syringe are on TuDIabetes( the museum). but I try to add one on my profile.

I SO remember the oranges. I was diagnosed in 1979. I also remember being told beef broth was a "free food" (for a 3 year old?) I still have the exchange books, with practise sheets outlining how much tofu and squid was an exchange from my witty? days in diabetic teen clinic. I also remember seeing the first insulin pumps in backpack form, and thinking I was NEVER going to be lame enough to wear one of those. I've had my pump for 7 years now, but thank god we progressed down from backpack to fannypack to pager size. I also remember getting my first glucometer in 1983 - I think it took 2 to 5 minutes to test, and I got a water spray bottle with it - that was a blast at that age! Ahh, the memories...

When my son was diagnosed 13 years ago, I would have liked someone to explain to me that diabetes treatment is not linear. I was trained to believe in nursing school (!) that if a diabetic ate food and took the appropriate number of units of insulin to cover that food, then normal numbers would automatically result. Which, in theory, could possibly be true, but with a young child you also have to figure into the equation stress, activity, growth hormone, colds, etc. It ain't all A + B = C!

I was diagnosed in the late 80s. I remember the orange too! I used to love to pump as much water into it as possible. It took me almost a full year from the time i was diagnosed (at age 9) for me to be able to give my own shots and the only reason I wanted to do so was b/c I couldn't spend the night out since i couldn't do my shots on my own. I had one friend whose mom was an RN so I was allowed to sleep over at her house b/c her mom could give me my shots. I also remember the week+ hospital stay, eating plain iceberg lettuce with my dad b/c I was hungry and it was a "free food" and he ate it w/ me to show me it wasn't so bad...way to go dad! When I was in the hospital another girl was in there with me...she was about 15 and she had a whole lot of other issues besides diabetes...she was blind, mentally handicapped, and had some sort of physical handicap as well. I just remember this was the only other diabetic I knew and she and i were lumped together and I thought that this was what I had to look forward to b/c she was older...no one explained to me that the other issues she had were not diabetes related, all the nurses told me was "She is diabetic too".

A touch of the sugar... ha! More like a SLAP of the sugar!

I was diagnosed December 16, 1991. Today is my 19 year 'diaversary'. :) I was in the hospital for over a week. I remember getting home just in time for Christmas. I remember flipping through a Pink Panther book full of diabetes information appropriate for a three year old. I'm sure my parents received a much more informative and comprehensive book. At three years old I don't know what else I would have liked to have been given initially. I sure did like my Pink Panther book and kept in my room for years! My parents would have liked the current DOC if it would have existed, back in the day. For years I was the only type 1 in my small town. I felt alone and I'm sure as the only parents of a diabetic child in our rural Nebraska town they felt alone at times, too. That is a reason why the DOC is so great. We can connect with people all over the country, or even world, who understand and GET IT. It would have been wonderful to have 19 years ago. :)

When my daughter was dx'd we had her give me saline injections for practice...being T1 myself (and dx'd the same year by my PCP)I didnt mind the pokes for her practice :)

I had little to no information given to me at dx, just some PILLS. For T1!! Referred to a nutritionist. That was about it. A week or so later when I realized I needed insulin (THANKS TO THE INTERNET) I was given an insulin pen and meter. Told to give 5u Lantus and adjust by numbers on a "sliding scale" -SIGH-

We are truely blessed with the internet, the DOC and ENDO's these days for sure!

My son was diagnosed 2 years ago at the age of 9. The only experience we had had with diabetes was when his best friend had died from it 2 years prior. We were TERRIFIED! As a parent, I would've loved to have had an opportunity to have a place to safely "lose it" and cry all those tears of fear, confusion & sadness without the hospital staff psychologist jotting down notes. We did practice on an orange. Fake skin would've been nice. I really wish we'd had a better support system from the start. Because it was "RSV Season" we were rushed out of the hospital very quickly. Our heads were still trying to grasp onto the dx when they would send people into the room for 10 hour marathon "teaching times". It was too much. Add to that the pressure of knowing that if you didn't grasp it all, your kids life could be jeopardized, was just overwhelming.
One of 1st trips back to the diabetes clinic for a check up revealed a higher-than-desired A1C number. After an hour of waving 20 year old food samples under his nose, but refusing to let him eat the sack lunch he'd brought so the Dr. Could see if he could accurately carb count, the dieticion pointed her chubby little finger in my face & threatened (In front of my son) "if you don't get his A1C down, I will find someone who will!" It was horrible. His numbers are good now, but that situation left our son feeling like like he was going to lose his family. That kind of stress didn't help anyone.
Hospital staff need to do a better job of supporting the caretakers.

I was diagnosed in 1996 at 14, and I remember getting "the orange". It was pretty gross at the time because it wasn't a fresh orange, and I could pinch up parts of it. I suppose it was more realistic that way. My parents never had to do that, and didn't really participate in my d-management beyond buying my prescriptions. I got to play a Nintendo game in the hospital where the character would chase down healthy foods and then try to find syringes filled with insulin (at least that's what I remember, in addition to it being extremely lame). Beyond that, I got the Exchange List booklet that I would never use, two sheets with my sliding scale, and prescriptions. I was told a month later by my pediatrician that the Exchange diet was too much trouble and stress on my family, and so I was better off just avoiding sugar.

I was diagnosed in Dublin, Ireland in 1972. Spent two weeks in a grim hospital. I never practiced injecting on anything. A nurse gave me my first injection, and then I was doing them myself. This was in the days of steel needles, with a much bigger gauge that today's super fine ones.

I was given a reasonably informative booklet, but it was geared towards adults, to my mind (at 15) it was horrible.

I wish I'd had a pump and blood glucose meter from day one. I hated (HATED) the urine test kit I had to carry round.

I'd still like to see new patients get a booklet that's a short guide to good online resources.

I was diagnosed in 2002 at age 8 and spent 3 days in the hospital (mainly because I was in crazy DKA stage and a bg of 1275, I think) My mom and dad got to inject themselves with saline shots, and I watched. Later on I made one of those dolls and gave it a couple of shots, but I've never actually given myself a shot - I switched to the pump and now take care of that by myself.
The docs were always just a phone call away, and they told us a bunch of stuff in the hospital that was helpful. We got a pink panther book about rotating sites, and a carb counting book to begin with, I think.

Fellow citrus poker here :) I was dx'd three years before you, and pretty much got the same level of support. I wish there had been a better way to educate my parents about diabetes. The doctor was a gruff old man who put my dad off and made my mom cry, even though he meant well. I think it's why my dad never tried to learn anything practical about day-to-day D management. My mom pretty much did the shots, etc. until I was older.

I practiced on an orange at my diagnosis in 2006. I really wanted to eat the orange.

I think you are talking to the people who found the online sites and all of that- but they are not a representative sample. Lots of people today are not on pumps, particularly in the US, and many don't think to look for online support.

I wish the little videos and How-To-Inject pamphlets I got at dx hadn't all assumed I was using NPH!

Diagnosed on election day 1980. The halloween candy did me in.

I was in and out of the hospital within a few hours after practicing injections on an orange. Not in DKA, just elevated blood sugars.

No carb counting lessons, no dietitian. I do remember being handed an awful pamphlet about what could happen to your feet if you didn't take care of yourself. Traumatized me enough that I still see a foot doctor once per year, even though I don't really need to.

My parents went through an awful trial and error period until I stabilized and then I could do most of it myself.

I wish someone had told us that it wasn't an exact science. When things went askew, I would blame myself for not doing it right, my mom would blame herself for making the wrong thing for dinner, my dad would blame himself for not watching me closely enough, and so on.

It wasn't until 25 years later that I found the online community and discovered that even if you do everything right, things don't always make sense or do what they are supposed to.

My son was diagnosed 3 years ago at 10. Three days in the hospital total. (2 in ICU.)

Although we got the JDRF Backpack which was awesome. The greatest thing we got was cards from parents of Type I's in our small community. We didn't even know them. Word just "got out". All were encouraging, offering help, support, and leaving numbers. The one that stands out the most... the one that started "You are not alone." After such an emotional roller coaster we had been on... to come home from the hospital and receive such kindness from strangers (that truly knew what we were going through!) is hard to express. We kept them all.

Now we send the cards. We try to give back a little of what we needed so very much at that time. To know we weren't alone.

Typing this now brings back a flood of emotions for me.

I used an orange, but I didn't start giving my own injections until about 8 years after I was diagnosed. I was too scared to try it. I am pretty sure my grandparents practiced on an orange also. I was in the hospital for 9 days when I was diagnosed in 1985, I was diagnosed on Oct 29th so I missed out on Halloween. I totally remember the exchange booklet and free foods.
The hospital had an old school Bugs Bunny film reel that we were allowed to take to pre-school to "educate" the staff and other kids, that they couldn't catch diabetes from me. Good times...

Dx: Friday, June 13, 1980
My age: 7 y.o.
Location: Great Falls, MT

Went into a coma with ketoacidosis for about 4 days, stayed in hospital for 2 weeks. Yes, gave injections to an orange. One of the nasty nurses slapped me when I refused to give my own shot after a few days, told me I was going to die if I didn't do it myself and soon. So I did, but I pouted about it. I went through a rebellious stint a few years later where I gave all of my injections to my mattress...had to go to the hospital for a few days for that episode of ketoacidosis. Cleared up pretty quickly once they put me on that IV of regular. >;)

Tools of the trade: NPH, Regular, syringes, test tubes/fizzy pills/droppers for testing urine glucose (later came the chemstrip sticks that could just be peed on...then the glucometer and accucheck BG meters which took 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds...), ADA Exchange booklet, lists of crappy condiments also known as "free" foods, and attending support groups for old people who talked about how awful it was that I had "such bad" diabetes.

After a few years, my mom found the Barbara Davis Center in Denver, Peter Chase and the pink panther book. That was the beginning of goodness for me and the big D--of using science and technology and logic to make decisions. I went there a few more times while I was in high school, and then to their young adult clinic for several more years. No matter where I lived, I'd head to Barbara Davis a couple of times a year. Really excellent team, care, and research-based clinical services there-- I highly recommend it.

I had one of the early insulin pumps, the betatron, from about 1984-1987. It was gigantic and heavy, and had a canvas case that hung on a belt. SO ugly! Ick. That was during middle school, the best time to have something that big and weird hanging off one's body, right?!

Saving grace: Camp Diamont, as camper 1981-1987 and as counselor 1991-1995. The most amazing week of every summer, and collectively, of my life. 75+ kids and lots of counselors and staff w/ t1d. It rocked my world, and still does. I've found several of my best buds from Diamont on Facebook, so awesome!

Now, 30 years later: OneTouch & Animas Ping, Dexcom7Plus, counting carbs and using ratios with a vengence...and it's all still such a pain in the argyle, but so. much. better. And of course, always better when (virtually) surrounded by those who know, who understand.

(Sorry this is so long--your post really moved me.)

So...1986, and I am 24 now. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital. My machine took sticks that had to be put in...wiped...and put back in to test. My parents were originally told that I may be blind/an amputee by my 20s and that I could never have kids.

I had this thick Pink Panther Diabtes workbook when I started doing my own injections at 7. I was on NPH and Regular, started on oranges when I was 7. I also had a paper chart that I had to give every elementary teacher with the symptoms of lows/highs in the "How are you feeling- smiley faces" design.

I am so happy that it is better for T1s now!

Diagnosis. 5 days in the hospital and I felt so alone as a mom to a 6 year old gal just diagnosed. I remember that feeling to this day. The nurses were great - bold, confident, forthright, honest - just the way I like 'em, but I remember the loneliness. I wish, even to this day, that they had connected me with but one other parent who had a child with Type 1 - whether by phone or email. Just to feel not so alone.

I often wonder if something like that can be done. The feeling is overwhelming in the hospital - so much to learn, to learn, to learn and to DO, DO, DO. I am a do-er and took to it, but I also felt emotionally wrecked. Like crash and burn wrecked. And I had to keep my spirits up for one 6 year old girl who I didn't want to feel scared. But what if that didn't have to happen - what if there was one parent of a Type 1 kiddo, sitting in a room close to my gal's, waiting for me to chat - just to tell me that it's gonna be OK. That we will survive and thrive. That life will not go back to what it was before, but instead be something new. But it will be OK. I would have left the hospital feeling very different. It would have set me, and I can only speak for me, on a different course.

Oh and I loathe that stinking Pink Panther book. Lousy book to give parents in the hospital. There should be a specific book that is handed out, and that shouldn't be it.

Looking back - to not feel alone would be my biggest wish upon diagnosis. The carb counting, the shots, the regimen, yes, I can learn all that. What I couldn't wrap my head around in the hospital was how I was going to carry on with Type 1 in our lives. It would have been so emotionally helpful to me and to G for that matter, to see that we could be just fine. Others did it, and so could we.

I was diagnosed in 1972 at 17. I remember the orange. I also rememeber a blue paperback book from UpJohn Pharma. Disposible syringes were just coming avaialbe. They were not very sharp to todays standards. I was in the hospital for about a week. The only tool the hospital sent me home with to monitor my Diabetes was a Urine Test...5 drops and Blue was better than orange! Oh, how I hated that smell of the chemical reaction. I stood at the bathroom sink and waited for it to bubble and color change. For what ever that was worth.

A year or so later a chemstrip came around and finally a glucose monitor in 1979 when I became pregenant. It was the size of a big book and the needle would sway back and forth.

Most of my Diabetes training did not come until 10 years later when I was pregnanet and I was issued glucose monitor to participated in Clinical Trial for Type 1 pregnancy at a Diabetes Clinic at the University of Miami (now know as the DRI). It was there that I was able to obtain a true idea as to what self management was all about. Also insulins were improving.

It was not until 2010 did I get my first insulin pump.

You asked, "What type of info would I like to have had at the time of diabetes?". My answer is.... THE CONVERSATION, similar to what is avaialbe on the diabetes social media. A few years ago I was excited to find blogs like yours. And to discover that there are Type 1 diabetics still surviving. A better choice of words would be striving!

Fake skin...very interesting

Dxed 2/17/89 at the age of 6. I remember the orange, VHS tape (EDI = Exercise, Diet, Insulin), lots of yelling at the insurance company, the purple book with the places to do injections and the exchange list from Eli Lilly, NPH, the chemsticks that checked sugar and ketones (and having to go twice in the morning b/c the first one didn't count), going to the hospital every 3rd day to get my blood sugar checked, exact times that I had to eat/inject, not being able to ever eat sugar again, never being able to have kids, and much more.... The only other type 1 diabetic that I knew was 2yrs older than I was and in the hospital more than she was out (extremely brittle). I remember (with lots of teasing from my parents over the years) that the first day home, I didn't think I needed the shot, so it took both of them to hold me down on the bed to give it. Meanwhile, my younger sister drank half the bottle of amoxicillin in the fridge because she was thirsty...

dx'd as adult, seven years ago. No oranges - first injection was me with lantus, in the stomach (sounds a bit like Diabetic Clue).

Whenever I hear someone has just been dx'd, I point them at DiabetesDaily, DiabetesMine, tuDiabetes and a few blogs, yours included, because the words of other PWDs is going to be a lot more useful than just about anything else I can think of!

The only thing they gave me to practice with was myself and some saline solution. Mom swears that I used an orange, but hey, I was 11 and I remember expecting an orange and never getting one. So skin it was. With saline. I say I win this argument, mother.

I remember the oranges. I was diagnosed in 1994. New to this blog, but thanks Kerri for posting.

I'm pretty new to this gig, and I thought my CDEs were awesome. No, they didn't go into community stuff, but they were both very informative and very understanding. My first CDE was also a T1 diabetic, and one of the first things she did was tell me that she'd been living with it for decades, she's had no major, and I could do the same thing. She also told me that, as far as she was concerned, I was LUCKY it was T1 rather than T2 because T2s sometimes go for a very, very long time without knowing they have diabetes and end up with more complications as a result. That made me feel like I had a little control again.

(My GP was less awesome with the whole, getting me going on what I needed to do and know thing, but she decided my BG needed to be tested when I only came to her for CRACKS AT THE CORNERS OF MY MOUTH, so I cut her some slack for the mere fact that she diagnosed me against the odds.)

I was diagnosed at 18 months in 1982. I don't remember it at all and am just fine with that. I got the first meter available to the public: it was hundreds of dollars and insurance did not cover strips.

My biggest wish would have been having the insulin that we have now. I hated counting carbs half an hour before a meal or needing a snack even if I wasn't hungry because the insulin was peaking.

We had a support group that met once a month for the parents and kids. One of my best friends from childhood was from that group.

Frequent reader of your blog and first time poster. It is great to hear everyone's various diagnosis experiences.

Like a previous poster, I'm also very new to this. I was diagnosed as a T1 on August 17, 2010 and I was 26. There was not a hospital stay for me. I had lost a lot of weight, over 40 pounds, thirsty all of the time...you know, the usual symptoms. I started to get concerned about the weight loss so I went to the doctor two days after I came home from a cruise. My fasting bg that day was 441 and my A1C was around 16.

I never used a syringe. Or an orange. They started me on Humalog and Lantus pens right away. They referred me to another doctor in Atlanta and I went there the following Monday. They have been amazing. I absolutely adore my doctor and CDE. They helped me to get a grasp on everything quickly and it helped that my CDE is also a T1 as I knew she could relate.

Both my doctor and CDE thought a pump would be a great option for me. After only being diagnosed on August 17th, I started on the pump (Animus Ping) by October 29th. I absolutely love the pump and everything has been going great with it so far. My latest A1C results just came back and it's now at 6.2. I think this was a result of a great diabetes education/learning experience that helped me get on track very quickly.

my daughter was dx'd 3 years ago next week. our training was AMAZING. never once used an orange. we gave injections under our fabulous CDE's direction from the beginning. they encouraged us to order the pump before we left the hospital - and she started pumping after only 2 months of shots. best decision we could have made.

i received a small book that was written by a mother after her daughter's dx. i cried as i read it again and again. it was supportive and helpful and made me realize we are not alone in this. it really helped me address the emotional side...and helped me help my girl.

we have often discussed how grateful we are to be dealing with T1 now. we are grateful to those who went before us, did research, tried new things, and built the body of knowledge that helps us reach for a healthier tomorrow. my daughter has had the amazing privelege to participate in research that will change the course of care for those newly dx'd in the years to come.

They had a fake skin to teach me how o give injections when I was diagnosed. And that was ten and a half years ago.

I remember reading about the orange and wonderig what the heck they were talking about. ;-)

I remember the oranges...but I think what would have benefited me the most would have been not being judged every freaking time I went to the doctor...why didn't anyone just say, "good effort, you can't be perfect"? Oh well things are better now! because I have connected with a whole community and realize that perfection is in the eye of the beholder.

dx in 2003. Originally told me I was type 2, put me on oral meds and lantus on a sliding scale. Never gave me anything to practice on, or any advice about how to manage at all, because I am a vet tech, so they said "Animals have diabetes, you already give shots, so you can figure it out" After feeling like crap and going into DKA, 2 years of type 2 tx that didn't work, they finally checked me for antibodies and my c-peptide and correctly dx me as type 1. On the pump now, and doing great :)

I had to practice on an orange and my parents did too! 1989 diagnosis (at age 10) - I stayed for a week and they gave me a giant book explaining the pancreas and insulin - kind of like diabetes for dummies.

My daughter was dx in 2004 at the age of 4. We didn't spend a night in the hospital! The ER released us that night and told to be back for the class the next morning. We practiced on a nerf ball then each other.
I was reading the comments and someone said she decorated cupcakes then she was told to give hers away. Today parents are told (where we are at a top 10 Children's Hospital) the children should be children first and diabetics 2nd. Although I believe that they go so far as to tell parents give them what they want and give insulin for it. So I believe a newly dx child today would be given the cupcake and the parents would learn to count carbs and give insulin for it. "Give them what they want" is why we have so many overweight children in the US.

Was diagnosed in 1984 and sent home with pills (T1 sent home with pills??? Yeah that was fun). Was in DKA in '85 and hospitalized for over a week learning how to inject saline in an orange. Given the ADA diet and exchange list in '84 and told my life would never change. Glad to see everyone has so many resources now.

Dx'd in 1991 at the age of 22. Yes there was an abused orange and 3 days in the hospital. I asked the nurse, "will I be able to have children?" being a newlywed and wanting to be a mother my whole life. Her response to me "Yes you can, It will only be a bit more challenging" I only heard "Yes" No support in the small town we lived in. It was very lonely, I was the only one. The DOC is priceless and life altering!!

I was diagnosed in 1988 when I was 16 years old. When the nurse came to teach me how to inject, she hitched up her skirt so I could practise on her thigh.

The orange thing baffles me...orange skin isn't a bit like human skin. Or is it? D:

I was diagnosed in '02, had a three day hospital stay, and I did my first pokes (shots and tests) on my own skin. The biggest omission from my diabetes crash-course at that time was carb counting. I was taught the Ye Olde (Confusing As Helle) exchange system, most likely because that's what the hospital used to feed its patients with diabetes.

I would have appreciated a more thorough education about carbohydrates and treatment options available to me (different types of insulin, different types of insulin administration, meters & logging software available at the time, and so on) -- although perhaps that would have been overwhelming, I don't know. By the time I got to my first endo appointment with my syringes and vials of NPH I thought that was the rest of my life. Thank goodness for my endo who instantly upgraded me to Lantus and Humalog pens and told me that, no, actually, I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted (as long as I could count).

OMG...I remember the orange! I was diagnosed in 89 when i was nine yrs old. What I remember, and there wasn't much info in total, was being told that my sugar level was 800 (the docs were amazed I was coherent), would have to get injections 2-3 times a day, and no more chocolate. The injections didn't bother me much but when i was told i could no longer eat chocolate - I cried, and cried...it was the end of the world for me.

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