For this week, the prompt Joslin asked us all the write about was a story from when we were first diagnosed. When I started to think about what to write I realized that the diagnosis was such a life changing traumatic event to me that I have blocked out much of what happened on those first few days. When I was diagnosed I was 15 years old and I was a freshman in high school. More over than just being a freshman, I was a freshman athlete. When I was in football training camp, I felt myself getting weaker everyday, going from being competitive on the field to not being able to even make it through drills in full. After practice each day I would return to the locker room with my teammates and start drinking water, and I could drink almost all of my gallon cooler at a time, which I never thought anything of. Over time, I began to get weaker and weaker and assumed that football was just not for me, because I could not hold my own at all, and I wound up quitting a sport that I waited my whole life to play. A few weeks later, my mom, who is a nurse, noticed me loosing weight and drinking and sleeping too much, and that is when I finally got tested, and my life officially changed. When I returned home from the doctors to get my belongings and head to the hospital, I remember my older brother and his friends being in the basement and three of them chuckled when they heard the news, but one of them, Scott, was the only one besides my brother that showed genuine concern, and fate have it we are still great friends to this day. But as I get into the real story, it all started when I got to the hospital in Boston. I was depressed, I knew that this is the reason football had ended, I knew that I wouldn't be ready for basketball tryouts the next week, and I knew that my whole life was going to change upon leaving that hospital. Once my blood sugars began to stabilize, I was able to walk around the unit and observe what was going on around me. It was the day before thanksgiving in 2005. Every other child leaving the unit was younger, and was going home with a terminal illness for potentially their last thanksgiving with their families. There were patients with cancer, still smiling and just being happy to be with their family, and once i returned to my room my Mom said the line that has changed my life since that day. My Mom looked at me and said "Patrick, it could be a hell of alot worse." As tough as that may be to hear, it is only the truth. In a few days I would be walking out of that hospital and just have to check my sugars, give insulin, and make a few lifestyle modifications and I could live a perfectly normal life. From that point forward I have always lived by that quote. I see people with cancer, with other illnesses and I just thank God that all I have received is diabetes. As badly as it sucked in the beginning, I am alive, I am living a good life, and most importantly I am achieving my dreams. And as I mentioned in my last post, none of this success would be possible without the support of Joslin Diabetes Center, so please follow the link at the bottom of my post and learn more about Joslin, and please make a donation to Joslin as we strive to reach our 5,000 fundraising goal.
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