I went about my senior year of high school taking my shots in the nurses office before lunch hour, pricking my fingers up to thirty times a day, playing tennis, drinking propel or Gatorade if I went to low, and really starting to get a handle of my disease. I didn’t really pay much attention to what I was eating, but I am pretty health conscious, so naturally, I was a healthy girl. My senior year, I really excelled at tennis and ended up going to the state tournament, and going further than I ever thought I could do. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally at my peak. Diabetes was a part of my life I nurtured and took care of, but it was just a part of my everyday life. I was handling everything really well.
The whole time I was in high school I had one goal: get into DePaul University in downtown Chicago. My wish came true as I got into my dream school, moved out of my house, and lived in the freshman year dorms.
College is the time for independence, experimentation, finding yourself, and really living your life for yourself. It was an amazing time and I made amazing friends, loved classes, and exploring the city of Chicago on a whole new level. I loved every second of it and felt like I was finding myself. Self-growth and experimentation comes at a price sometimes. I wanted to be independent and didn’t want to think about this disease that was now rearing its ugly head as I went out with friends, went drinking, went out to get milkshakes at 3 am because we were studying late, or going to work out at midnight after class. My blood sugars started to creep up overall and this ended up taking its toll. My weight started to creep up as well as my insulin resistance was being built up. The freshman fifteen, to me, was not only something that I could gain and loose, it was something that was affecting my health and I wasn’t happy about it for all of those reasons.
From sophomore year to senior year, I became obsessed with food and exercise, and diabetes. I did research. I took up running as a way to control what I thought I could control: my weight. I dieted with friends, drank only cranberry juice for a couple days, ate only salads, tried to stay as healthy as possible in the dorm setting, while still trying to hold onto my blood sugar control. Barley hanging on to my social life, I took on a job nannying for kids in the city. I loved this job, but between late night of work, studying, and exercising, my life was slowly being taken over my thoughts and obsessions.