T1d: a life changing diagnosis

Melissa Carlos, Staff Reporter

On a regular Tuesday morning they had no idea their life was going to change. Their reality would soon become a fantasy. A memory of the past.

Junior, Rebecca Carlos is part of a family of 7 she is the second oldest. On November 2nd she received heart breaking news from her dad.

“Your brother was a little high on his blood sugar test”.

When Carlos was a child she was always told to stop eating sweets or she would get diabetes. However when her 6 year old brother was diagnosed she was astonished to learn that that wasn’t the case.

“We were ignorant before my brother’s diagnosis.” Says Carlos, “Diabetes only occurs in people who eat a lot of sugar, is what we thought. It’s what everyone I know thinks.”

Her brother was at the hospital for about a week.

“We would do a video call in order to see my little brother.”Says Carlos, “On a call I remember him asking my mom, ‘Tomorrow we go home?’ ‘Yeah we’re going home tomorrow, God permitting.’ ‘So tomorrow I not gonna be sick anymore?’. I handed the phone to my sister as I could not hold back the tears.”

6 year olds get sick, get medicine and get better. Which was all Carlos’s brother had in mind ‘I’ll be better when I leave the hospital’.

There is no cure for diabetes, it is a chronic illness. The cause is unknown. Children are born with this but it doesn’t fully show until they get older, many times it develops after an exposure to a virus. In which case Carlos’s family had gotten COVID a month prior to the diagnosis.

According to the JDRF organization, “64,000 people are diagnosed each year in the U.S.”

Living with a sibling with type 1 diabetes meant a lot of changes had to take place. No more juices or sweets were allowed in the house, as they would alter her brother’s blood sugar. Each meal had to be measured in order to calculate the right amount of insulin that had to be injected. Any miscalculation could be life threatening.

“It’s a lot to say the least,” says Carlos “stressful even.”

But Carlos’s family isn’t the only family who has been impacted from type 1 diabetes.

Bishop Noll 2019 graduate Alejandra Wedryk was also diagnosed with t1d when she was 8 years old.

Wedryk too had to make many changes to her everyday life.

“I honestly had to change everything about my life.” Says Wedryk, “I didn’t realize it as much when I was a kid just because there was a lot that I didn’t understand, but I had to change the things I ate, and basically all of the things I did and how I did them because I couldn’t do anything without also considering my diabetes.”

Living with type 1 diabetes is not easy and so Wedryk shares advice to all the different children in the world that are currently being diagnosed with t1d.

“Advice that I would give younger kids that are dealing w t1d would be to learn to work with your diabetes and not against it. Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean that you are broken or that you need to be cured, it just means that you need to take a little bit more care of yourself than other people and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Don’t be shy about taking care of yourself in public and don’t be afraid to either educate or yell at someone that has anything to say to you. Yes the diabetes is a part of you and yes it may get overwhelming, but it is not all of you. You are still a person that deserves to be treated fairly and kindly and loved unconditionally. By just getting up and taking care of yourself, you are already doing so much more than you know and that alone is absolutely enough.”