When I first started feeling really thirsty and dehydrated, I thought it was because it was the end of the summer. A few weeks later, I blamed it on allergies. But deep down, I knew something wasn't right.
After a few more months, the symptoms persisted and even got worse – I had lost so much weight that people would ask me if something was wrong. I tried to block it out, but I finally went to see my physician. He did some blood work, and they sent me right over to the emergency room!
It all hit me so quickly: I'd heard of diabetes, but didn't know anything about it. That first hour was really nerve-racking, and being in the hospital was overwhelming. When the doctor explained what was happening – and that I had Type 1 diabetes, I was worried that everything in my life was about to change.
I'm a gym teacher, a coach, and the father of young children. When you're an active person, you're used to living a certain way, and your main concern is whether you'll be able to keep doing the things you've always done. I knew my body had changed, and I wondered if I could go back to where I was.
I was discharged the next day and went to Unity Diabetes & Endocrinology's Diabetes Center for training. It was there that my wife and I started to get the sense that, while this is not ideal, it's not the end of the world.
Everyone was very helpful as they explained the changes that needed to be made. Everything was so positive –they made me feel like I could do it, and they gave me the knowledge I needed to live healthier. They looked at my lifestyle and my needs when they suggested changes and tools.
Once you find out you have diabetes, you discover a lot of other people also have it that you never knew about. I've met a lot of kids at school who have it, and I can actually be a resource for them now. And they check up on me, too!
To go in knowing nothing about diabetes and reach where I am now within a year is a testament to the services I received at Unity Diabetes & Endocrinology Services. Thanks to them, I've gotten my life back, and I feel confident in how I live my life. I know I'm healthy: I know when I wake up that I have this disease, but that it's managed because of the services I've received at Unity.