Tony Briceño

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2011 on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I have had Type 1 Diabetes for almost 7 years. I was kind of scared at first because I had never heard or known what Type 1 Diabetes was when I first got diagnosed. I am tired a lot and get frequent headaches. Some nights I get very little sleep because I am having low blood sugars and need to drink juice and recheck my blood sugar every 15 minutes. Other times, my blood sugar is high and I need to give myself insulin shots every 2 hours and drink a ton of water and hope that my numbers go down. It’s a nonstop rollercoaster.

I can’t ever do anything without thinking about it. I always need to carry a bag of supplies. For example, I carry juice or candy for low blood sugar, and I need to carry a glucometer for testing my blood sugar and insulin and needles to correct my high blood sugars. I would love to one day be able to run out the door to shoot hoops with my friends and not have to worry about my diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes is not caused by diet. It is an autoimmune disease that has no cure. Without insulin, I would die. If I give myself too much insulin I could die of low blood sugar: if I don’t get enough insulin my blood sugar would go high and I could go into a diabetic coma called ketoacidosis and die. It is very scary for me and my family. I am, for the most part, a happy person and I think that’s because I am happy to be alive each and every day. I try to remain on the positive side by reminding myself that, yes my living with Type 1 Diabetes sucks, but I’m alive, I have good friends and family, a home, food to eat, etc. Someone somewhere could always be worse off than me.

My mom has supported me this whole time. She is always watching my blood sugars on her phone and texting me if she sees my blood sugars are rising and falling. She is always waking me up when I’m so low I can’t get any sugar on my own, or giving me a shot when I’m too high to do it on my own. I honestly can’t think of how she doesn’t help me with it all. I look up to my parents they are always supporting me.

Take time to learn about Type 1 Diabetes; it is not the same as Type 2 Diabetes. Learn the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes such as extreme thirst, sudden weight loss, nausea, mood changes, fatigue, etc. It has many of the same symptoms of having the flu but being left untreated would result in death.

Above all things, I am like most other kids my age. I like participating in sports, playing video games, and hanging out with my friends.