FACES of DCO Diabetes Week Blogs: Sandra, memories of diagnosis

The day will be stuck in my memory forever.

I am a T1 for 33 years and was diagnosed when I was 13 years old. My younger brother and sister are also T1. My sister was diagnosed several years earlier at 3 years of age. My younger brother was diagnosed before me but in the same year. I remember my parents telling me that Dr’s had told them that the odds of having 3 children with T1 were almost non-existent especially when there was no family history of any diabetes at all.

Shortly after my brother was diagnosed  I started to show some symptoms; my parents had me tested but were advised I just had a high renal threshold for sugar level but that I was not a T1.  Fast forward several months and I was really ill; could not ever get enough sleep, was drinking the weirdest concoctions ever to try and quench my thirst, my hair was thinning and really rapid weight loss. My grandparents came to visit and my grandfather commented to my mother that he thought I wasn’t well so off we went to the doctors once again. This time they arranged for a glucose tolerance test.

I can’t remember what the result was but will ALWAYS remember the look on my mothers face when she took the phone call. We lived in a small country town and needed to travel to Canberra for appropriate care. I remember my father and mother telling me that all would be OK; they had been worried that I was ill with something more life threatening than diabetes so they were relieved in a way. They reassured me that I would be Ok and that they would support in all and any way they could.

Even though it was not on the day I was diagnosed, it was while in hospital that I shared one of the most important moments in my life which I would like to share.

My father had come to visit me in hospital as I was having a bad day, keep in mind that it was 3 hours of travel for the family to visit me. During the visit he was my usual supportive, cheerful, positive father. As he was leaving I was looking out of the window watching him walk to the car; I saw him walking with slumped shoulders looking very sad.

I remember crying, not because of my diagnosis but because I knew that my father loved me so much and didn’t want me to know he was upset.   My father died several years ago and this is a memory of him that I will carry forever as even though it is hard to convey it was  a” life moment” for me when I know just how much I was loved.

My parents are super stars!!! I look back now and realise what the taught me; diabetes is NEVER going to stop you living your dreams or doing what you want to do!! Wow, I am not really a sooky la la despite my sentimental story 🙂 As painful as it was I also have some amazingly positive memories too. xx



  1. Sally on July 14, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Wow San! That made me cry too! How lucky are we to know that we’re loved!! Love makes the world go around in my opinion <3 Thanks for sharing! xo

  2. helwild on July 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Sandra
    Thanks so much for sharing your story. You write so well. The view from your hospital window was so vivid I could see your father walking away after visiting. I cried when I read your story. I am a parent of a girl diagnosed at 12, and we were a country family too. I stayed for 2 weeks at the hospital with my brave girl after diagnosis, and my constant thought was, don’t cry in front of her, help her learn that this can be managed, that she will have a good life in spite of it, that I will always be here for her. Of course I did cry, on many occasions over the years, and we even had one good cry together during those two first weeks. Your insight into your father’s emotions at that time is so moving, and resonates with me. I am very thankful to now have a compassionate adult daughter who helps many people on a daily basis to live the best life they can. I am sure your father knew that he raised a compassionate child too. Your parents’ story is so powerful. Thank you for sharing it. You conveyed the importance of a moment of realisation and insight so well. – See more at: /forums/topic/share-your-diagnosis-story/#sthash.YzcinrdX.dpuf