Juvenile Diabetes, Learning to Cope: A Success Story
Juvenile diabetes caught up with Garrett Passer, a teen who did not know why he was feeling sick. In one year he had four bouts of the flu. And he lost a lot of pounds, all twenty of them to the point that people were wondering if he had anorexia.
Garrett Passer is an outgoing athletic teenager, a junior in the Blue Earth area. He could not understand why he was feeling sick. All he knew was he "felt weird." He felt he was always in a fog-like state. And when he looked in the mirror and saw how gaunt he was looking, he still could not understand what was wrong.
He had been sick for some time when he went to the United Hospital last April 11. Then while he waited for the diagnosis, he got more frightened when he heard someone whispering to his mother that things didn't look good. Then finally he found out he had juvenile diabetes.
Now, we know that the normal blood glucose level is between 80 - 120 but do you know how high Garret's was? Well, it went all the way up to 800. So he was sent to Mankato's Immanuel St. Joseph's Hospital right away, a three-quarter hour drive away.
On the drive down, Garrett was so thirsty, he drank a lot of water. He drank so much his blood sugar level went down to 200 when they measured it at the hospital. He had to stay three days under strict medical supervision. There both he and his mother learned a lot about the condition.
For his condition, Garrett learned how to watch the foods he consumes. He also had to be knowledgeable about the use of a meter and how to read his blood sugar test results. In addition he had to be able to balance his food consumption and activities with the administration of insulin.
All these overwhelmed him. Alternatively, he felt angry, afraid and confused. All these emotions were much too much to handle so Garrett asked a counselor if what he was feeling was normal. Thankfully, the counselor affirmed that it was normal.
Garrett was sent home after three days in the hospital. Do you know what he did after he arrived home? He went to the Schroeder Court and played tough. He was determined not to let diabetes take control of his life. He won the tennis match. Sock it to you, juvenile diabetes!
It's been months since he found out about juvenile diabetes. He still gets angry sometimes but he is determined to live with it. He is still active today. The proof? He works as a lifeguard at the Blue Earth pool. He is looking forward to a busy school year in the fall.
He will be very active because he will continue playing tennis. In addition, he will participate in cross country and choir. He feels all his activities will keep him strong. Actually all his activities are helping regulate his blood glucose level.
Clearly he is back on track. And he has even an advice for anyone who is dealing with diabetes. In his words, he said, “Just because you have this – don't put it in front of you. Just deal with the rest of your life.” Indeed, Garrett, what a success story you have!
Juvenile Diabetes Treatment
Juvenile diabetes is type 1 diabetes which is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes. It is generally known to be caused by the destruction of the immune system of the beta cells in the pancreas in charge of the insulin production.
If left untreated, it can lead to complications. The treatment involves lifestyle changes of eating right and moving more plus insulin dosage which is required in order to survive and self-monitoring of the blood sugar level.
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