I’m Rebeca Lilia Jardine and here’s my diabetic story. I was diagnosed when I was 9 years old, it was all pretty hectic and very confusing for me at first. The end of December 2007 I was always thirsty and then going into January and February became thirstier, was always peeing, super tired, and losing weight. My mom has had experience with diabetics before with her mother and she believed I was diabetic. She took me to the family doctor. They told my mom she was overreacting and that I was losing my baby fat. I remember the doctor thinking my mom was crazy. She then only did a urine sample and said I was okay.
March comes and I’m getting much worse, losing weight daily, and my skin was beginning to look yellow and was extremely dry. It also kept it peeling. During March break I had a ton of friends who had birthdays that week and at every birthday I’d start vomiting and could not stop using the bathroom. The day back to school from March break, I was taking a shower when I just started vomiting like crazy couldn’t stop. At that point, my mom decided I am going to see my paediatrician and when I got there his mouth dropped. He couldn’t believe how terrible I was looking. He had me do a ton of blood work and urine samples and said to get a lot of rest and drink whatever I wanted to stay hydrated. The next morning at 8am, the clinic had not even opened yet and he had called about 8 times because no one was answering the house phone. My mom called back and all he said was “Rebeca needs to get here right now.” I went there and the elevator was taking forever. I remember my mom telling me that it was just two floors and that we could take the stairs. I cannot explain to you how those two flights felt, it was as if I was climbing Mount Everest. I get there and all he says is you’re going to leave here with this note and you’re going to Sick Kids. He said that “Rebeca is really sick, and she will be going to emergency, my friend is a doctor there and they will take you right now.” I got home and my mom made me shower and she has all these weird rules about life in general therefore I HAD to shower no if’s or but’s. But she didn’t understand that showering was almost impossible for me, as I was so weak. My dad came home from work and they took me to Sick Kids. When I arrived there, I was rushed to ICU and heard the nurses pushing me saying we don’t have much time. I was apparently on my deathbed. I had dropped to 35-40 pounds, my A1C levels were at 32.7, and I was close to going to go into a diabetic coma that I probably wouldn’t make it out of. The doctors told my parents if you arrived 20 minutes later, we believe your child would not have made it. I was in diabetic daycare for a week and everything was so crazy. I didn’t understand what I had. It was more so of an okay I have to take needles and that I have what Nick Jonas has and that was it.
Day by day I learned, saw my parents cry, did needles and pretty much this was my life. But then when I had to go back to school that’s when I was nervous, I wondered would anyone even like me when I told them this. Would I not have friends? But overall it went well, and my parents always taught me that I was no different from anyone else.
I was always positive, and diabetes never really bothered me until I became in my late teens and early twenties. I do have my days where I am just over it like I can’t do it anymore. However, I still try to achieve whatever plans I want to do before my symptoms kick in or a needle starts leaking, or just whatever cons that comes with diabetes. My mom always says “Why are you going out if you feel sick? Stay home.” I’ll always reply “I feel sick every day of my life, if I stay home whenever I feel sick what would I have done to make my life better, to make it more fun or positive. Or to even help me out of being in this burnout stage.” She always just rolls her eyes and gets mad but it’s true that we have symptoms on a daily basis. However, if we always let them take control, we won’t be living the life we should be living. Plus, I am also always on the go just to help my mental health. Being out and enjoying life has been what truly helps me. But I am thankful for the way my parents raised me and for teaching me that I can do whatever I set my mind to, there just might be a few challenges but I can surely get there. I am more than my diabetes and I try to prove that every single day. But I wouldn’t know who I would be without my diabetes and it has shaped me to the person I am now.
Rebeca Lilia Jardine
Rebeca Jardine, my IG is @the_type1. I have been diabetic for 13 years now and I live in Toronto, Ontario. I have been on an insulin pump for 12 years. I am currently on a Medtronic MiniMed and a Freestyle Libre CGM and both have been amazing. I have always lived a pretty adventurous life, it’s just a little harder to pack because we have to remember so many things to take with us. I try not to let diabetes ever get in my way. My favourite low snacks are an Allen’s fruit punch juice box, Nutella, or an orange.