Businessolver Blog

Solver Story: T1D Discovery Changes a Life

Solver Story: T1D Discovery Changes a Life
Posted on Friday, May 6, 2016 by Lauren Levis

LaurenGraduation_pic1.jpgJuvenile or Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is a life-altering disease. It’s serious and affects more than just the person diagnosed. As Businessolver continues to support JDRF in Q2, we want to share Lauren Levis’ story. Lauren is a Professional Development Program Representative and shares how she discovered she has T1D.

“May 9th 2015 was supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life. I was graduating from Iowa State University, had a job lined up, and my whole family was coming to watch me walk across the stage. However, it wasn’t a good day. I was in a terrible mood and had been for many days. There was no reason for me to be moody and constantly snap at everyone around me, but I just couldn’t help it. Just before the ceremony there was an appetizer party, I remember being so hungry and eating everything in sight. On top of being super hungry I was so unbelievably thirsty. I filled up my water cup at least 5 times in the hour I was at the party. Twenty minutes into the ceremony I realized that I drank so much water and had to go to the bathroom, but I was trapped I couldn’t get up. (Needless to say it was a very long 2 hours.) After the ceremony my mood was even worse than it was before and I was extremely irritable. My family was appalled at my irritable behavior, but what my family and I didn’t know was that my pancreas had stopped producing insulin and my blood sugar was well over 400 which can cause extreme mood swings.

The constant thirst, hunger, and moodiness I experienced on graduation day was not something new. For about 6 months the symptoms were there, I was always hungry, constantly eating, snacking, and chugging water because no matter how much I drank I was still thirsty. My friends were baffled because I kept eating excessive amounts, but losing weight like crazy. Over my last semester of college I lost 30 pounds. My friends wanted diet advice, and I just laughed and said I have no idea how I am losing weight. I knew something was wrong, but was convinced that I had hyperthyroidism seeing it runs in my family. After losing about 10 pounds I went to the doctor, but she said nothing was wrong and that I was a completely healthy 21 year-old.

I just shrugged the weight loss off and didn’t let the hunger and thirst I was experiencing concern me. The thought of those symptoms being key indicators of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) never entered my mind; I was healthy and had no family history of diabetes. I continued to live my life how I always had even though the warning signs were clearly in front of me. It wasn’t until right before graduation that I suspected something was seriously wrong with me. In just one week I lost another 10 pounds. I made another doctor’s appointment right after graduation. When I went in, I told my doctor that I think I have hyperthyroidism, I was convinced. She ran several blood tests and I walked out confident that I was okay and was just going to have to start taking a pill to regulate my thyroid.

The next day the call came that changed my life. The nurse called and said that they had discovered what was wrong with me; I had T1D and my blood sugar was well over 400 – at very dangerous levels. I was so scared and upset. The next week was a blur of doctor’s appointments and diabetic education. I went from being a healthy 21 year-old to relying on giving myself inulin to stay alive. My new normal became having to give myself 4-5 shots of insulin a day, pricking my finger to test my blood multiple times a day, having to carb count everything I eat, and wearing a small continuous glucose monitor on my stomach. Over the past year I have been able to get my T1D under control and give myself insulin shots has become a part of everyday life. Living with T1D is difficult; there are no days off, there are blood sugar lows and highs, and I constantly have to be aware of my levels.  

There have been great strides in the technology to help manage T1D, but until there is a cure, T1D will always be a part of my life along with the other 1.25 million people living with the disease. Everyday people are diagnosed with T1D both young and old and it affects everyone around them. My call to you is to come together on May 14 for the JDRF One Walk and to walk/donate to turn type one into type none!”

Join Team Businessolver and walk or run at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on May 14. Check-in starts at 8:00am.