“Diabetes as an adolescent”

I still remember the morning I was diagnosed like it was yesterday. I woke up thirsty, feeling sick, and of course like any kid not wanting to go to school. My mom had been a diabetic from the time I was born. She was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her pregnancy with me. Diabetes was nothing New to me, just nothing I knew about. Diabetes was always something that mom had to deal with. Pricking her finger to test her glucose levels and always worried about what she was eating and also what we were eating.

I was never the kid who always wanted candy bars or special treats. For the most part, I ate sensibly like my mother always advised.

Waking up on that Monday morning I knew something wasn’t right. I told my mom I didn’t want to go to school and of course she assumed I was playing sick to get out of going. She knew something was truly wrong with me when I had asked her to test my blood sugar.


I will never forget that number as it was the first number I had ever seen of mine on a glucose monitor. I remember seeing my mother’s reaction to the number. She got scared and started crying, not hysterically, but enough for me to know something was wrong. She then called my father to let him know something was up, and from that point on all hell broke loose!

An average blood glucose level for any human being without Diabetes should range between 80 and 120. At least those where the numbers when I was diagnosed. Nowadays, they’re saying an average blood Glucose level should be between 90 and 130. I have unfortunately seen an increase in these numbers as the human race gets more and more unhealthy as the days pass.

After the phone call to my dad at work, and him rushing home, I remember being in the car going to see my pediatrics Dr. It was like any other visit but still I knew something was wrong. I was then transported by my parents to The Stanford medical hospital in Palo Alto California. To my knowledge and research, Stanford has one of the best medical hospitals in the country. It is safe to say we had pretty good medical coverage at the time. When we got there - I was instantly hooked up to machines, getting my blood drawn, and feeling like everything was happening so fast. I was admitted for three days and then released. That was my first stay in a hospital, and to be honest I was scared and the one thing I do remember, were all the doctors coming in and out of my room with medical students. I guess Stanford is a teaching hospital so any patient is something the students can learn from. I wasn’t OK with it at first, but now that I look back, maybe I helped somebody learn something about Diabetes. I guess I can try and stay positive that way. Any who…..

Returning home with all this new info that I had gained from the doctors teaching me about this disease that I now carried, was quite overwhelming. To my knowledge some of the best doctors come out of the Stanford medical facilities. But still, as a kid with technology at his fingertips, I needed to know more.

I remember getting to stay home for a couple months from school. Learning all these new tools to stay healthy, and keep my blood sugars under control.

  • Insulin intake
  • Carbohydrate counting
  • Insulin sliding scale
  • Exercise regimen

Not too many people know what carbohydrate counting consists of, nor do they know what a insulin sliding scale is. I’ll leave a couple links below if you’re interested in learning about those two topics.

I’m going to stop this post here. There’s a lot more that I want to talk about, but I want to know if anyone is interested by this topic first. If you guys can, comment below and let me know if you would like to hear part two of my story.


Christopher Jesse Leal

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